Every once in a while I am in for a bit of indulgence. Since it is both asparagus and morel mushroom season I went for a combination of the two which is absolutely delicious. For the sauce hollandaise I use the virtually foolproof method of whisking in cold butter instead of the traditional liquid clarified butter. Clarification does not benefit the taste, in my opinion, and the risk of the sauce falling apart is greatly reduced.
Ingredients: (4 servings):
- 1 kg white asparagus
- 100 g fresh morel mushrooms
- 250 g high quality cold unsalted butter in small pieces
- 4 egg yolks
- 100 ml dry sherry
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1 dash of lemon juice
- Salt and white pepper
- Preparation: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and cut the heads in halves lengthwise. Wash them in a sieve under cold water to remove all sand or soil remnants. In a small saucepan heat the sherry with the shallot and the mushrooms and let simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by 80%. You can also add asparagus ends for some more flavour. Strain and reserve the liquid. Pick out the mushrooms and set aside.
In a bain-marie over low heat whisk together the egg yolks and the sherry reduction until the mixture begins to become creamy. Remove the whisking bowl from the bain-marie and whisk in the butter piece by piece. Heat it up again shortly whenever the butter takes longer to melt and then remove again. This prevents the curdling of the egg by overheating.
Season the sauce with salt, while pepper and a bit of lemon juice, them mix in the mushrooms. The sauce can be kept warm in the bain-marie as long as the water is not boiling.
Of course you can also serve a few slices of cooked ham alongside the asparagus. Recommended drink: The sherry you used for the sauce.