Asperges avec champignons et sauce veloute
(Asparagus with mushrooms and veloute sauce)This is my salute to spring in France. It's not the way they serve it in Alsace but close to how they serve it in Paris.
Cremini mushrooms -- about a cup, sliced
Asparagus -- one bundle, touch stems snapped or cut off
Veal stock (I used the kind in the carton from Kitchen Essentials), room temperature, about 2 cups
Cream, about a cup although you could use less or even skip, but that's your problem
salt and pepper
shallot, about 1 Tbsp, minced
white wine (optional, but who am I kidding?)
1 saute pan or frying pan with lid
Saute the shallot and mushrooms in a tablespoon or two of butter over medium heat, adding salt and pepper. Add a splash of white wine.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup flour and whisk vigorously for a minute or so. Add the flour and whisk some more until there are no lumps. Slowly add the veal stock, whisking constantly. If sauce gets too thick, add more veal stock. Cook on low-medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Lay the asparagus spears on top of the mushrooms and cover with lid. Cook only until just barely tender (al dente) and still bright green, unless you like your asparagus grey, limp and soggy, in which case I feel sorry for you.
Take the veloute sauce off the heat and whisk in the cream. Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed. Don't skimp on the pepper.
Put some asparagus and mushrooms on a plate and pour the sauce over it. You probably will want to grab some bread to get every last drop of sauce.