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L'Escalier Roasted Jumbo Asparagus
with Spring Morels
and Parmesan-Truffle Broth
Makes 6 Servings
*2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
*4 large Spanish onions, peeled and large dice
*1 head celery root, peeled and large dice
*1 pound buttom mushrooms, quartered
*1 bunch fresh thyme
*1 bunch fresh rosemary
*2 fresh bay leaves
*1 ounce whole black peppercorns
*3 quarts chicken stock
*8 ounces Parmesan rinds
*1 ounce sherry vinegar
*2 tablespoons arrowroot
*Water as needed (for slurry)
*18 spears jumbo asparagus
*12 ounces Parmesan-Truffle Broth (see recipe)
*3 tablespoons truffle butter
*1 ounce truffle oil
*24 fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned and split
*1 ounce extra virgin olive oil
*1/2 pound whole butter, divided
*1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
*1/2 tablespoon shallot, minced
*1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
*3 heads frisee, leaves removed from the head, cleaned
*3 ounces fresh Reggiano cheese
*2 ounces chives, finely sliced
*Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
*Sea salt
1To prepare the Parmesan-Truffle Broth, heat 2 ounces olive oil in a stockpot. Add diced onions and saute on high heat for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the onions are well caramelized and browned. Do not allow to burn (it will cause the sauce to become bitter). Add the celery root. Roast celery root for an additional 5 minutes, allowing it to brown slightly. Add the mushrooms all at once. Stir to coat with the caramelized onion and celery root. Reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking the mushrooms until they begin to release their juices. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook this mixture at medium heat for an additional 10 minutes. The mushroom juices should reduce slightly, intensifying their flavor.
2Add chicken stock to the pot. Reduce heat and allow broth to simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by one-third. Add the Parmesan rinds and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar.
3Strain the broth through a fine sieve. Place it in a clean pot and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, make a slurry using the arrowroot and enough water to form a thick paste. Drizzle sufficient paste into the simmering sauce and allow to thicken (the broth may not need the entire amount of slurry).
4Strain the broth again through a fine sieve and reserve.
5To prepare the Roasted Asparagus and Morels, use a vegetable peeler to peel the stalks of the asparagus, leaving 1 1/2" unpeeled at the tip of the spear. Trim the spears to 4" in length.
6Heat the 12 ounces of Parmesan-Truffle Broth to a low simmer. Season the sauce with sea salt and fresh white pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat and slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of the truffle butter and the truffle oil. Remove from heat and reserve the sauce in a warm place for service.
7Thoroughly clean the morels and allow to drain. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a preheated saute pan. Once the oil is hot, add the peeled asparagus. Add 2 tablespoons whole butter, allowing it to brown slightly. Continuously shake the pan over the heat to allow even browning of the asparagus. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper. Once the stalks are a light golden brown color, remove them from the pan onto paper towels and allow to drain. Set aside in a warm place for service.
8In the same saute pan, add 3 tablespoons of whole butter. Add the garlic, shallot and thyme. Saute briefly. Do not allow the garlic and shallot to brown. Add morels at once. Season liberally with salt and pepper and stir to evenly coat in the butter. Saute on high heat until the morels become tender and begin to release their juices. Allow the morels to develop some color. Once the morels are completely cooked and slightly roasted in the butter, remove from the pan and hold in a warm place for service.
9Again in the same saute pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Allow the butter to brown slightly. Into the butter, add the frisee and season with salt and pepper. Quickly toss or stir the frisee, evenly coating with the browned butter. The frisee should be slightly wilted but not completely cooked. Remove the frisee from the pan onto paper towels.
10To serve, place two of the spears of asparagus vertically in the center of each serving plate and cross horizontally with a third spear. Place a small scoop of the wilted frisee to the right of the asparagus. Place eight halves of the roasted morels to the left of the asparagus and across the middle spear. Drizzle the Parmesan-Truffle Broth over the morels and along the plate in front of the mushrooms. With a vegetable peeler, shave strips of Reggiano cheese and place on top of the morels. Sprinkle the mushrooms with chives and serve.
Chef Kevin Ives, L'Escalier at The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL