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Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Source: Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection - Vegetables
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  25 Minutes
  Serves 4
Before World War I, hollandaise sauce was called Sauce Isigny, after a town in Normandy known for its butter. During the war, butter production came to a halt and it was imported from Holland. The name was changed to hollandaise to indicate the source of the butter and was never changed back.
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup clarified butter, melted
Small pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
32 asparagus spears
1/3 cup kosher or coarse salt
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce Recipe at
FOR THE SAUCE: Whisk the egg yolks with 4 tablespoons of water in the top of a double boiler until foamy. Place over simmering water and continue whisking over low heat until the mixture is thick and you can see the trail made by the whisk. Remove the top pan from the heat and gradually add the butter, whisking constantly. Once all the butter has been incorporated, strain the sauce and season with salt to taste, a dash of cayenne pepper and the lemon juice. Keep the sauce warm over warm water. (If preferred, a food processor can be used to make the sauce. Whisk the egg yolks and water and, with the motor running, add the melted warm butter to the processor in a thin stream.)

Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer from the lower two thirds of the stem of each asparagus spear. Line up the spears of asparagus and tie into bundles of eight.

Add the kosher or coarse salt and then the asparagus bundles to the water. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the tips are tender. Remove and drain on paper towels. Remove the string and arrange each bundle on a warm serving plate. Coat with some of the hollandaise sauce and serve immediately.

CHEF'S TIP: Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion like mayonnaise, but made with warm clarified butter, which helps to make a smooth sauce. Once made, the sauce should be kept lukewarm. If the sauce is overheated, it will separate. If this should happen, the sauce can be repaired by adding a little cold water and whisking.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Tuttle Publishing/Periplus Editions. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
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Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 349
Fat. Total: 35g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 7g
Sodium: 9314mg
% Cal. from Fat: 90%
Cholesterol: 242mg
Protein: 5g
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