When asparagus is fresh I like it simply lathered with melted, salty butter - delicious, it really is so good. However, a very close run second is a good buttery sauce. Sauces are wonderful and here in Britain and Ireland, we have endless lists of them, usually based on and around Hollandaise - the sauce which sadly has reduced many competent cooks to tears.
It really is not that difficult to make the sauce, just take your time and follow these instructions. If you are not too strict about using machines Hollandaise can be achieved with near perfect results in a food processor which makes making it somewhat easy. So no excuses then.
It is worth persevering in making a hollandaise as it is the base for a wealth of other sauce, most, including Hollandaise work so well with more than asparagus. A good steak tastes so good with a splash of hollandaise on it.
- 3 large free-range egg yolks
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 115g / 4oz melted unsalted butter
Quick, Easy Hollandaise Sauce Recipe - Food Processor Method
- Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, water and salt into the food processor.
- Place the cover on and blend at full speed for two minutes - no less. With the machine still running SLOWLY, drop by drop, add the hot, melted butter. do not rush this process, the longer you take the better the result.
- When about two-thirds of the butter has been added the sauce it should be thick, creamy and glossy. Continue adding the clear yellow part butter taking care not to add any of the milky, white residue given off the butter. This should simply be thrown away.
- Once all the butter is added, taste and adjust the seasoning as you like it.
Delicious Alternatives to the Classic Hollandaise Sauce:
Make the sauce as above, replacing the water with fresh orange juice. When the sauce is made, beat in by hand a further 3 tbsps of orange juice and the grated rind of an orange. This is an intense sauce and is lovely served with asparagus or broccoli.
Whip 125ml /4 fl oz double or heavy cream until thick then fold into the hollandaise. This makes a rich and decadent alternative to the classic Hollandaise. Serve with asparagus, green vegetables, poached egg and steak.
Hollandaise with Egg Whites
Beat three egg whites until stiff. Fold these into the Hollandaise. The addition of the egg whites will lighten the sauce incredibly and make it go so much further.
Sauce Dijon aka Sauce Moutard or Girondine
Add a small teaspoon of Dijon mustard.