French classic, Asparagus in Hollandaise sauce.
Asparagus are the best in the period from April until June. That’s when you get the maximum use out of them, because there are almost no woody parts. Not to mention how much tastier they are when they’re in season.
It is said that asparagus has a stem of health and happiness.
So, why don’t we try this royal vegetable, and let me teach you two new cooking techniques in the process:
- How to make sabayon sauce
- How to properly poach an egg
You can make asparagus by blanching, baking, stewing. They are usually a side dish to a main course, but they can also go as an appetizer and a salad.
For me, blanching is the easiest way. But, when I want them to look more rustic, I also put them on a grill pan to caramelize. You don’t need much time for that, especially when they are in the beginning of the season.
Poached egg preparation
For asparagus in Hollandaise sauce as a French classic, poached egg is not obligatory. But to make the dish more nutritionally complete, I added proteins as well.
Poaching eggs is a nightmare for everyone. If you manage to poach an egg the first time, it does not mean you’ll be able to do it the second or third time. It’s the same as with macaroons.
Whether the poaching with be successful depends on several factors:
- The temperature of the burner and the boiling of water (simmer or boil)
- The freshness of the egg (stale eggs are a bad choice for poaching)
- A bit of practice
- Putting vinegar into water does not make much difference. In principle, vinegar can speed up coagulation. So, it is not necessary to put it.
- You also do not need a whirlpool, but you can try with it sometime.
- Do not put salt, because as vinegar speeds up coagulation, salt prevents it.
The first step is to prepare the egg for poaching. This means that you need to slowly break it and put it in a coffee cup from where it will be easier to put it in seething water.
I used the word “seething” water intentionally because poaching does not take quick and large boiling, which is 100°C. Let the water boil, and then reduce the temperature of the burner so that the water temperature comes down to 85°C. This is when you need to put the egg from the cup in the water.
Then, instead of making a whirlpool, you can take a spoon and pour the egg with its egg white in the pot. Do it on every side. That is how you get the egg white to cover the egg.
Cook for about 2 minutes. After that, take the egg out of the pot and shock it with cold water. If you consume it right away, the shocking with cold water is not necessary. Upon serving, you put the egg back into the hot water for a few seconds to warm it up. All of this should be done elegantly and slowly. There is no rush, poached egg does not like hurry and impatience.
Of course, to have a perfect egg shape for serving, remove the ends of the egg white. And voila…you have your first, second and many more poached eggs. Be sure to salt it at the end.
The second option for a poached egg
You need to put the egg along with the shell in boiling water, cook for 4,5-5 minutes, immediately shock it with cold water and stop the cooking. After that, slowly and patiently peel it in this cold water. And it’s done.
How to make Hollandaise sauce?
Depending on how much you want to make, you need to use one egg per person. And not just the egg yolk.
You have two ways here, too:
- In bain marine
- In a pot, and then directly on a burner
If you have never made Hollandaise sauce before, I suggest that you make it in a heated bath. The process is the same, but the temperature of cooking is different. It takes longer in a heated bath, but it is safer for beginners. If the working temperature is too high, your asparagus in Hollandaise sauce with not be a success.
Let’s say that you are making Hollandaise sauce with 4 egg yolks. Put the 4 yolks in a bowl which you will then put in another bowl with boiling water (heated bath), pour in 3 spoons of water and immediately start stirring energetically with a culinary whisk. In time, the egg with become foamier and airier and ti will start thickening.
Pay attention, because you can easily make an omelette out of Hollandaise sauce.
From time to time, you can take the mixture off the heated bath and the burner, and mix it aside, if this makes you more comfortable. But, you have to put it back on the burner to gather the heat you need so that the egg is thermally processed as well.
And of course clarified butter, too
You need clarified butter for Hollandaise sauce. You can buy it or you can simply make it yourself. Melt 150 gr of butter in a heated bath, slowly at medium temperature…then strain it through a gauze (or take it off with a spoon), to remove the milky part. What is left is clarified butter. Put the part you don’t use in the recipe in the fridge and use it when you need it.
Let’s get back to Hollandaise sauce
What is Asparagus in Hollandaise sauce without Hollandaise sauce :). Really Nothing
Now that we have clarified butter, the egg starts thickening (it should be fluffy and a bit thinner than pudding). We can now take it off the burner. Then, constantly stirring with a culinary whisk, add clarified butter gradually…just like when making homemade mayonnaise. The more you add clarified butter, the thicker the Hollandaise sauce becomes, of course with constant stirring.
I leave it to you to decide how thick you want it to be. But pay attention not to go to the extreme, because too much clarified butter can make the sauce fall apart. The ideal texture is the texture of, for example, American pancakes or puddings, but not mayonnaise. I like Hollandaise sauce to be a bit thinner, with less clarified butter.
At the end, add salt, white pepper and lemon juice. I like it more sour.
How to season Hollandaise sauce?
Once the sauce is done, you can put whichever spice you want. If you want to spice it up with fermented cucumbers or herbs, just chop them up as much as possible. I added ground hot peppers.
Now we finished everything, we can serve.
If you like or, if you are interested in French cuisine, you can find many preparation techniques here
If you have any questions, don’t be shy, just ask!