Asparagus With Bearnaise Sauce
|Asparagus spears||1 3⁄4 Pound|
|White wine vinegar||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Dry white wine/Dry vermouth||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Shallot||1 Medium, finely chopped|
|Dried tarragon||1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Butter||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|French tarragon/Parsley||3 Tablespoon, finely chopped|
|Heavy cream||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Black peppercorns||To Taste|
|Carrot bundles||3 , tied with chives|
1 Clean and prepare the asparagus.
2 In a steamer, place the cleaned asparagus and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt.
3 Steam for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
4 For the sauce: In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, add the vinegar, vermouth or wine, shallot, dried tarragon, a generous pinch of salt, and 4 black peppercorns.
5 Simmer, uncovered, over moderate heat until the liquid has reduced to about 3 tbsp.
6 Pour through a very fine sieve and set aside.
7 Have the remaining ingredients of the béarnaise sauce ready to use before you start cooking the asparagus.
8 Reserve 2 tbsp of well-chilled butter, cut into small pieces.
9 In a pan, melt the rest of the butter very gently.
10 In a small heatproof bowl, on top of a double boiler, beat the egg yolks until creamy.
11 Gradually beat in the reduced vinegar mixture, adding a little at a time.
12 Beat in half the pieces of chilled butter.
13 Set over gently simmering water and continue beating until the mixture starts to thicken.
14 Remove the double boiler from the heat and beat in the remaining chilled butter, blending in each piece before adding the next.
15 Beatings constantly, add the melted butter, starting with a few drops at a time and gradually increasing this to a very thin continuous trickle as the sauce thickens.
16 Stir in the chopped fresh tarragon or parsley.
17 In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff.
18 Gradually fold into the sauce.
19 On serving dishes, place the asparagus.
20 Garnish with the carrot bundles tied with chives.
21 Pass the béarnaise sauce along.