I have a recipe today that is both simple and sophisticated. Asparagus in Parchment with Béchamel, Prosciutto and Swiss Cheese.
Imagine tender stalks that are supple from tip to stem without getting mushy or floppy, because they retain their crisp bite. These spears are made rich and sophisticated with a swipe of béchamel, a bit of Swiss cheese and the very porky undertones of prosciutto.
Sounds delicious, but you’re already a good cook. Do you really need to learn to cook asparagus in parchment? You’ve already mastered a million ways to cook asparagus. Steaming is classic. Boiling will get the job done. Roasting is delicious. Pan frying is super easy and grilling will rock your world. So do you really need to learn another way to cook asparagus?
Yes you do, because you’re a cook and you should always be cooking. Which means you should always be learning, because cooking is learning by doing. You can learn by doing more, but sometimes the best lessons are learned by doing less.
Asparagus in Parchment
I like to cook asparagus in parchment. Not just because, as Da Vinci notes, it’s simple, and not just because pretty. Cooking asparagus in parchment means there aren’t any pots and pans to clean up afterwards, but that’s not the reason I like to cook asparagus in parchment.
I like to cook asparagus in parchment because it’s magical.
Which is saying a lot because I believe in everyday kitchen magic. Fresh basil from my garden is magical. It’s quietly green when I pluck it from the plant. But it becomes loud and aurally psychedelic under my knife. That’s magic.
Asparagus in Parchment. Yes, that’s magic too. You’ll just have to wrap up a few spears for yourself and see what I mean. As I said, we cooks should always be cooking. It’s how we discover the everyday magic that keeps us cooking. GREG