Delices d'Argenteuil


    40 asparagus spears, (trimmed)

    8 parma ham (slices)

    100g plain flour

    2 eggs

    250ml milk

    50g melted butter (plus extra for cooking)

    pinch of salt

    3 egg yolks

    250g unsalted butter (melted)

    squeeze of lemon juice

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Main serves 4

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To make the pancake batter, whisk the flour, eggs and milk together, then add the melted butter and salt and whisk again until a thick creamy consistency. (Sieve in the case of any lumps.)


Add more melted butter to a frying pan, pour in a ladle of batter and cook 8 pancakes. Put these aside until later.


Next, make the hollandaise. Whisk the egg yolks together with a splash of water in a stainless steel bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (ensuring the bowl isn’t touching the water). Continue to whisk while adding the melted butter (leaving the milky residue behind) in a slow stream until the mix is thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper and the lemon juice.


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and put the grill on hot.


Boil the asparagus in a well-salted pan of water for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, drain on a tea towel.


To assemble the dish, lay a slice of Parma ham on a pancake. Add 5 spears of asparagus, then roll up and place in a buttered dish. Repeat with the remaining pears, ham and pancakes. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the ends start to crisp up.


Cover each with 2-3 tbsp of the hollandaise sauce and then place under the grill until golden brown and glazed. THE MONTPELLIER CHAPTER, Bayshill Road, Montpellier, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 3AS; 01242 266708

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