Scallop Crudo with Sunchokes
Chilled Asparagus Soup with Lemon Yogurt
Spring Vignarola Salad
Fontina & Mushroom Tortellini
Chocolate Torta with Vanilla Mascarpone
Leading the charge tonight is Amanda Haas who was the recipe tester as the book was in production and knows hands on how to make these formidable delicacies approachable to our mostly untrained crowd. We are an eager and eclectic bunch excited to get to work! I have already eyed the Asparagus soup and quickly shoot up my hand to volunteer when it comes up for selection. It's a popular choice but I luck out and get to work on it. The most hands are needed for the tortellini which will have pasta made from scratch along with filling. Once the recipes are all assigned we get to work!
The first steps in my recipe include blanching the Asparagus Tips (as an edible garnish for the end product) and the spinach & parsley that will add depth to the soup. Our culinary assistant Lauren, who is nearing graduation from the school's professional program, gets me set up at the large range at the back with a boiling pot of well salted water and I haul over my prep and ice bath.
After I have my blanched elements finished I move on to saute my aromatics (onion, leek, & spring garlic) and the chopped stalks of the asparagus.
After this quick respite I'm ready to get my dish plated up! Into cappuccino cups with straight sides I ladle my now chilled soup, the yogurt has set up wonderfully (with an extra dose of Co2) and I get to squirt each with a beautiful little dollop, I place one perfectly blanched aspargus tip and a small spoon full of bright orange fish roe on top of each and voila!
I'm so proud of my work as I can tell are all of my classmates. We all worked hard to create this beautiful meal together and the camaraderie is evident in the room. Everyone presents their dishes so we can all dig in!
|The class with Matt|
|Matt took the time to sign each of our books after class|
Chilled Asparagus Soup with Meyer Lemon Yogurt
From SPQR Modern Italian Food and Wine: Matthew Accarrino
1 pound, 12 ounces asparagus
4 cups Spinach or nettles
2 cups Italian Parsley
extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and light green part only, sliced thinly crosswise
2 stalks spring garlic, minced
3 cups heavy cream
Meyer Lemon Yogurt
1 sheet gelatin
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon for zesting
1 oz fish roe of your choice
To Make the soup:
Prepare an ice bath. Trim the tips and ends off the asparagus stalks, discarding the ends and reserving the tips. Slice the remaining stalks into 1/2 inch thick disks. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus tips (not the stalks) until al dente 1 to 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the tips and plunge into the ice bath. Chill completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In the same pot, blanch the spinach and parsley until soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens and plunge into the ice bath lined with a mesh strainer. When cold, remove them from the ice bath and squeeze out the excess water.
Heat a film of oil in a wide pot over medium-low heat. Gently sweat onion, leek, & spring garlic, taking care not to caramelize them, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in asparagus stalks and cook until softened. Turn off heat and pour in the cream and add the blanched greens. Season with salt and pepper. In a blender, puree the soup until smooth. Be patient- it will take a few minutes. With a rubber spatula, push the puree through a fine mesh strainer, extracting as much liquid as possible. Chill the strained soup over an ice bath. (If the soup seems thick, add a couple of tablespoons water or cream.) Once cold, taste the soup and season with salt if needed. You should have about 6 cups. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To Make the yogurt:
Soak gelatin sheet in ice water for about 2 minutes or until softened. In a small pot, bring the cream to a simmer and remove from heat. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatin and dissolve in the cream. Let cool to room temperature. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the cream and refrigerate until ready to serve. If using a canister, pour in the yogurt and charge the canister; shake well and refrigerate.
Pour the soup into 4 to 6 chilled bowls. In a bowl, dress the asparagus tips with olive oil and grated lemon zest. Season with a pinch of salt and toss until evenly coated. Place a small pile of dressed asparagus into the center of the bowls. Float a dollop of yogurt on top, then garnish with a spoonful of roe.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. I can't wait to make it again! For all the recipes we made along with MANY MANY other wonderful thing buy the SPQR cookbook HERE!