This is a beautiful spring dish and an easy and delicious starter that can be made ahead.
1 Pound Fresh Asparagus, after the woody ends and the tips have been trimmed off
8 Ounces Creme Fraiche
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, or other dry cheese
300 Grams Parmesan Cheese, grated
8 Fluid Ounces Whole Milk
16 Fluid Ounces Heavy Cream
4 Grams Agar Agar
1/2 Pound Frozen Green Peas
Chicken or Ginger Miso Broth
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Trim off woody ends of asparagus. Cut off tips and reserve. Cook asparagus spears for 2 minutes in the Lékué Steam Case with 1 teaspoon of water.
- Spray the sides and bottom of a Trudeau Silicon Muffin Pan or 8 2.5" X 2.5" round Mastrad EZ Molds or ramekins with olive oil.
- Place asparagus, eggs, creme fraiche, salt & pepper, thyme and lemon zest in a processor and process to a smooth, creamy consistency. Strain through a food mill.
- Place the molds in a pan filled with enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the molds. Divide asparagus mixture among the molds. If using the EZ Molds, cover them with the lids. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cook asparagus tips in 1 teaspoon of water in the Lékué Steam Case for 1 minute at 80% power in the microwave.
- Slowly heat the grated parmesan with milk and cream. Whisk continously, over low heat until the cheese melts. Do not let it boil without adding the agar.
- Add the agar, continue to whisk and let it boil. Strain after boiling.
- Thaw and drain the peas thoroughly. Blend peas and enough broth to homogenize. Strain to remove skins. Mix peas with Parmesan Foam base and put in a whipper
- Use 1-2 cartridges to charge the whipper, depending on how thick you want the foam to be.
- Give it about 5 shakes; set it upside down in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Spread cheese in a thin layer on a non-stick cooking sheet.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, until it reaches a light golden color.
- Let it cool for a few minutes. Then break it into crackers and serve
Do Ahead: To this point and refrigerate flans and foam.
- Unmold the flan and place in the center of each plate. Garnish each with 2 asparagus tips, a piece of frico and parmesan foam. Scatter additional Frico on the plate for garnish.
You can substitue Faux Fromage Frais (half non-fat Greek yogurt, and half non-fat cottage cheese, blended within an inch of its life), but if you do, add an extra egg yolk for every 2 eggs in the recipe.