Escaoutoun, a creamy grits-like dish made with local Gascon sheep's milk cheese, tops fresh asparagus. Reserve some of the Poule au Pot broth to braise the asparagus. "
Escaoutoun with Asparagus
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons coarse white or yellow cornmeal
9 ounces sheep's milk cheese, such as Petit Basque, Etorki,
manchego, or Monterey Jack, shredded
1 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Asparagus (see below)
Combine 1-1/2 cups chicken broth and cornmeal in saucepan. Bring just to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed and cornmeal is tender.
Add sheep's milk cheese and mascarpone cheese to cornmeal mixture. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted, adding remaining 2 tablespoons broth if mixture is too dry. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve escaoutoun with Asparagus. Makes 4 servings.
Asparagus: Snap off and discard woody bases from 1 pound fresh asparagus. If desired, scrape off scales. In large skillet bring a 1-inch depth of Poule au Pot broth or water to boiling. Add asparagus. Reduce heat; simmer, covered 3 to
5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Drain well; transfer to serving platter.