Monday, May 24, 2010

Asparagus with Spanish Serrano ham and Hollandaise sauce (Serves 3)

I certainly did, what I had said I would last week. I prepared white asparagus as a special treat for supper for my sister and brother-in-law a week ago. I had forgotten how much work it was, but it was certainly worth my trouble.

What kind of trouble, you may ask? White asparagus must be properly peeled before boiling them. If you do not take special care and do this job properly, you risk chewing on tough fibers.

And I assure you; peeling 1,5 kilos or 3 pounds of white asparagus is much work, but when that job is done, the rest is a piece of cake.

This is what you need for 3:

1,5 kilos white asparagus, stems cut and peeled
3 cubes of vegetable stock
2-3 liter water

300 grams / 10 oz Spanish Serrano ham, thinly sliced

20 cl / 7 fluid oz Hollandaise sauce

Bring lightly salted, water up to boiling point in a steel, or enameled pot. Do not use aluminum pots, as this will make your food taste of metal. Boil asparagus for 8-10 minutes. Do not discard the boiling water, as it will be delicious for soups or sauces later.

You may serve the asparagus as they are, with some salted butter. I prepared them the German way.

I bought thinly sliced Spanish Serrano ham. This lightly salted ham is a delicate balance to the slightly bitter and sweet asparagus.

The asparagus cries out for a rich sauce. If buying a butter sauce, do pick the most exclusive brand, or even better, make the sauce yourself.

I bought Jacobs Utvalgte Hollandaise sauce, rich and creamy, and I just added the juice of half a lemon to cut a little of the richness.

Then it was supper time, and I promise you, if you buy white asparagus when they are in season, you are really in for a treat, and now is the time to look for them.

Serve with a medium dry, ice cold white wine.

A taste of summer!!

More Hollandaise stories on Enjoy Food & Travel
For an easy way to make Hollandaise sauce in your blender - see this film clip

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