"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"

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Les Dames D'Escoffier DC
301-986-8540
Website: www.lesdamesdc.org

 
Drew Faulkner - President
She also has a personal website:
www.cookingwithdrew.com


Fresh Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:
(Serves 4 to 5)
1)   1 pound fresh Asparagus *Note*
2)   3 tablespoons Butter
3)   2-3 Leeks (white part only), washed and cut into 1/4″ pieces
4)   1/2 teaspoon Salt
5)   Asparagus Stock (see recipe below)
6)   Salt and Pepper
7)   Garnish (see recipe below)

   
Preparation:
1)   Clean and prepare the asparagus stalks (cut them into 1/4″ pieces) and cut off
       the tops and reserve the most attractive tips for garnishing the soup).
2)   Heat the butter in a small stock pot or large sauce pan.
3)   Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until they are very wilted and soft, but not
       browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped asparagus, salt, and stock.
4)   Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5-6 minutes. The
       asparagus should be cooked until tender, soft enough that it can be finely
       pureed but still green (not grey green).
5)   Blend the soup well. Scoop or strain the vegetables out of the liquid.
6)   Place the vegetables in the blender or food processor. Add just enough liquid
       so that the vegetables will puree.
7)   Transfer the smooth puree to a bowl. Stir in the remaining stock, tasting as you go.
       If you think the flavor balance is good before you’ve added all of the stock, don’t
       add any more. If you think the flavor of the soup is a bit strong, add a bit of water.
8)   If you’re serving the soup cold, chill it. If you’re serving it hot, reserve the soup
       until you’re ready to serve it, but don’t reheat it until just before serving.


Finishing the Soup:

1)   Add a dash of freshly ground pepper. Then balance the seasoning of the soup
       with lemon juice and salt. Add a squeeze of lemon, then add salt to taste. Go
       back and forth, cautiously, with the lemon and salt until the soup has a bright
       but round asparagus flavor. (It won’t need much of either.)
2)   Place the soup in serving bowls and add a dollop of the cream mixture.
3)   Divide the reserved asparagus tips between the bowls.
4)   Sprinkle the zests of lemon rind over the top.


The Stock

Ingredients:
1)   Ends of Asparagus stalks, chopped into 1′ lengths            
2)   1 cup Green Leek tops, chopped into 1/2″ lengths                
3)   1 Bay Leaf                                                                            
4)   1 medium Carrot, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
5)   1 Celery Stalk, chopped into 1″ pieces
6)   4 Parsley Sprigs
7)   1/4 teaspoon Salt
8)   5 cups cold Water

   
Preparation:
1)   Snap off the tough root ends of the asparagus stalks. To do this, hold a stalk
       below the tip and at the root end. Bend the stalk until it snaps apart.
2)   Use the root ends for your stock and the greener and the top section for the soup
       and garnish.
3)   Combine the prepared stock ingredients in a deep saucepan or small stock pot.
4)   Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Strain.

The Garnish
Ingredients:
1)   Zested peel and juice of 1/2  Meyer Lemon, regular Lemon, or regular Lemon
       and orange
2)   1/4 cup Cream
3)   2 tablespoons Sour Cream, Labne (Kefir Cheese), or Yogurt

Preparation:
1)   Blanch the reserved asparagus tips in salted water for 1-2 minutes so they’re
       just tender but still bright green.
2)   Grate the rind from half a lemon and reserve.
3)   Whip 1/4 cup cream lightly, until soft peaks form.
4)   Whisk in the sour cream, Labne, or yogurt.
5)   Season with salt. Reserve.

*Note* I use pencil-thin asparagus for this soup. Larger asparagus has a thicker skin
      and fibers around it. If your asparagus is very large and thick, you might find
      that, despite your best chopping efforts, you want to strain the soup before
      serving.




Poached Salmon with Salsa Verde

Ingredients:
(Serves 6)
1)   2 pounds whole Salmon Filet, wild or sustainably farmed preferred...
       Skin on, trimmed and boned, cut into 6 equal pieces by weight
2)   Court-Bouillon for cooking the salmon (see recipe below)
3)   Salsa Verde (see recipe below)

Preparation:
1)   Place the court bouillon in a fish poacher or non-reactive pan wide and deep
       enough to hold the salmon and liquid.
2)   Bring the court bouillon to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
3)   Add the salmon, skin side down.
4)   Cover and poach until it is just done...approximately 3-4 minutes.
5)   Drain the cooked salmon fillets on a clean dishtowel.
6)   Remove the skin if there is one on the fillets.
7)   Place the salmon fillets on individual serving plates or a platter.
8)   Spoon Salsa Verde over top and serve.


The Court-Bouillon
Ingredients:
1)   1 small Carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2)   1 small Onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3)   Celery rib, chopped
4)   1 Bay Leaf
5)   teaspoon Fennel seeds, optional
6)   6-8 Black Beppercorns
7)   2 teaspoons Salt
8)   2 cups White Wine
9)   2 cups Water


Preparation:
1)   Combine all of the ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan.
2)   Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15- 20 minutes.
3)   Cool and strain.


The Salsa Verde
Ingredients:
(Makes 3/4 of a cup)
1)   2 cups, packed, leaves of Flat Leaf Parsley
2)   1/2 cup, packed, Basil Leaves
3)   1/4 cup, packed, Mint Leaves
4)   1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
5)   3 tablespoons alted Capers, rinsed and chopped
6)   1 ounces, 2 1/2 tablespoons, salted Anchovies, rinsed and prepared, chopped
7)   1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
8)   2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
9)   2 ounces, 1/4 cup, quality Olive Oil
10) Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper


Preparation:

To make in a mortar in pestle:
1)   Place garlic with a bit of salt in mortar.
2)   Mash to a paste.
3)   Add anchovies and continue to pound to a mash.
4)   Add the capers.
5)   Pound to a mash.
6)   Add the greens a bit at a time and pound until a liquid mash.
7)   Continue adding and pounding until all of the greens are incorporated and a
       paste has formed.
8)   Stir in the vinegar, mustard, and then the oil.
9)   Add cracked pepper and salt to taste.
 
Using a food processor:
1)   Pulse chop in the following order:  garlic, anchovies, capers, mustard, vinegar,
       and greens.
2)   Stir in the olive oil.
3)   Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.
 
This sauce may be made 1 day in advance, covered in the refrigerator.
 
*Note* This is but one example of a salsa verde. Feel free to experiment with any
       and all fresh greens and herbs that might be available to you. It is a delicious
       summer sauce with endless variations.




Strawberry Shortcake
Ingredients:
(Makes 8 Biscuits)
1)   Shortcake Biscuits (see recipe below)
2)   Strawberry Sauce (see recipe below)
3)   Whipped Cream (see recipe below)   

Preparation:
1)   Split the biscuits.
2)   Spoon strawberry sauce over the bottom half of a biscuit.
3)   Top with the second half of the biscuit, add more strawberry sauce.
4)   Finish by topping it all with the gently whipped cream.
5)   Serve.


The Strawberry Sauce
Ingredients:
(1 cup fresh Berries makes 1/2 sauce)
1)   Fresh, ripe Strawberries
2)   Confectioner’s Sugar...1 to 2 tablespoons per cup of sliced berries or to taste


Preparation:
1)   Wash and hull your berries (remove the green tops) and place them in a non-reactive
       bowl, such as stainless steel or ceramic.
2)   Slice the berries into 1/4″ thick slices. Sprinkle the sugar on the berries.
3)   Using a fork, or a potato masher for larger amounts of berries, lightly mash the berries
       to get the juices flowing out of the berries.  Very quickly you’ll begin to see the juices
       begin to collect on the berries. 
4)   Cover the berries and let them sit for around an hour or overnight in the fridge. Gradually
       the juices will be drawn out of the berries and you’ll have your finished sauce.
5)   Taste and correct the sugar if needed.
6)   Serve with whatever suits your fancy!

The Biscuits
Ingredients:
(Makes 8 Biscuits)
1)   2 cups Flour, plus more for rolling
2)   2 tablespoons Sugar
3)   1 tablespoon Baking Powder
4)   teaspoon Salt
5)   4 tablespoons cold Butter, cut into ” cubes and kept chilled
6)   1 cup of Whipped Cream plus a little extra cream (see recipe below)

Preparation:
1)   Pre-heat the oven to 375.
2)   Using a mixer or by hand, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing
       bowl.
3)   If using a mixer, using paddle attachment, cut and smash the butter into the flour
       mixture. Stop when the butter is in flakes about the size of cornflakes. The flakes
       and the resulting mixture will be irregular.
4)   Add 1 cup of the whipped cream. Working quickly, stir it into the flour mixture. This will
       only take about 1 minute with the mixer.
5)   The dough will not be smooth and even. If you need to, use some of the extra cream to
       moisten any really dry spots. But don’t over work the dough.
6)   Lightly dust a work area with flour to roll out the dough.
7)   Place the dough on the work surface and gently pat it into a square.
8)   Lightly dust the top with flour and roll it out until it is 1” thick.
9)   Trim the edges of the square with a sharp knife if you want neat biscuits.
10) Cut the square into 8   pieces. Brush the tops lightly with cream.
11) Place the cut biscuits on a baking sheet, spaced 2” apart.
12) Bake until lightly golden, 20- 25 minutes.
13) Cool on a rack.
14) These biscuits are best served within 1 hour of baking.

The Whipped Cream
Ingredients:
1)   1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2)   2 tablespoons confectioner’s Sugar
3)   1/4 teaspoon Vanilla, or to taste

Preparation:
1)   Whip the cream in a large chilled bowl
2)   While whipping the cream, add the sugar and vanilla.
3)   You are finished when you have soft peaks in the cream.



Good Eating!!!