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Delia Smith   Delia Smith

Featured Recipe

Fresh Asparagus with Foaming Hollandaise


The Sauce

2 large eggs, separated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 stick salted butter

1ľ pounds fresh asparagus stalks (medium-thick)
Salt to taste

You can make the sauce at any time. We have tried it chilled overnight in the refrigerator, which makes a nice contrast with the hot asparagus, or you can serve it warm, or even at room temperature.

Begin by placing the egg yolks in a food processor or blender together with some salt, switch on, and blend thoroughly.† In a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice and vinegar till the mixture simmers, then switch the processor on again and pour the hot liquid onto the egg yolks in a steady stream.

Switch off, then in the same saucepan melt the butter Ė not too fiercely, it mustnít brown.† When it is liquid and foaming, switch on the processor once more and pour in the butter, again in a steady, thin stream, until it is all incorporated and the sauce has thickened.† Next, in a small bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then fold the sauce, a tablespoon at a time, into the egg whites and taste to check the seasoning.† When youíve done that, itís ready to be served, or you can cover and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve.

To cook the asparagus:† Take each stalk in both hands and bend and snap off the woody end, then trim with a knife to make it neater.† Lay the asparagus stalks on an opened basket steamer Ė they can be piled one on top of the other.† Season with salt, place them in a skillet or saucepan, pour in about 1 inch of boiling water, cover, and steam for 4 to 6 minutes.

Serve the hot asparagus with some sauce poured over the tips, and donít forget to have finger bowls and napkins at the ready.

Wine Recommendations by Wine.Com:

1996 Franz Kunstler Estate Riesling, Rheingau

1999 Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

Cookbook available in March 2000.
Call 1-800-514-9046 for more information.

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