Thursday, 5 January 2012

Asparagus with orange hollandaise

4 eggs, white wine vinegar, zest of 1 orange and juice of 3 oranges, butter, asparagus,
Serves: 2 Preparation: 15 minutes

The nutty, slightly sulphuric taste of asparagus is perfect with dairy and eggs, and citrus fruits bring out the sweet freshness so a hollandaise sauce is the perfect partner to these long, green fingers. I prefer not to peel the stalks when served with orange as I think the extra sweetness and flavour stands up well against the slight bitterness.

1) To make hollandaise sauce separate the egg yolks from the whites, discard the whites and beat the yolks.
2) Mix 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar with 1 tablespoon of orange juice and heat. Whisk the hot mixture into the egg yolks in a steady stream and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth.
3) Melt 4oz of butter in a pan on a low heat and pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan in a slow stream whilst continuing to whisk. As the sauce begins to thicken take it off the heat and whisk until thick and glossy.
4) Asparagus can be boiled, steamed or grilled - personally I prefer to grill it for 2-3 minutes, it has a beautiful colour, crunchy texture and doesn't dry out. Heston Blumenthal recommends frying the asparagus off in a tiny amount of oil in a covered pan. It's entirely up to you how you prefer it.

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