Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream; Eating with your fingers; Weekly Menu Plan

Do you eat asparagus with your fingers?

Or with a knife and fork?

One properly eats it with one's fingers, according to the etiquette guidelines.

Except, of course, if it's dripping with butter or sauce that would make a proper mess.  Then you may use your knife and fork.

I know this; I've known it for some years, actually.  

But the first time I was at a 'proper' dinner party and the hostess began eating her asparagus with her fingers I was a bit, er, discombobulated.  

I mean, this was the same woman I had watched, not a week earlier, expertly eat an orange with a knife and fork.

Europeans, in general, are not prone to eating foods with fingers.  

Sandwiches are gaining in popularity here, and, while you will see people sitting outdoors in a park eating them out of hand, in a restaurant or cafe they will use a knife and fork, particularly if it's a hot sandwich – like a hamburger.

Fruit is often served as the final course, especially in Spain. Whole fruit – bananas, oranges, apples…. all peeled and eaten with a knife and fork.

Kind of takes the fun out of it.

Other foods properly eaten with one's fingers are: bacon, but only if it's very crisp; oysters, but after being detached with the oyster fork; fried chicken but only at a picnic; and corn on the cob.  

We don't worry about corn on the cob.  Most Euros won't touch it – it's considered pig food.  We only eat it if I grow it (with seeds from the US).  

And we eat it the proper way – with butter running off the chin…..

These pastries require a knife and fork.

Just so you know….

Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream

Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream

8oz (250gr) green asparagus
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) Greek or plain yogurt, crème fraiche sour cream
1 tsp fresh or dried tarragon
1 – 2 tsp cornstarch (maizena, corn flour)
1/2 large sheet puff pastry

Thaw the puff pastry, if needed.
The asparagus: Snap off ends of asparagus. If white use vegetable peeler and peel bottom half of stalk, laying it flat on the counter to prevent breaking. Leave asparagus whole. Bring 1 – 2 inches (5cm) of water to a boil in a skillet large enough to hold the asparagus in one layer. Add the asparagus and blanch for 2 – 4 minutes, depending on thickness. Mine were as thick as my index finger and I did 4 minutes. Remove and refresh in cold water.
The sauce: Heat wine, stock and tarragon in a small saucepan. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbs of water. When wine is boiling add cornstarch mixture and stir to thicken. It should be very thick. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
The pastry: Lay out puff pastry and cut 2 rectangles, each the size of half of the asparagus laid flat with 1/2 – 3/4 inch (2cm) all around – or trim the asparagus to fit. Lay the cut pastry on a baking sheet. With a butter knife lightly score a line around the pastry, 1/3" (1cm) from edge. Divide the Tarragon Cream evenly and spread on the pastry, up to the line. Lay the asparagus on top of the cream – it should just cover it. Bake in pre-heated oven at 420F (205C) for 10 – 13 minutes, until sides of pastry have puffed around middle and are golden brown. Remove and serve.

for May 7 we have Marinated, Grilled Salmon with Brown Sugar Yogurt Sauce, Rosemary Lamb Chops, Pasta Primavera Salad, Chicken, Asparagus and Spinach Salad, Orange Glazed Pork Chops….  All
easy, all delicious and all for two!

Thyme for Cooking
is a Weekly Menu Planning Service. Become a Subscriber
and get the menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instructions,
and shopping list each Thursday.  First two weeks are free.   (Reverse
seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere).

17 thoughts on “Asparagus Pastries with Tarragon Cream; Eating with your fingers; Weekly Menu Plan”

  1. Mmm…any way you cook asparagus is fine by me! I love the stuff and it grows beautifully here in Michigan. We get it at the farm market down the road for about $1 per#.
    My favorite way to eat is is roasted with olive oil and sea salt. YUM

  2. I’ll be happy to use my knife and fork on this asparagus; I sure wouldn’t want to miss the pastry or the cream!

  3. Hi Katie, wow…so understand…and this looks delicious! I grew up in a Danish household…we learned at a young age to use a knife and fork with open faced sandwiches…a post down the road…so, I sooo know what you are talking about! One of these days I may yet get to meet my heritage…but love to read your stories, Ina

  4. Oh, boy, does that pastry look good! Now that asparagus season is in full swing, I’ll be trying that! I grilled some asparagus last night to take to a picnic today – I love asparagus any way they come, even eaten with the fingers.

  5. This is so elegant. I love the tarragon cream with the asparagus and puff pastry. Thanks for a beautiful recipe.

  6. I agree with everythinbg you said about what Americans eat with their fingers. Of course bacon and corn on the cob are legit finger foods, it takes to long to cut it up and fork it…

  7. Lovely tart, I’ll eat it ever which way. Yes, asparagus should be eaten with fingers (and fork! to support the length).
    Eating an orange using fork and knife? I need to learn that. Next to toilet paper origami one of life’s essentails skills.

  8. I hope Eat Out For Nashville May 17 works out! Slow start, but we are getting there. Thanks for stopping into my blog to check out the 1000 year flood event in Nashville. We are so good, no looting, murder rate is down, and neighbors are willing to help neighbors. The best of people are really showing this week. If you know anyone in Nashville, have them Eat Out For Nashville on May 17! Thanks KatieZ!

  9. I do love food rules! I had no idea that it is de rigeur to eat asparagus with one’s fingers (it probably tastes better that way). I might be even tempted to eat this fabulous looking pastry with my fingers… ooooo I can’t wait til local asparagus starts to turn up in a few weeks!
    We used to have a copy of Emily Post on the sideboard in the dining room, just so we could check to see what we were doing wrong. Once when we were eating corn on the cob, we were most amused to see that Mrs. Post conceded that it was alright to pick up corn-on-the-cob with one’s hands – as long as it was being served at an outdoor picnic. She then went on to describe how to go about eating corn directly off the cob. As I recall, she advocated buttering two rows on just one half of the cob, then picking it up and eating those two rows. We all tried to butter only two rows at a time and almost made ourselves sick with laughing so hard.

  10. My gosh, but this looks delicious. I’ll have to give it a try. I love tarragon. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  11. Personally, I usually just eat asparagus out of the pan. With my fingers, of course. However. I am not the picture of perfect etiquette either. But it’s just SO GOOD!
    Love the sound of this tart!

  12. Corn on the cob is one of the few things I truly miss about the States when I’m in France… but you’re not supposed to miss American food when you live here 🙂
    Those tarts look divine.

  13. Cindy, I love roasting it too, and soup, salads, omelets.
    Tanna, I normally like my fork, too.
    Christine, and I love how easy these little pastries are to make!
    Ina, I find it so interesting to learn how and what other cultures eat.
    Zoomie, and, of course, at a picnic one would eat with fingers.
    Missy, you are so welcome.
    Thanks, Sara
    Brad, and crisp bacon can be dangerous!
    Elle, hope you steal and enjoy!
    Baking Soda, hmmmm, I can see toilet paper origami…..
    Lannae, I hope it’s a great success!
    Elzabeth, so our practice of rolling the entire ear of hot corn across the block of better would not be acceptable? Darn!
    Thanks, Mary, we love tarragon, too. And mine is finally growing.
    Joanne, well, as long as you use your fingers…. and don’t burn yourself (done that)
    Emiglia, I miss it too – so I started growing my own. Last year the rabbits ate it.

Comments are closed.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap