3.156 Asparagus in Sauce Hollandaise

Cycle 3 – Item 156

9 (Sat) May 2012

Asparagus in Sauce Hollandaise


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Sauce Hollandaise is a French sauce.  It’s an emulsion of egg yolks + lots of butter + lemon juice + salt + white pepper.  Most famously as a topping for Eggs Benedict.  One of the five mother sauces in French cuisine.  Some believe that it was based on a sauce originally invented in Holland (Netherlands), hence the name.

For my first ever attempt at Sauce Hollandaise, I turned to the recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I had no frame of reference beyond the book, but I was blown away.  Initially, the combination of egg yolks and butter – which came to together rather easily via the shortcut blender method – seemed excessively rich.  But when paired with the asparagus – peeled and boiled as per Julia’s firm recommendation – it was magic.  Again, I’m amazed at how French gastronomy takes the simplest of ingredients and transforms them through meticulous technique.

Incidentally, in the film Julie & Julia – a parallel narrative about Julia Child’s journey towards creating her seminal treatise and Julie Powell’s attempt to make all the recipes in the book and document her efforts in a blog – hollandaise sauce is the first recipe featured, as a dip for artichokes.  I have to confess that watching the movie a few years ago gave me the idea to start GMTD.   At the time, I’d been taking daily pictures of my meals at dinner on the iPhone app Project 365.  The movie, which otherwise isn’t particularly good, got me to thinking that I should write about my dining experiences in addition to photographing them.  It just occurred to me that I’ve never seen Julie Powell’s blog.




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