01 Jun Special of the Day: Meet the Microplane~Your New best Friend in the Kitchen!
Sometimes it’s simply the acquisition (or rediscovery) of a new kitchen tool of the trade that breathes new life into your recipe repertoire. If you haven’t met the microplane grater/zester, allow me to make the introduction now. This helpful handled sharp-shooting warrior takes the danger out of fine grating~ opening the door for superior shredding of cheese, chocolate, and nutmeg, too, without risking the well-being of your delicate knuckles.
When your goal is adding a fine zest of flavor to finish a dish, the microplane grater might just become your new best friend in the kitchen. Because we eat with our eyes, garnishing your finished product with a sprinkling of finely grated lemon peel, or Parmesan cheese or nutmeg might just be that certain je ne sais quoi that elevates your creation into the realm of fine cooking.
Especially handy for hard cheeses and chocolate, my microplane took center stage this week adorning Crème Anglaise ladled over fresh seasonal berries with white chocolate and garnishing an asparagus omelet with a sprinkling of Parmesan and lemon peel.
I must mention that making the incredibly delightful Creme Anglaise is a wonderful way to use up extra egg yolks and is such a super simple make-ahead recipe that it might just become your go-to company’s-coming-for-dinner dessert of the summer!
Elevating your presentation skills with this week’s Special of the Day: Meet the Microplane~Your New Best Friend in the Kitchen and recipes for Grilled Asparagus Omelet with Parmesan and Lemon Peel and Fresh Seasonal Berries with Crème Anglaise and White Chocolate. Enjoy!
Grilled Asparagus Omelet with Parmigiano Reggiano and Lemon Peel
Recipe by Sydne George
1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends snapped off
2 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. butter
¼ cup milk
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano (Albertsons deli cheese case), grated with microplane
2 tsp. lemon peel, grated with microplane
Heat barbecue grill to medium-high (375 degrees).
Brush a grill pan with olive oil.
Put asparagus in grill pan and roll around to coat with olive oil.
Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Grill 2-3 minutes, then turn and grill other side an additional 2-3 minutes.
Remove from grill and let rest.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
Melt butter and swirl around in pan.
Whisk eggs with milk and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Pour egg mixture into hot pan and allow to cook until almost set.
Arrange grill asparagus on top of omelet and fold or roll, cooking until eggs are set but not browned.
Set omelet on serving plate.
Use microplane to grate Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon peel over the top of the omelet.
Fresh Seasonal Berries with Crème Anglaise and White Chocolate
Recipe by Sydne George
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into small pieces
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
¼ cup white chocolate grated with microplane
2 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, split vanilla bean down the center to expose tiny vanilla seeds. Heat cream, vanilla bean and salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally just until it looks like it is going to simmer.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until well mixed.
Remove from heat and whisk egg yolk mixture into cream until blended.
Return to heat, stirring constantly until thickened, reducing heat slightly if necessary to prevent from simmering.
Continue cooking until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Strain into a clean glass bowl.
Cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Combine berries in bowl and stir to mix.
Distribute berries among glass goblets or other dessert dishes.
Ladle Crème Anglaise over the berries.
Top with grated white chocolate and mint sprigs.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.