Pan-Roasted Asparagus, Poached Egg & Miso Butter

August 13, 2010

Asparagus

This dish accompanied the bacon-wrapped skirt steak I made last week. It is yet another vegetable preparation from Momofuku, and it uses the same miso butter as the roasted sweet summer corn. I started with five tablespoons of softened unsalted butter and half a cup of shiro miso.

I mixed the two together with a fork, blending until any streaks were gone, then stored it in the fridge.

I prepared six slow-poached eggs by dunking them in my sous vide water bath at 60 °C for forty-five minutes. Since the steak also had to be immersed, I prepared the eggs early, shocked them in ice water, and refrigerated them until needed. Then I dropped the water temp to what was needed for the steak. You could also go with the original “ghetto sous vide” rig shown in this post.

While the steak rested, I assembled my ingredients: three tablespoons of butter, the miso butter, two teaspoons of sherry vinegar, and a half pound of medium asparagus with the ends trimmed and peeled.

I put the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and added the asparagus when the foaming subsided. After three minutes I added a pinch of salt and turned the asparagus, lowering the heat to medium.

While the asparagus cooked, I warmed the vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat for half a minute, turned the heat to low, and added the miso butter, stirring until it warmed through. It was a bit loose but still viscous, not melted. I moved the cooked asparagus to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then warmed up the eggs by running hot tap water over them for a few minutes.

For the final assemblage, I smeared some of the miso butter on the plate, placed some asparagus spears on top, cracked an egg over everything, and garnished with black pepper.

Some of you might notice the similarity of this dish to the soft boiled egg with asparagus I prepared for She Who Must Be Obeyed’s birthday dinner. That was a much more delicate dish, with boiled asparagus and a sauce of fines herbes. In this dish, pan-roasting the asparagus intensified their flavor, allowing them to stand up against the aggressive saltiness of the miso butter. But the surprise was how the dish tasted once you broke the egg yolk over everything. Mixed with the miso, it created an intensely nutty, almost hollandiase-like sauce that we practically licked off the plates. Even the bacon-wraped steak tasted good when swabbed through that heavenly sauce.

I may not cook the asparagus that often, but I plan on using the egg and miso butter trick again for other vegetable dishes.

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