Chilled Almond Soup with Asparagus Cream & Lemongrass Churros
Over at Foodie BlogRoll, this month's Joust challenged us to create a dish with asparagus, almond and lemongrass. My mind immediately jumped to an almond horchata, but morphed into a cold almond soup. As with all of my recipes, I rely on super top quality ingredients:
For the soup, I took 1 C. of blanched almonds. I put them in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirred, 1 more minute, stirred, and continued on 30 second blasts until browned and fragrant. I put them into a blender with about 3/4 C. of filtered water (adjust to get a consistency that you like). To counter the mealiness of the soup, I added 2 T. of citrus infused Spanish olive oil, and then a hint of French grey salt (the earthiness of grey salt was perfect in this dish), and 1 T. of lemongrass drinking vinegar. A few minutes of blending and I had a really tasty soup - done in minutes!
Next I blanched asparagus tips and processed them into a mush using some of the blanching water to create a paste. I whipped 1/2 C. of cream until stiff, and folded in the asparagus paste. I did not season this at all since the other two components would be a bit salty.
Finally, I cut a lemongrass stalk into 1 inch lengths, threw them in boiling water for 15 minutes of hard boiling. I put them in my mini-prep along with a bit of the boiling water and blitzed until it became a rough paste. In bowl, I combined the lemongrass paste, 1 egg, 1 T. of melted butter, 1/4 C. of almond meal, white pepper and salt, and just enough AP flour to create a pipeable batter. Mine was the consistency of cornbread. I put the batter into a piping bag and piped into hot oil to make my churros. Once browned, I removed them from the oil and salted with Spanish sea salt. You can see in the pics that I did both sticks and croutons. I preferred the croutons, but the sticks made for a better pic.
The whole dish took less than 20 minutes to complete and was quite good.
The Alley Cantina – Taos, New Mexico
6 days ago