Asparagus with Hollandaise

Beyond cheese and grunt work, this was my major contribution to this year’s Porvaznik family Thanksgiving. I was pleased that the sauce turned out so well, as I’ve had some issues with hollandaise over the years. This Alton Brown recipe is a keeper. The key is to not let it get too hot – I ended up removing it from heat even more than the recipe recommended.

For the hollandaise

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp water
  • pinch sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch cayenne pepper

For the asparagus

  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

(Note: a double boiler is needed for this recipe. I always just fashion one out of a saucepan and a metal bowl).

For the asparagus (I found this easiest to do first and then reheat briefly in the pan once the sauce was done)

Heat 1 tsp oil in pan. Sautee asparagus until cooked but crisp. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining oil and asparagus.

For the hollandaise

Pour an inch of water into saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.

Combine egg yolks and water and whisk 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and whisk another 30 seconds.

Place over simmering water and whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes. Here, I kept periodically removing it from heat if it looked in danger of curdling or getting too hot.

Remove from heat, and whisk in butter, a little at a time, until incorporating. Keep periodically placing over heat as you go to keep sauce warm. Add salt, lemon juice and cayenne.


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