Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking

September 4, 2009

Asparagus with Hollandaise

Filed under: sauce, side dish, vegetables — Emily @ 8:25 am

Hollandaise sauce was one of the “top secret” recipes that Julia Child’s sent to her American friends. It is a quintessential French sauce. Traditionally, it must be made at the last minute.  However, utilizing the blender, this Hollandaise may be made up to an hour in advance, which gives you plenty of time to polish your pearls before your guests arrive! This sauce will also be great with broccoli or brussel sprouts

Asparagus with Hollandaise

Serves 6 to 8

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

3 pounds fresh asparagus

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. With the blender on, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick. (You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 tablespoon of hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.)

Remove the tough bottoms of the asparagus stalks (thick asparagus have much more flavor than the thin asparagus). Peel the stems halfway up the stalk if the asparagus is thick. Blanch the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on their thickness, until cooked through but still al dente. Remove to a platter with tongs or a wire skimmer and sprinkle with salt.

Pour the hollandaise sauce over the warm asparagus and serve.

Source: Ina Garten

November 17, 2007

Bolognese Sauce (Ragu Bolognese) page 307

Filed under: beef, pasta, sauce, Uncategorized — Emily @ 4:43 am

I was initially hesitant about this sauce because it did not seem to have enough tomato in it—but it was still fabulous!! Aaron was in LOVE with this sauce (and he works at a really good Italian restaurant). I may try it sometime with some tomato sauce in it, just for a variation, but it was definitely yummy as is. I served with some parmesan garlic bread. And for dessert—we are having raspberry crumble bars (with chocolate chips).

With beef as the main ingredient and surprisingly little tomato, the many subtle tastes in this famous sauce come together beautifully:

Makes enough for 1 pound of pasta

Heat in a large saucepan over medium-low heat:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (optional)–I skipped this step because I forgot to pick up pancetta–I definitely want to try it with this next time

Cook, stirring until the pancetta releases its fat but is not browned, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add:

1 large carrot, peeled and minced

2 small celery stalks, minced

1/2 medium onion, minced

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Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

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Add and brown:

1 1/4 pounds coarsely ground beef skirt steak or very lean ground chuck

Stir in:

3/4 cup chicken or beef stock (I used beef)

2/3 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

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Two of my favorite cooking products: 2 buck Chuck from TJ’s for cooking and tomato paste in a tube (from Monsieur Marcel gourmet grocery store at the L.A Farmer’s Market)

Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, partially covered and skimming occasionally, until the sauce is the consistency of thick soup, about 2 hours. From time to time as the sauce simmers, add, 2 tablespoons at a time:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Skim the fat off the top before reheating.

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