This veloute is just as its name suggests: velvety smooth. It uses ingredients readily available and plentiful here in the late spring: spot prawns, asparagus and chive flowers. One of the five classic sauces of French cuisine, it seems delicate and refined. Being able to use local prawns from Cowichan Bay Seafood, fresh-picked asparagus from Pedrosa Asparagus Farm and verjus from Venturi-Schulze reminded me how lucky we are to live where we do.
1/2 lb. fresh prawns
6 cups of prawn stock
3 large shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine or verjus
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 asparagus spears
fresh chive flowers
salt and pepper
Peel and devein the prawns. Store in an airtight container in the frig.
Saute the shallots and garlic in 2 Tbsp butter with a pinch of salt.
When translucent but not browned, add the flour and make a roux over low heat.
Add the stock a little at a time, stirring constantly to avoid those annoying lumps.
Add the 6 cups of stock and simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 15 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Puree with an immersion blender. Whisk in the cream.
Meanwhile trim the asparagus by snapping off the woody stem. Trim the tips to 1 inch long and cut the remaining part of the spears into 1/8 inch thick rounds.
In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the asparagus by cooking for 2-3 minutes until it is bright green. Shock it by plunging in ice water to stop the cooking.
Saute the prawns in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter for a minute or two, just until they are no longer translucent, deglazing with the wine or verjus. Add the asparagus rounds.
Recipe Source: Mara Jernigan