1 bunch of pencil asparagus
2 cups salt
6 egg yolks
2 pounds pig ears cleaned
2.5 ounces bay leaf
2 cups crème fraiche
4 ounces morel mushrooms
1 quart oak wood chips
1 head garlic
1 yellow onion
1 ounce pea tendrils
As Needed: butter, olive oil, rice oil (for frying)
Cut asparagus spears, peel stalks and shave some raw for a crisp texture. Reserve asparagus trim for the crème fraiche. Set up a small pot of salted boiling water. Blanch asparagus until it turns bright green, about 30-45 seconds. Remove from blanching water and chill in ice bath. Mince morel mushrooms and sauté with butter and olive oil, season with salt. After mushrooms are chilled coat only the asparagus stocks with the mushroom mixture.
Cured Egg Yolk
Place half of the salt in a quarter sheet pan, only enough to coat the bottom. Place egg yolks carefully on bed of salt and cover them completely with the remaining salt. Reserve in fridge for two days and rinse. After two days egg yolks will be firm and dry. Cut slivers and reserve at room temperature.
Boil pig ears for three hours or until completely tender with 2 bay leaves, onions and 1 head of garlic. When pig ears are completely tender remove from water and chill for one hour in the fridge. Once they are cool cut long strips and fry at 325° for 2-3 minutes.
In a medium skillet burn the wood chips including some bay leaves. Add chips to a deep metal pan that has been setup with a perforated pan on top. Add crème fraiche to a small metal insert small enough to fit where the chips are setup. Cover and let crème fraiche smoke for 1 hour. Sautee asparagus trim and remaining bay leafs in olive oil until fully tender. Blend with smoked crème fraiche and season with salt.
With a spoon make 4-5 dollops of bay leaf crème fraiche throughout the plate. Scatter asparagus spears all over the plate, including stalks that have been coated with morel mushrooms. Arrange 4-5 slivers of crispy pig ears. Place 5 slices of cured egg yolk on asparagus spears. Garnish with exceptional olive oil, finishing salt, raw shaved asparagus and pea tendrils.
Mekis suggests Ghostwriter “Amaya Ridge” Pinot Noir 2013. “The vineyard is located in Soquel in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It has an earthy, rich, cherry-pomegranate flavor, that would complement the Morels and fried pig ears. And its lite spiced notes, and silky texture that would go well with the asparagus, and yet not over-power it.”