By Roger Hickman
2 egg yolks
250g of unsalted butter
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
a pinch of sugar
6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
Cut the woody part off the bottom of each asparagus spear, and peel the bottom inch or so of each one. Blanch in salted water for between one and three minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. You want them to come out of the pan slightly al dente, because you are going to griddle them. Drain and refresh.
Heat a griddle pan and grill the asparagus spears – you don’t need any oil. You are looking for a chargrilled appearance, without burning them.
To make the Hollandaise
Melt the butter in a pan and then cool slightly. You will notice the butter will seperate, with the clear liquid on top, and a milky residue on the bottom. When you use the butter, you want to use the clarified part, leaving the milky part behind. Put a large balloon bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg yolks, vinegar, salt and sugar, and whisk with a balloon whisk until the mixture has achieved a ribbon state – you should be able to write the letter ‘R’ in it and it should keep its shape. If you under-whisk at this stage, the sauce will split. Now very slowly start adding the warm melted clarified butter, whisking all the time. Once it has started to emulsify, you can add the butter more quickly, but don’t swamp the sauce with butter until what is already in the bowl has emulsified.
Put the bacon rashers in the oven at 180°C for 10-15 minutes, until crispy. Blitz while still hot, and then dry on a clean J cloth.
Serve the asparagus spears with the Hollandaise liberally poured over, and garnished with the bacon crumb
Recipe published in Feast, issue 26.