C’est si bon… – Flan d’asperges, poulet pané au sésame et thym, coulis d’herbes



I haven’t posted anything lately…I was tired and sick for about a week, let’s not pretend the San Francisco summer weather has nothing to do with it. It’s been muggy, foggy and obviously very gloomy, and that really does not help with the low energy level. But that’s enough, I will not let anything come in between me and my cooking experiments, and let’s not dwell on the weather…but still when I think that in the South Bay, starting from the San Francisco airport, they get the sun and a real summer, it makes you wonder that maybe life in the suburb is not that bad.

So for those gloomy San Francisco days, you need something fresh, flavorful and exciting to keep your spirit up.

Since I bought silicon molds last time I went to France, I fell in love with them. They’re wonderful in all their aspects. Whatever you make in them cooks very quickly, they’re so easy to use and even go in the dishwasher and they don’t take much space. So if you don’t yet have silicon molds, go and buy some. You’ll love them and become addicted to cooking with them.

Lately I have been in the mood for green vegetables, probably to color my days, and I realized that if it’s not green, it will not be eaten. It needs to be green, delicious and healthy.

I never made asparagus flan before, I did not add too many spices, I wanted them to keep their natural and delicate flavor. I think asparagus have this very special and refined taste that it’s a pity to kill it with spices. The flan is enhanced with a fragrant herb coulis. 

You can serve those flans with chicken but with white fish also, they go perfectly well with any fish or white meat.

Ingredients for 6

For the asparagus flans

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • salt and pepper

For the chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in large cubes
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper

For the herb coulis

  • 1/2 bunch flat parsley
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 bouillon cube

For the side dishes

  • 4 asparagus
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, seedless and diced
  • Rock salt


For the flans

Wash asparagus, set 4 whole asparagus aside to use later. Cut the tips of the other asparagus and cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl with cold water to keep their green color. In the same water, cook the rest of the asparagus, cut in pieces. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Mix in a blender to produce a purée. Add cream and eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add tips of asparagus at the end, and mix carefully not to break them.

Place the mixture in silicon molds and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes at 375F. If you don’t have silicon molds use other ceramic molds but they need to be buttered or the flan will stick at the bottom.

Slice the 4 asparagus left aside with a potato peeler, making thin slices of asparagus. Cook in boiling water for one minute and place in a bowl of cold water to keep the green color. Pat dry before serving on the plate.

For the chicken

Cut chicken in squares about 2 x2 inches. Add salt and pepper on all sides. Dip in flour, then in egg, then in the mixture made of breadcrumbs, thyme, sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Cook in the oven on broiler mode, do not place chicken too close to broiler or it will burn, place mid oven.

For the herb coulis

In a small pot dilute bouillon cube with 1/3 cup water, bring to a boil. In a blender, mix herbs, olive oil and some of the broth you made with bouillon cube. Blend for a while to get a nice green mixture. Add lemon juice and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. The bouillon cube has salt in it, so you might want to check to taste if it needs additional salt.

Serve with a flan, add some sliced asparagus on the side, two pieces of chicken, add one tbs of tomatoes topped with rock salt, and drizzle with herb coulis.