Spring is finally here and I’m excited to be cooking with seasonally fresh, local ingredients! Asparagus is one of my favorite Spring vegetables and it also happens to be a native plant of Germany (also called Spargel and is their “King of Vegetables”)…so I was feeling all inspired and decided to do my take on the German recipe, “Spargel mit Hollandaise” aka Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce.
Now mind you, I consider myself a pretty good cook but I’m not a professional chef. I’d never made Hollandaise sauce before and I’ve heard it’s kind of advanced…but I was up for the challenge. I learned patience is key. Everything else was easy! Can you boil a potato? Good. You can do this recipe!
I got all of the key ingredients I needed for this Asparagus with Hollandaise recipe delivered to my door by Green Bean Delivery. Being a busy lady who runs most of her business from home, it’s so nice and convenient to have my groceries delivered. I simply shop for what I need (lots of organic options) from their online store of locally sourced and artisanal products and schedule a day for delivery. You can even set up automatic delivery of products you know you’ll need on a regular basis. It’s one less errand I have to worry about and can focus instead on what’s most important to me – like sharing this recipe with you! Plus, I love that I’m supporting local businesses!
For the Asparagus
One bunch of asparagus
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
For the Hollandaise Sauce
4 eggs – just the yolks!
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
8 oz butter
2 tbsp cold water
Recommended to Go with It
Fresh Parsly to garnish
German white wine (try Riesling)
1. Wash and peel the potatoes (or don’t peel if you prefer the skins)
2. Snap off the hard ends of the asparagus at the base (don’t throw them out)
3. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place the yolks in a medium bowl for mixing
4. Open a bottle of wine (to sip while you cook)
5. Turn on some music
(those last two steps are optional…but recommended) 😀
The easy part:
- Start with the asparagus. Put those hard ends you snapped off into a large, shallow pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. This will create a light stock. While that’s happening…
- Prepare the potatoes. Place them in a pot of water and bring to a boil, add salt, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Back to the asparagus. Remove the hard ends from the pan that now contains the stock. You can discard them at this point. Add the butter, salt, and sugar into the stock. Gently add the asparagus into the simmering stock and cook for about 10-15 minutes …or until you can easily slide a knife through the thick end of the asparagus. When the asparagus are done, you’ll want to set them in a sieve for a few minutes to dry.
*If you’re making ham that’s already labeled as “fully cooked” –
(I used ready-to-eat, uncured boneless City Ham from Smoking Goose with clove, juniper, bay leaves, and garlic. Delicious!)
To warm it : Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the ham onto a baking rack and heat in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes per pound.
Now the Challenge! …
Make the Hollandaise:
Make the Hollandaise Sauce while your potatoes and asparagus are simmering.
- Whisk the egg yolks together with the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper.
- Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan.
*The key here is not to let the butter get too hot! You just want it melted.*
- Add the water. Stir.
- Pour the melted butter into the egg mixture. SLOWLY…and whisking CONSTANTLY.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan.
- Place on LOW HEAT.
- Stir or whisk continuously until sauce thickens.