Sometimes you want to impress and that impression can even be a side-dish of remarkable depth of flavor. Sometimes in order to make that impression, you go through a whole lot of work spending hours to reach that mark of excellence. This is not that recipe. Although it does require several steps, once you get going, it comes together rather quickly. Like all recipes with several steps involved, the key to making it easy is the staging. Get all of your prep work out of the way first, lay out all ingredients, utensils and vessels in an orderly fashion and set your mentally timer to the desired finished end time. When ready, get going, don't stop and in no time flat, you'll have a perfectly prepared dish expertly finished to perfection.
Crisp, tender asparagus drenched in a sophisticated thin cream sauce of mushrooms with a French Creole taste ... that is how I describe this recipe. Enjoy!
Asparagus with Mushroom Cream Sauce
serves about 6
1 pound thin asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Mushroom Cream Sauce
1 pound mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thick
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon dry sherry
Chopped chives for garnish, optional
Wash the asparagus and snap away the tough ends at the natural breaking point. Discard root ends.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, remove from heat. Add the asparagus and allow to set until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and pat dry.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter melts, add the mushrooms and onions increasing heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have given up any liquid, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste and stir cooking about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and simmer until liquid just about evaporates. Stir in stock and reduce liquid to half volume, about 4 minutes. Add the cream and at simmer, reduce heat to medium stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in sherry and keep warm.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss the asparagus into the butter until heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to serving bowl and ladle the mushroom sauce over the top. Garnish with chives if desired.