Local asparagus with Dijon cream, chives and crispy jambon

CP NM April 2018 asparagus

This simple but delicious dish is featured on the Spring 2018 at Café Presse, but only as long as the local aspargus is in season.  Washington State asparagus is so good, why eat anything else?

Warming the blanched asparagus with olive oil  before serving brings out its rich, herby flavor.

Grilled Yakima asparagus with Dijon cream

Ingredients

Asparagus

  • local asparagus
  • olive oil
  • chives
  • Jambon de Bayonne
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper

Dijon Cream

  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tablespoons dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preparation

Dijon Cream
1. Combine the crème fraiche, mustard and spices. Stir to combine evenly but don’t over-stir. Separately, season the heavy cream with salt and pepper, then whisk to medium firm peaks.
2. Fold the whipped cream into the crème fraiche. Check the seasoning. This cream should have the consistency of loose whipped cream.
Asparagus
3. Wash and stem the asparagus. Blanch in boiling water until just tender but still very firm and crunchy. Chill rapidly in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
4. Pick over the chives, removing any stems that are damaged, tough or discolored. Chop finely.
5. Cut several very thin slices of jambon de Bayonne. Fry in peanut oil at 350 degrees F until crispy. Drain on paper towels and hold warm.
6. Put enough asparagus for the number of portions you are making into a saute pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper, tossing well. Heat under the broiler until hot and beginning to sizzle.
7. Arrange the asparagus in bundles on warm individual salad plates. Top with a dollop of Dijon cream. Sprinkle with chopped chives and garnish with the crispy jambon. Serve hot.
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