Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Asparagus with Butter & "Soy"

I have been eating asparagus like it's going out of style. Oh wait, that should probably read "like it's going out of season" (heh). You recall that dinner I made for my friend's 40th birthday? That night I made asparagus 2 ways, the Asparagus with Butter & Soy from (you'll be shocked) Cooking In the Moment and with my own creation, Asparagus with Fresh Maryland Lump Crab and Hollandaise:

Excuse the poorer than usual photography - it was dark and I didn't want to make my friend wait while I took 80 odd photos to get a single one I could edit and post on this blog :P
Aside: I used the Hollandaise recipe from the Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces cookbook, which has you use a blender to create the emulsion - genius!

In any event, when I made the soy & butter dish originally, I did follow the recipe exactly. Later in the week however, I took the opportunity to use the leftover asparagus to test out a paleo version and I dare say while it lacked a tiny bit of richness from the soy sauce (you could use wheat free soy or tamari if you're comfortable with that), it wasn't a huge difference and the dish was still outstanding.

Here's what I did:

First, I prepped my water for poaching an egg (I use a smaller saucepan with about 1/2-1 t of white vinegar per cup of water). Once the water was simmering, I blanched a bunch of trimmed asparagus in boiling water for about 30 sec (the few really thick stalks got dropped in about 45 seconds earlier), then drained them and set them aside.

While the asparagus were blanching, I heated some sunflower oil in my cast iron skillet over nearly high heat (high end of medium high). When it was piping hot, I dropped the asparagus in, shaking them around occasionally until all sides were blistered. At the same time, I dropped my egg into the simmering water to poach and set the timer for 3 minutes (it's easier to avoid breaking the egg if you crack it into a small bowl or cup, then slowly lower the bowl into the water. If you need to, swirl the water with a knife for a few seconds to get the egg white to form around the yolk after dropping it into the water).

When the egg white was firm I used a slotted spoon to pull the egg out of the water and set it aside. Then I added 1 T of coconut aminos to the pan with the asparagus and shook it until the liquid had evaporated. Finally I added about 2 T of ghee and tossed again until a sauce had formed. I plated the asparagus with the sauce, set the poached egg on top and ground fresh black pepper and sea salt over it.

There is very little more satisfying than cutting into your poached egg and seeing the still runny yolk pour out

The resulting dish is rich, salty, and full of umami flavor. Even though I've had this twice already in one week, it's going to be made again very soon!

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