Tuesday, March 29, 2011

White Asparagus Gratin

Oh boy was there a fight at dinner last night!
Little Ugh hates, and when I say hate I mean loathes, asparagus. It is one of the very few veggie that he could do without. 
I am sure if we allowed our puppy to eat table scraps he'd be nonchalantly whisking it onto the floor for Dion, batting his long eyelashes and coyally (is that a word?) flipping his bangs at me.

So fight numero uno, "Mom, you know I hate asparagus (in the most annoying of teenager whines)...can't I just have extra rice and eat some carrots instead?" NO
Part duex - Mr. BM and his animosity towards rice. It doesn't matter how many times I try to prepare it different ways he still detests it.
"Babe, how bout I give him my rice and I will eat his asparagus?" NO
Hey, did you like that?  Two different languages in one paragraph - who says I am not multilingual?!

Guess what boys...momma doesn't own a restaurant!  Eat what I give you and like it! :)

This interlude was to blindside you so when I tell you that Little Ugh ate all (the 3 pieces I gave him) his asparagus he didn't actually "barf" and maybe even enjoyed it (slightly).
Mom 1, boys 0!!
Bring IT

White Asparagus Gratin
serves 4

15-18 white asparagus, washed and trimmed
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
3/4 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. bread crumbs
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
fresh cracked pepper and coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put a little bit of the melted butter in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Get your bread crumb topping ready by adding the crumbs, parm, parsley and some salt and pepper together in a bowl and set aside.

Trim your asparagus. I find that when you go to snap the spears they will break where they are the freshest.
Slice them in half lengthwise and lay them in the buttered dish. Sprinkle with most of the thyme leaves, saving a few for garnish.

Put the sour cream and mustard into a heavy pan and place over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat slightly and let bubble to reduce. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the creamy sauce over the asparagus, then add the crumb mixture on top, distributing it evenly.
Drizzle over the melted butter.

Bake until the top is crisp and golden and the cream bubbles up around the sides of the dish, 15 to 20 minutes.

We had mustard thyme roasted chicken thighs and rice to accompany.
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