Asperges avec Oeufs Pochés à la Hollandaise – Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce (from French Brasserie Cookbook, Galmiche 2011)

Butter.  Butter butter butter butter, butter butter.  Butter butter butter butter.

That is how this post might as well read, for I have single-handedly seriously depleted the EU butter mountain in the making of this:

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Butter, with a small side helping of non-butter.

Don’t let all that green fool you, this is a heart attack on a plate.  So now I’ve given you the obligatory health warning, I can also tell you that it is fantastically delicious and full of delicacy, if you can find the other flavours under the butter.  I love asparagus and am full of the joys of spring that asparagus season has started.  Not only is it super tasty, but it is full of Vitamin C (good for your immune system), potassium (great for brain and nerve function), and folate (good for pregnant women and for potentially preventing Alzheimer’s and heart disease – when you don’t smother it in butter of course).

Hollandaise, Wikipedia tells me, “requires some skill and knowledge to prepare and hold“.  Which explains why I ballsed mine up.  It was going so well, but separated just towards the end.  Whereas I followed Daniel Galmiche’s hand-beaten recipe, thus relying on my 100% attention and skill which is where the balls-up has undoubtedly occurred, I later watched a Paul Hollywood show where he made a perfect hollandaise with a food processor.  If you are as inattentive and unskilled as me, I’d recommend this one, because if you cock it up you can always blame the shoddiness of your food processor.

I adapted the recipe a little because I like to sauté off the asparagus for the final few minutes, and I served it all with a simple rocket and parmesan shavings salad.

Need this (for 2)

For the hollandaise: 125g unsalted butter (pic 1) / 1.5 large egg yolks / 1/2 tbsp water / juice quarter lemon / salt & pepper

For the rest: 10 asparagus spears / 4 eggs / 4 poaching pods / knob of butter / salt & pepper

Do this

For the hollandaise: I recommend using Paul Hollywood’s recipe from his book Bread, which looks more foolproof than the one I tried

For the rest: trim woody asparagus stems / boil 1 pan salted water & 1 pan water / tie asparagus & add to salted water on low heat 6 mins / crack 2 eggs into poaching pods & add to unsalted water / cover & simmer 4-5 mins & put to one side / melt knob butter in pan / drain asparagus & add to sauté (pic 2) / 2 more eggs in poaching pods in unsalted water / cover & simmer 4-5 mins / serve all together with salad

butter

Pic 1: Approximate amount of butter required for this recipe.

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Pic 2: Sautéing the asparagus.