Chilled asparagus with hot-cold egg, garlic puree and country ham
Story and photo by Meda Kessler
A new addition to Fort Worth’s Magnolia Avenue dining scene, The Beast & Co. immediately let diners know it is serious about food with an intriguing but accessible menu that includes this entree-worthy dish from chef Michael Arlt. Look for the summer menu to launch in mid-June.
White asparagus typically is available until June 24. You can use all green or sub in purple asparagus. And break open the egg before eating. The creamy yolk is beautiful and adds another layer of flavor. Serves 6
WHITE ASPARAGUS AIGRE DOUX
- 2 bunches white asparagus, trimmed and peeled, 24 spears
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 cup honey
- ¾ cup water
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh sage
- Juice and zest of 1 large orange
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Pack asparagus tightly into heatproof container. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
Bring brine to a boil, remove from heat and pour over asparagus.
Cool to room temperature, cover and store in fridge for at least 48 hours and up to a week.
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 small bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Salt, to taste
Place stock, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a saucepan. Simmer until garlic is tender. Remove pan from heat; discard herbs. Put garlic in a blender with enough stock to cover half of the garlic. Blend well.
Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue blending till very smooth. Season with salt, then pass through a fine-mesh sieve; set aside to cool. You should have about 2 cups.
- 2 bunches thick green asparagus, peeled and trimmed, 24 spears
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring about 1 gallon of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add asparagus; cook for about 1 minute. Remove and place in ice water. Remove and dry. Toss asparagus in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place spears on a very hot grill or skillet for about 1 minute on each side, being careful to not overcook; they should still be a bit crisp. Set aside to cool.
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Combine 8 cups of water and vinegar in a large pot. Heat to a rolling simmer; gently add eggs. Cook for exactly 6½ minutes. Remove eggs and place them in an ice bath for a few minutes. Carefully peel and set aside.
To plate Divide and spread garlic puree among 6 plates. Layer green and white (or purple) asparagus (4 of each) on puree. Add a slice of shaved country ham or prosciutto. Place a whole egg on top and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, such as arbequina.