ManchesterChef: new season asparagus and Parmesan custard recipe by chef Mike Shaw

This elegant dish from Michelin recommended gastropub The White Hart at Lydgate celebrates British asparagus season
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Missing refined restaurant cooking? Us too. Thankfully, Manchester chefs are here to help.

Chef Mike Shaw from award-winning inn The White Hart at Lydgate – which is recommended in the Michelin Guide 2020 – has created a recipe for us using one of our favourite seasonal ingredients: British asparagus.

The tender green spears are served with a rich, savoury ‘custard’ in this elegant but easy to make dish. And all the prep is done in advance, leaving you a free couple of hours while the cheese mix sets in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 20 asparagus spears
  • 12 borage flowers (optional)
  • 1 punnet pea shoots
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt, black pepper
  • 150g Parmesan, grated
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml milk
  • 4 eggs

Serves 4-6

Method:

  1. Cut 1 1/2 inches off the bottoms of the asparagus, and peel 1 inch from the bottom. Bring a deep pan of boiling salted water to the boil, add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes or so, depending on size and thickness.
  2. Remove the asparagus from the pan and place in iced water. Once cold, put it on a tray in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Put the milk, water and Parmesan in a pan and heat slowly so the cheese melts, then remove from the heat.
  4. Blend the eggs until smooth and slowly add to the cheese mix, whisking continuously. Put back on a gentle heat and cook at 70˚C for 10 mins, then put the cheese mix in a bowl and in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
  5. When the cheese mix has set, whisk again until thick and smooth – you can use a hand blender or blender.
  6. Spoon your Parmesan custard onto your plates, then toss your cooked asparagus and pea shoots in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place your asparagus spears on your plate, and garnish with pea shoots and borage flowers, if you have them.
  7. You can serve the asparagus spears hot if you wish – just place in boiling water for 15 seconds.

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