Fresh Asparagus with Foaming Hollandaise
The marriage of asparagus and hollandaise was quite definitely made in heaven, and it seems sad to me that 'health' issues should bring about a divorce. Therefore I have set out to lighten the sauce somewhat by the addition of stiffly beaten egg whites.
Serves 4 as a starter
|1¼ lb (570 g) fresh asparagus stalks (medium thick)|
|For the sauce:|
|2 large eggs, separated|
|1 dessertspoon lemon juice|
|1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar|
|4 oz (110 g) salted butter|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Need help with conversions?|
|There is no list of equipment specified for this recipe.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection
You can make the sauce at any time: we have tried it chilled overnight in the refrigerator, which makes a nice contrast with the hot asparagus, or you can serve it warm, or even at room temperature.
Begin by placing the egg yolks in a food processor or blender together with some salt, switch on and blend them thoroughly. In a small saucepan heat the lemon juice and vinegar till the mixture simmers, then switch the processor on again and pour the hot liquid on to the egg yolks in a steady stream.
Switch off, then in the same saucepan melt the butter – not too fiercely: it mustn't brown. When it is liquid and foaming, switch on the processor once more and pour in the butter, again in a steady, thin stream, until it is all incorporated and the sauce has thickened.
To cook the asparagus: take each stalk in both hands and bend and snap off the woody end, then trim with a knife to make it neater. Lay the asparagus stalks on an opened fan steamer (or an ordinary steamer will do) – they can be piled one on top of the other. Season with salt, place them in a frying pan or saucepan, pour in about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of boiling water from the kettle, then put a lid on and steam for 4-6 minutes.
Serve the hot asparagus with some sauce poured over the tips, and don't forget to have finger bowls and napkins at the ready.
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Steamed asparagus is wrapped with cheese and ham to produce the most wonderful light meal or starter - a great way to enjoy the short asparagus season in May and June.
Sometimes the idea of the simpler the better makes for cooking success and never more so than in this pared-down recipe for asparagus that would make the most brilliant starter or lunch dish.
This one's a complete doddle and takes no time at all: a new take on this season's asparagus, accompanied by a creamy cheese sauce and freshly poached eggs. Makes you want to become a vegetarian on sight!
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Make the most of asparagus while it's here - you can even make it into soup, to be served warm or chilled depending on the weather!
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