Today was Easter Sunday. We started off the morning at a house party with friends. There were lots of adorable young children there dying eggs, hunting for eggs and probably eating eggs (of the chocolate variety). There was a giant ham that was completely devoured and the most interesting and surprisingly scrumptious dishes like hashbrown casserole.
We then made our way to my in-laws' home for dinner. I was in charge of a veggie dish. I wanted something that was worthy of my mother-in-law's fabulous cooking. She too was making a ham with sides of sweet potatoes and a green salad with slices avocados and oranges. Yum!
I decided to make asparagus with hollandaise sauce. One, I know my mother-in-law loves asparagus. Two, it's in season. Three, what better excuse than a holiday meal to ingest lots of hollandaise sauce?
I made hollandaise sauce once before and remember it being quite a tedious process. Which is perhaps the reason I haven't made it in about seven years. I found this recipe online that claimed to be an easy method. Easy is just my speed, so I gave it a try. I only made half the amount which is still PLENTY. Unless you are serving ten people, I see no need to make the full amount. The lemon juice I kept at one teaspoon because I wanted a little more of a tang. It was extremely easy and ridiculously good.
I spooned it over two of these plates of roasted asparagus.
Easter egg hunts, good friends, family and delicious food. What a great day!
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup dry white wine
10 black peppercorns
1 large shallot, finely chopped
8 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Kosher salt, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1⁄2 lbs. asparagus, woody ends removed
1. Put vinegar, wine, peppercorns, and shallots into a large skillet over medium-high heat; simmer until reduced to about 2 tbsp., 5–6 minutes. Strain reduction through a fine-meshed sieve and let cool.
2. Pour water into a medium pot so that it reaches a depth of 2"; bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk together reduction, yolks, butter, salt, and Tabasco. Set bowl over pot; the bottom shouldn't touch water.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus; cook until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving platter. Pour sauce over asparagus and serve.
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #109