For some reason, asparagus and eggs are a pair made in food heaven. And continuing on a brief theme on entertaining for less, without giving up on style and elegance, a starter of blanched asparagus served with a soft boiled egg and/or homemade mayonnaise is another such dish that fits the bill in times of skyrocketing food prices… Besides, it is possibly one of the most sensuous things to eat and it is interesting to see how guests handle the appetizer…
To start, purchase 1 or 2 bunches of pencil thin asparagus. I get ours at the weekend markets, and two large bunches runs me PHP160 or so, this is good for 8 people as a substantial starter. Also purchase a dozen and half organic eggs, roughly PHP150 (8 of these to be made into soft-boiled eggs, and the rest for mayonnaise or other uses). Total marketing bill, some PHP310 for 8 people.
Trim the stalk end of the asparagus and blanch in boiling water for just 1-2 minutes then plunge into an ice bath, dry on paper towels and store in the fridge up to a couple of hours ahead of your meal. You can also serve them hot if you prefer. If you can’t be bothered getting too involved in plating, you can serve all of the asparagus on a platter (an asparagus platter, in the photo), and have your various sauces or dips on the side.
Alternatively, you could plate a serving of asparagus spears with a small dipping bowl of homemade mayonnaise.
And if you want to get fancy, do individual plates with asparagus, a soft boiled egg (with a pinch of sea salt) and some mayonnaise so guests can choose what to dip their spears into, and for how long… This MUST be eaten with your fingers for maximum enjoyment… And the total cost per serving, not much more than PHP45 for a party of 8. Now try and find an appetizer at a decent restaurant for 2-3x that amount these days!