Brats braised Onions Asparagus

I had some brats in the freezer, short german brats with a coarse filling of ground pork with the usual spices and herbs, marjoram, coriander seeds, mace and mustard seeds.
But I also had about a pound of asparagus that needed to be made.
I decided it would be a match and went to work.
First, I peeled the asparagus and placed the stems in a pan with an inch of water and a teaspoon of salt and sugar both. I let it come to a boil and cooked them about ten minutes until I could pierce the stems all the way through without too much resistance. Then I removed them from the water and rested them on the side.

After cleaning the pan, I reused it to slowly braise two onions, one white and one red, both cut in long stripes, in some olive oil. After a while I added the brats and browned them on all sides.
By that time the onions had turned soft and I added a Tbsp of Tomato paste that I mixed under the onion mixture. After it had begun to brown, I deglazed the pan with Port, let it evaporate, and added a glass of red wine. After a few minutes there was a transformation in the onions, they became more saucy and creamy. I added salt, pepper and cayenne and turned off the heat.

Then I turned on my fast oven, put the asparagus in there and warmed it for a few minutes. After taking it back out, I added some butter to the stalks and arranged the onions, brats and asparagus on the plate.
A slightly unusual mix perhaps, but tasty nonetheless.
I don’t know about the growing season in the US, but in Germany the season ends on Johanni, which falls on the 24th of June. So for everyone who hasn’t had their fill of fresh asparagus, white or green, now’s the time to satisfy that urge! 🙂

A Classic, Revisited

I had bought an Alsatian free-range chicken Saturday, which I turned into a lemon chicken a la ‚Arthur’s Tochter‘, a blogger I like to follow. She says she first became aware of the recipe in a book bei Alfred Biolek, one of Germany’s cooking show pioneers, but says it could have originated with Marcella Hazan. The discussion is pointless, since the process of stuffing juicy lemons into a chicken cavity is not so out-of-this-world as not to have been thought up by regular folks preparing something with a twist. The question is merely who first recorded the recipe.
Anyway, even this text is pointless, because as I readied my camera, it first whirred, then whined and then died. No picture.
This Sunday night dinner is an attempt to salvage what was left of the weekend’s delicious foods.I had a pound each of white and green asparagus.
Peel the white and cut off 1/2 an inch of the ends. The green only need it’s last third peeled. I then cut the stalks into thirds and put them in a pot with 1 inch water, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook the asparagus until tender with a little bite.

1/2 pound of mushrooms (Champignons)
2 shallots
1 leftover breast of chicken in different sized pieces.
leftover chicken gravy .25l

Basmati rice
cook the rice in the usual way (2x water, 1x rice, salt simmer 20 minutes)

for the gravy dice the shallots, fry in butter, deglaze the pan with Noilly Prat, add the leftover chicken stock and cream. I used about 100 ml of cream of 32%. After that I added the mushrooms and the chicken pieces/shreds to warm them.

To put the dish together, I made a ring of rice (I own a wooden shaper). I added the separately cooked asparagus, then topped it with the chicken mushroom gravy mixture. To thicken the sauce a little bit, I used a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a little cold water.
This was quite good, with the base of course being the chicken stock. I had cooked chicken stock from scratch a few weeks ago and had portioned it in freezebags. I used the last of these bags today. To make the stock from scratch is completely worth it, I can only recommend it.

The quantities described here would have fed four, but we are two. So I get it tomorrow as lunch-pretty fancy!