This grilled asparagus on puff pastry includes step by step instructions on the preparation of homemade hollandaise sauce.
Make sure you have your ingredients all ready when starting the hollandaise preparation. The butter should be warm, but not hot, and should be clarified (all milky solids removed). You can make the sauce up to 1 1/2 hours ahead if you keep it in a thermos. I like to warm the thermos up with hot water, then drain the hot water out so the inside is nice and warm. Then just pour in the finished sauce. We do this in the restaurant and it works out great!
Remember, the hollandaise sauce is great on a variety of other vegetables and with seafood such as salmon. Enjoy!
- 36 spears of fresh asparagus (more if asparagus is pencil thin)
- extra virgin olive oil, salt and white pepper and chopped garlic to brush the asparagus prior to grilling
- 1 to 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
- (Pepperidge Farm makes a frozen puff pastry product available at most stores)
- egg wash
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup cream
hollandaise sauce - (makes approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups clarified butter, warm but not hot
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice (Italian parsley, tarragon, mint, etc)
To blanch the asparagus
Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a low boil. Place the asparagus in the water. Blanch quickly (pencil thin asparagus will only take about 30 seconds. Larger asparagus will take about one minute.)
Remove asparagus with tongs and place in a large pan. Put ice directly on top of the asparagus to quickly cool it down.
After 5 minutes, remove asparagus. Store in the refrigerator until ready to grill
Thaw frozen puff pastry according to directions. Place a sheet on a work surface.
Make an egg wash by combining the cream and egg. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash.
Cut the piece of pastry in half.
Have a baking pan lined with parchment paper ready. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Using a paring knife, score the puff pastry rectangles to create a “diamond” pattern on top.
Bake until puffed and cooked through – about 10 to 12 minutes. The pastries may puff a little lobsided. If this happens, gently
push the pastries back into shape. I find this happens more when you have a convection oven. The blowers tend to make the pastries lean to one side.
Use immediatly or remove and cool until ready to use (You can make these up to one day ahead and kept in a covered
container and room temperature.)
To make the hollandaise sauce
Place a pot on the stove with about 2 inches of water in it. Bring to a simmer. Have all your ingredients ready including the clarified butter. The butter should be warm but not hot. Also have the salt and white pepper, herbs and lemon juice ready.
If you are going to make the sauce ahead and store in a thermos, have your thermos ready. Fill the thermos with hot water, then pour out the water so the inside of the thermos is warm before you put the sauce in the thermos.
Place the egg yolks in a stainless bowl. Add the cold water and whisk to combine.
Whisk the eggs until they are very light in color and thick. Be careful not to over cook them. You want them to be thick (as they are to the right) but cooking too much will cause the eggs to “scramble.” If this happens, start over with the egg process.
Remove the bowl with the eggs from heat. Place the bowl on a towel (so that it doesn’t move when adding the butter.)
Add fresh herbs, salt and white pepper and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Carefully pour the sauce into the thermos. Store in a warm place (like on top of the stove) until ready to use.
The sauce will keep for about 1 1/2 hours.
To grill the asparagus
Grill quickly until cooked. The asparagus will cook very quickly so watch it carefully. (If you don’t want to grill the asparagus, simply use the blanched asparagus in step one. Don’t’ cool the asparagus down in the ice. After it is blanched, toss the asparagus in some olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic.)
Remove and place each pastry bottom on a serving plate. Top with some of the grilled asparagus and pour some of the hollandaise sauce over the asparagus.
Top with the other piece of puff pastry and serve.