Asparagus a la Daffy
Recently, a friend gave us some duck eggs, which is not something that happens very often. At least not to me.
In fact, I’d never had a duck eggs before so I wanted to use them in an exciting way. It didn’t take long in a search on foodnetwork.com to come across a Mario Batali recipe that piqued my interest: Asparagus all Milanese. Perfect timing too with fresh local asparagus coming into season here in western New England.
I got these beauties at E. Cecchi Farm in Feeding Hills. I prepped them exactly as Mario prescribes – blanched in boiling water for a minute and 30 seconds, then shocked in an ice bath before sauteeing.
Next, I heated two separate pans with olive oil – one for the asparagus, another for the eggs. When the oil was hot, both hit the pans, although it took a little longer to get the duck eggs in the pan than I figured. Duck eggs seem to have a stronger shell than chicken eggs – more elastic, somehow. Cracking them took more effort! I finally wrangled them out of the shells and into the pan and about two short minutes later it was time to plate – asparagus, eggs, a squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese:
And there it is – I wanted to take the picture quick and eat while it was still hot, so I didn’t even notice that one stray spear pointing to 3 o’clock! Alas, looks aren’t as important as flavor here and the flavor did not disappoint. The asparagus was of course fresh and crisp and tasted of spring. The duck eggs were very similar to chicken eggs, but somehow creamier and more slick. It was like a deconstructed hollandaise – a classic asparagus accompaniment. I’m sure you could even create pretty much the same effect with chicken eggs and save a few calories along the way, but then you’d have to come up with some other cute name for it – asparagus a la Foghorn, perhaps?