1950s Archive

Viennese Memoir

Luncheon on the Terrace

continued (page 4 of 4)

Gebackener Spargel (Deep-Fried Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce)

Wash and trim thick green asparagus spears and cut them 4 inches long. Tie the spears together and set them upright in a deep saucepan in 1 inch of boiling water. Cover the saucepan and steam the asparagus for 10 minutes. Take it from the water, dry it well, and let it cool to lukewarm. Roll the spears in flour, dip them in 2 eggs beaten with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and roll them in 1 cup dry bread crumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan.

Lower the breaded spears carefully into deep hot fat (360 F.) and fry them until they are uniformly brown. Fry only 6 or 8 at a time, drain on absorbent paper, and keep the cooked spears hot in a slow oven (300 F.).

Make a thick hollandaise sauce. Divide 2/3 cup butter into 5 parts. In the top of a double boiler over hot but not boiling water, put 2 egg yolks and 1 pan of the butter. Stir the mixture rapidly and constantly until the butter is melted. Add the second piece of butter. As the mixture thickens and the butter melts, add the third part and stir constantly from the bottom of the pan until the butter is incorporated.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and beat the sauce for at least 2 minutes longer. Add the juice and grated rind of 1/2 lemon and a pinch each of white pepper and salt. Replace the saucepan over hot but not boiling water and beat the sauce for 2 minutes longer. Add 1/4 cup each of parsley and ham, both finely chopped. Serve at once, with the hot fried asparagus spears.

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