This classic sauce adds instant elegance to poached eggs, steamed vegetables or even steak.
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 cup butter
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Steam the asparagus until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, cook the asparagus in salted boiling water until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Melt butter over medium low heat. Keep warm.
Bring a saucepan with 1-inch to 2-inches of water to a bare simmer. You will need a metal bowl that fits over the saucepan to create a double boiler. Add the yolks and 2 tbsp. water to the metal bowl. Place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk continuously. Whisk until the mixture begins to turn pale yellow and thicken. Very slowly, while whisking, add the warm melted butter until it incorporates into the yolk mixture and thickens even more.
Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Pour over asparagus. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.