Some people say that asparagus and hollandaise are really boring together but as Darryl Kerrigan says in the Australian movie, The Castle “but it’s what you do with it”. With that in mind, hollandaise is really just a base sauce and can easily be enhanced with a variety of native flavours. Various menus I have created over the years have included Bush Tomato Hollandaise, Lemon Myrtle Hollandaise and Alpine Pepper Hollandaise to name a few. In this recipe I have simply added Paperbark Smoke Oil for a subtle smokey flavour. It’s great served with freshly poached asparagus or for breakfast as Eggs Benedict.

1 bunch asparagus
500g butter
30 ml white vinegar
5 egg yolks
10ml Paperbark Smoke Oil
5g Dijon mustard

Take two saucepans. In one, melt the butter. Half fill the other saucepan with water and heat to a simmer. When the butter has melted, remove and reserve the melted butter leaving the cream behind in the saucepan. In a stainless steel bowl which fits over the saucepan of simmering water, add the egg yolks and mustard and using a fine whisk combine well then continue beating with the bowl over the simmering water until the mixture lightens in colour and begins to thicken. This can take a good 5 minutes. At this point, remove the bowl from over the simmering saucepan and place it onto a coiled towel to hold the bowl while you slowly pour the melted butter into the mixture, starting with just a trickle and continue to whisk continuously. As the mixture begins to really thicken up, use a little of the vinegar to thin the sauce down and continue to add the butter until it is all taken in. To finish, whisk in the Paperbark smoked oil, taste the hollandaise and add salt, if required.

Transfer the hollandaise to a sauce boat, cover with plastic wrap and store in a warm place until required.

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