It’s asparagus season in the UK again and predictably, from the moment I see it appear on the shelves I get an unholy urge to stock up. Not the stringy supermarket substitutes from Peru or Kenya (sorry Peruvians and Kenyans, but, you know..), no, the proper stuff, from Worcestershire – maybe Herefordshire at a push….
I’m encouraged to see my relatives back down home still take it as seriously as I do too. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this.
The tips are considered the best bit of course, but what to do with the rest of the stem I hear you ask? Oh, you didn’t, but I’ll tell you anyway – how about making a puree of the thicker end and cooking the rest on a griddle?
The two approaches make a nice contrast and was great with some nice fresh (albeit massive) hake fillets.
I flavoured the puree with the truffle mustard I found whilst back home a little while ago. As I mentioned before, it’s potent stuff, which I found surprising as I often find something ‘truffle flavoured’ generally, well, isn’t. Add a little crisped Parma ham and some sweet bang-in-season crushed Jersey Royals into the mix and it’s a nice balance of flavour and texture.
I’m sure you could make it a little more virtuous, by removing the butter, but where’s the fun in that?
- Two pieces of fresh hake. Must be fresh.
- A little flour
- A bundle of finest Worcestershire asparagus.
- A little single cream (100ml)
- 2 knobs of butter
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp truffle mustard, if you can get it.
- 2 sliced of Parma ham
- About 8 decent sized Jersey Royal potatoes
- Sea salt
Boil the Jerseys in their jackets until just done. Put some plates in the oven to keep warm.
Trim the fat end of the asparagus and simmer in a small milk pan shallow water until nice and tender. Add the cream and truffle mustard and blitz in a blender. Return to the pan and gently simmer to reduce and thicken.
Meanwhile, get a griddle pan smoking hot. Cover the asparagus in oil and season with salt. Griddle until cooked and nicely charred.
Heat a heavy pan with some oil until smoking, dust the fish on both sides with flour and season well. Fry it skin side down, until nice and crisp. Be brave. Flip only for a minute or so to finish off and be careful not to overcook. If worried, use a thermometer to check it. Set aside on the warm plate.
Grill the Parma ham until crispy.
Gently crush the Jerseys and season with butter and a little salt. Mould them onto the plate with a ‘cheffy ring’.
Stir the rest of the butter through the puree and add it to the plate with the asparagus tips, hake and Parma ham.
Fantastic and couldn’t agree more! I just had griddled asparagus (direct from the farmer) with hollandaise, followed by seared pigeon breasts. I try not to buy any vegetables from the supermarket – some are stored in nitrogen for as long as 18 months and I’ve no desire to eat something that’s traveled thousands of miles when I can buy it, in season, direct from the farmer. I normally make soup with the asparagus stems, or put them into my fresh stock, but next week I’ll be thinking about hake and asparagus puree 😉
Cheers MD. Must admit, I like the sound of it with pigeon – it’s a bit of favourite of mine. Completely agree about the traveling too, anything that has to be moved so far, and through so many distribution centres, can never be as good.
I had never thought of an asparagus puree with seafood. Don’t know why but I never have. Brilliant idea!!! I do a white truffle cream with white asparagus sous vide that is divine and I would imagine a truffle mustard with the green asparagus would be stellar. All-in-all, this is a killer entree. I definitely need to give this a try and have now bookmarked it for another day sometime this summer. 🙂
Hi Richard. Glad you like it! I must admit the truffle mustard was a nice addition – it added another element. That white asparagus dish sounds great though. I recently got a sous vide setup (bit late to the party I know..) so I must try that.
I know that the asparagus is the (deserving) star of this post, but your hake really does look fantastic too. It’s my favourite fish, and I haven’t cooked with it for a while. I’m feeling all inspired now…!
Thanks Georgina. I love hake too – much better than the ubiquitous cod (in the shops at least – not so much in the sea…).
That’s a serious looking bit of fish. Cracking recipe, as per. This is happening this weekend. Did you drain the asparagus before blitzing?
Cheers Lee. Sorry for the tardy reply. I did drain most of the water as the single cream is fairly thin, but kept some back in case I needed it anyway.
I made your lovely dish just now & my Peter & i both loved it!
Divine, dear Phil! xxx
That’s great, thanks very much Sophie. I always look forward to your comments!
I hope some day we could meet, we would have so much fun & also cooking together? x Good night!
Certainly would. One day, when the girls are more settled, we’ll hopefully visit Belgium again and catch up with you then. It’s been a while…
Ooh great to hear that! xxx Or I will come to visit you! 🙂 Now, good night, I am off to bed!