TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE A TO Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE. I HAVE CHOSEN A THEME FOR THE MONTH. EVERYDAY I WILL HAVE A BLOG POST WITH RECIPES FROM A FAVORITE COOKBOOK. I AM A COLLECTOR OF COOKBOOKS AND HAVE COLLECTED MANY OVER THE YEARS.
The letter of the day is A.
I’m starting with a recipe for Asparagus Tips in Puff Pastry with Lemon Butter Sauce. This recipe comes to you from the best,….Julie Child in her book Julia Child’s Menu Cookbook. I’ve made several recipes of Julia’s from this cookbook and you will be seeing some of those later his month.
Easter is on Sunday and I thought this recipe for Asparagus Tips in Puff Pastry is springy and compliments many Easter dinners and you might want to make it for yours. Asparagus Tips are used in this recipe and a delicious lemon butter sauce. The most delicious part of this dish is the Lemon Butter Sauce. The butter sauce is white butter “Buerre Blanc” in French. It is a hot emulsified butter sauce made with a reduction of lemon, white wine or vermouth in Julia’s recipe and cold butter . Cold butter is blended a little at a time, beating continuously so that the butter does not separate and it looks white. You make it with lemon juice, vermouth or wine, butter and a little salt. That’s it! And it is wonderful with asparagus. I could see serving it with other vegetables, shrimp, scallops and fish.
Julie Child made a lot of dishes using puff pastry, which is very french! Beef, fish and desserts are all good with puff pastry. You will see the puff pastry in some of the upcoming recipes from this book, Julia Child’s Menu Cookbook.
Cook the puff partry first. I used Pepperidge farms Puff Pastry and cut it into 2.5 x 5 inch pieces. There is a little card that comes with the puff pastry and you can use that to cut straight lines.
The ingredients for the lemon butter sauce are butter, wine or vermouth and lemon juice.
Continuously stir the cold butter into the reduced lemon and wine, one piece at a time until the sauce is thick and white.
Saute the asparagus tips in some butter and scallions.
ASPARAGUS TIPS IN PUFF PASTRY WITH LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
18 to 24 fresh asparagus spears
2 to 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon shallots or scallions
salt and pepper
6 puff pastry rectangles about 2 1/2 by 5
Egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
Lemon Butter Sauce:
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons dry white vermouth or wine
salt and white pepper
2 sticks chilled butter cut into 12 fingertip-size pieces
2 tablespoons lemon peel, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the 6 puff pastry rectangles on baking sheet. When oven is hot, place puff pastry in oven and bake for about 15 minutes until puffed and lightly browned. Remove from oven and place each one on a cooling rack.
Cut the tips off asparagus leaving 6 inches to be used in recipe.
Melt the 2-3 tablespoons butter in a pan with the shallots or scallions
Add salt and pepper, Saute the asparagus in the butter for a few minutes until it is bright green. Remove from the heat.
For the sauce, place lemon juice and vermouth or wine and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a pot. Bring to boil and cook until reduced down to 2 tablespoons.
Cut butter into small pieces and whisk them into lemon butter sauce, one at a time. Do not add another piece until the first one is almost melted. – the object here is to force it’s milk solids to hold in creamy suspension as the butter warms and softens, so that the sauce remains ivory colored rather than melted butter.
Cut the puff pastry in half lengthwise. Place 6 asparagus on each half and top with a little butter sauce. Place the other half of puff pastry on top. Place on serving platter and add some additional butter sauce. Sprinkle with lemon peel and serve.