8 May 2010

A New Sauce

Yes, despite sleeping in this morning, I made my way to the PYO, while Lundulph was getting his hair cut. And although the skies were about to open, there were lots of people picking. I had to go to the farthest rows, but still managed to get a full basket of the lovely things - a kilo and a half.

Again, some thins, some middles and some fats. But unlike last week, I had done some advance planning and had purchased a number of fresh herbs and some eggs in an attempt at replicating the "sauce" I had with white asparagus when I was studying in Munich.

In Germany, they seem to prefer the white asparaguses, i e the ones that aren't allowed to see daylight. They also need peeling and I'm not too keen on them. Don't taste as nice and seem to be a lot more effort.

But they make a nice sauce thing to go with them - it has a mixture of fresh herbs, hard boiled eggs, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I think. Impossible to actually dip in, but oh so tasty.

IMG_0756

So here's my attempt at recreating this stuff.

Ingredients

2 tsp finely cut tarragon
2 tsp finely cut basil
2 tsp finely cut mint
2 tsp finely cut dill
2 tsp finely cut lemon thyme
2 tsp finely cut oregano
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 dl toasted and ground pine nuts
2 hard boiled eggs

Method
Cut the herbs finely with scissors, add salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and stir to mix. Toast the pine nuts, then grind in a mortar and pestle. Chop the eggs and stir in as well and let stand for an hour. If it looks too dry, add more vinegar and oil. Serve with the steamed asparagus.

This is the first time I've used tarragon, I'd no idea what it smelt and tasted like. Anise, quite pleasant. I didn't measure the amounts precisely either. And I let it stand for 5 h, I should have refrigerated, but it was fine anyway. I didn't want it cold, as it would chill the asparagus too quickly and I like it when it's warm.

It was also not really dippable, both Lundulph and I had to use a spoon to balance a few pieces onto the asparagus and it was tricky at best. So Lundulph suggested I blitz it for the next lot of asparagus, to make it more creamy. Otherwise the flavour was really good, the tarragon dominated a bit and gave it a sweet tinge. Would probably work with other things, even on a piece of toast. We ate the lot, it was barely enough for all the asparagus I steamed (about 500 g).

As dessert, we had semla. From the 10 buns I froze back in February, along with the marzipan filling. I just bought some whipping cream. I allowed the buns to thaw at room temperature in the morning and this turned out not to be a good idea, as they were fairly dry by the evening when we had them. I'll try defrosting in the microwave just before they're needed next time. Also, I'd whipped the cream the day before to hard peaks. And it had collapsed and gone quite runny, very disappointing indeed. I've left whipped cream overnight before and it has been fine, but then I've used double cream and even extra thick double cream, both of which have higher fat content, which perhaps makes it possible to keep its fluffiness. A thing to keep in mind in the future. But other than that, the freezing worked rather well. I suspect the marzipan filling won't last through all the buns though. I'll have to improvise.

Update on the blitzed sauce, 9th May 2010:

Well, I made some changes to the amounts of the herbs. Blitzing made a difference too, the asparagus could be dipped, so a definite improvement, however the balsamic vinegar made it go beige, so perhaps not appetising to look at.

Ingredients

2 tbsp finely cut tarragon
2 tbsp finely cut basil
1 tbsp finely cut mint
1 tbsp finely cut dill
2 tbsp finely cut lemon thyme
2 tbsp finely cut oregano
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 dl toasted and ground pine nuts
2 hard boiled eggs

I also had to increase the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in order to get the blender to blend. The flavour was close to the first version, though I missed the texture a bit.

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