Thursday, 30 April 2009

Utterly Butterly

I adore asparagus. Unfortunately it has such a short season (about 8 weeks - for British that is) Because of this small window of opportunity we tend to gorge on it until it is no longer available. Whether it's just simply steamed, then dipped into melted butter and eaten with your hands - the butter dribbling down your chin (can you hear Je t'aime playing in the background?) or as an accompaniment to a main course it is truly the king of veg. Actually, strictly speaking it's classified as a member of the lilly family.

There is one drawback - sorry there's no delicate way of stating this - it makes your wee smelly. It's very strange and very pungent and apparently it doesn't happen to everyone .

Last night we had coq au vin blanc, a Nigel Slater recipe - it's basically browned chicken thighs, lardons of smokey bacon, onion, garlic, thyme and chestnut mushrooms - I forgot to buy the mushrooms, silly woman - white wine and cream. It's a really unctuous dish. We had it with some Jersey Royals, carrots and of course the noble spears.

The asparagus makes a great 'dipper' for leftover sauce !


  1. I know what you mean. :-) Every time I went to the loo after an asparagus meal I noticed "the smell" and by the time I'm out I've already forgotten to ask someone if it happens to them too.

    That chicken looks lovely!

  2. Jan - That Nigel Slater dish looks great - what book is it from? Appetite?

  3. Dan,

    It's from Real Food and it's called Coq au Riesling, but as I'm not partial to German wine I just use a dry white - anything that I'm going to drink the rest of really! The other change I make is he uses 3 Tbs of parsley which I think is over the top - I just use a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

    If you'd like the recipe, just email me.


  4. The wee thing, asparagus and Sugar Puffs, can never get my head around it.

    The dish looks delicious.

  5. Thanks Jan, I've actually got 'Real Food' but must have overlooked this recipe. I'll have another look.

  6. I'm still waiting for it to appear at the market! It's in Sainsbury's but buying bunches from a stall makes it seem so much more seasonal...

  7. I'd have just the sauce and the asparagus and call that a meal on it's own!

    There is nothing, nothing better than asparagus with a butter based sauce, hollandaise.

    Blink and you miss it, though. Asparagus hangs around for nobody.

  8. Hi, Love your blog. I'm very much into Asparagus at the moment so will be trying your recipe - and I am one who gets the smelly wee wee!! Never fails to amuse the kids!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Hello, thanks for letting me know about the pickled lemons... they're in a cupboard now!

  10. Hello there!

    Ive just found you! Im so very glad I have, I am drooling and laughing and very inspired to grab my apron and start baking something! I love your blog, and I hope you wont mind if I add it to my list of favourites!

    Like you, I love asparagus, I did some the other night on the griddle with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled over, a good squeeze of juicy lemon and some parmesan shavings and cracked black pepper...oh god Im drooling again!! Ha!

    See you soon, love Julia xxx