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Recipe by Stéphane Voitzwinkler, executive chef, Bertrand at Mister A’s

I am from Alsace-Lorraine, which is east of Paris, so I am a country boy. I am very simple and live a simple life. I eat simple food and don’t often go out to eat. When I am home I eat whatever the kids are eating. French breads are always part of it and Dijon mustard. I also barbecue fresh fish when I go deep-sea fishing — yellowfin, bluefin, mahi mahi. I usually just prepare the fish with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and lemon juice right before cooking. I don’t marinate everything. Of course I like to finish my meal with salad instead of starting with it. After that I have a piece of cheese and a glass of wine. We don’t rush everything in France.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of peeled white asparagus (save the trimmings)
1/2 gallon of water
1 bulb celery root peeled and quartered
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 oranges
1 T sugar
2 bay leaves
1/2 T salt
1 tsp whole white peppercorn

Roux:

4 oz. butter
1 cup flour (approximate)
1/2 cup whipping cream

HOW TO DO IT

Peel the asparagus and save the trimmings. Run the peeled asparagus under cold water for ten minutes to get the bitterness out. Meanwhile, boil the water and add the celery root, lemon juice, orange juice, sugar, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Once the stock has simmered for 15 minutes, add the asparagus and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the asparagus and lay them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let cool to room temperature. Run the asparagus peelings under cold water for 10 minutes and add to the stock. Let simmer for 20–30 minutes.

Make a roux by melting the butter in a large pot and sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and golden. Add stock until the desired consistency and finish with half a cup of whipping cream and cooked asparagus. Serves 8.

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