2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
4 thick cut (about a ½ pound ) bacon slices
1 yellow onion, small dice
4 eggs, hard boiled for 8 minutes and peeled
½ pound morel or cardencello mushrooms
3 tsp salt
¼ tsp chili flake
zest of 2 lemons
¼ tsp fresh black pepper
1 ¼ tsp herbs de provence
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
3T All Purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bacon into strips(lardons) and add to a medium sized sauce pan. Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir the bacon every couple of minutes for even cooking. While the bacon is cooking, trim the asparagus by bending the stalk until it snaps at it’s natural breaking point. Discard the woody ends and cut the remaining into ½-inch pieces, including the tips. Set aside.
Clean and quarter the morels(Ashley use morel wording here.) Or if using Cardencello mushrooms, peel the stems and halve them then slice them about a ¼ inch thick.
Once the bacon is nice and crispy, scoop the pieces out onto a paper towel or plate. The bacon should have rendered close to a ½ cup of fat. Remove ½ of thefat from the pan and use for a later time. Keep the remaining ¼ cup and warm up over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Add the chili flake, lemon zest, fresh black pepper, and Herbs de Provence. Stir to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes. At this point the liquid released from the mushrooms should begin to evaporate and you should begin to get a little caramelization on the mushrooms. Add the garlic and onions and stir to incorporate. Saute for another 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes till the asparagus is slightly toothy and not mushy. Add the cream and turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Once the cream is simmering, use a sifter or fine-meshed strainer and sift the flour over the cooking asparagus mixture. Stir to incorporate. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Continue cooking for about 1-2 minutes to allow the cream to thicken. Pour into an 8x8 baking pan or casserole dish.
Quarter the hard cooked eggs and lay them evenly over the asparagus casserole. Then top with the crispy bacon pieces and a few turns from the pepper grinder for fresh black pepper.
Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. This is just helping meld the flavors of all the ingredients. This is a loose casserole, it’s not super set. Scoop and serve once ready.