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Roasted Asparagus in Beurre Blanc

Posted By katy On March 13, 2008 @ 8:27 am In food,side dishes | 18 Comments

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Asparagus has not made its way to our farmer’s market yet, but it must be in season somewhere, because every grocery store or vegetable market I went to this week had it on sale.  It seemed like fate, because I have been thinking for weeks that I would like to try my hand at a classic beurre blanc, and what goes better with a rich, french, buttery sauce than crisply roasted asparagus?

I did think, for a moment, about making hollandaise instead, for a much more traditional asparagus pairing.  But then I thought, “everyone has had asparagus with hollandaise,” why would I bother to post a recipe that everyone already knows about?  Ok, ok, so perhaps I have done that many times in the past, but I try to be at least somewhat creative, adding my own little touches or twists on each dish I write about.  So buerre blanc it was.

As you can see from my photo, I didn’t strain the sauce once it was prepared, and I went a little heavy on the shallots — I am still trying to use up a bag from last week’s farmer’s market, and I’m not sure how much longer they will hold out! 

I will be making this again, for guests, for sure.  It takes a little time to make, but it’s so rich and luxusious, and so lovely on the plate, I want to show it off!  I know beurre blanc is a popular pairing with simply steamed seafood entrees, so that will probably be the next try!  But I can think of a million uses for it already — that’s the versatility of a classic french sauce for you. 

In other news, I was at one point thinking about taking a “Sauces” cooking class in the next few months.  But, while there is nothing I love more than learning all the tips and tricks and theory that only a good instructor can teach, I decided that before spending the money for the class, I would try to make them on my own, using The Art of Simple Food and these helpful videos [1], both of which I very heartily recommend.  So far, I have made béchamel, crème anglaise, homemade mayonnaise, several variations of homemade tomato sauce, a number of quick pan gravies, and now beurre blanc. What’s next?

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Roasted Asparagus in Beurre Blanc

INGREDIENTS:
For the asparagus:
2 lbs fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt
Pepper

For the buerre blanc:
3 shallots, chopped very finely
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1-tbsp pieces

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a pan and roast for 15-18 minutes, turning once, until crispy and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine shallots, vinegar and wine. Simmer until almost all the liquid is gone (shallots should be moist, but there should be little to no liquid in the pan). Salt the shallots to taste.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the first tablespoon of butter, whisking constantly. When each tablespoon is almost melted, stir in the next tablespoon. If the butter doesn’t seem to be melting, return the pan to the burner over VERY low heat until warmed again (higher heat will cause the butter to separate). If the sauce starts to look oily, remove it from the heat and keep whisking.
5. Once all 8 tablespoons of butter are incorporated, pour the sauce over the cooled asparagus, and serve.

Serves four.


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[1] these helpful videos: http://video.epicurious.com

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