This recipe has been on my mind for quite some time. Debating back and forth if I should use bacon or pancetta? Keep it simple and just do salt and pepper? Well, I decided on pancetta. Mainly because I did not want the added smokieness to overpower anything. I went for herbs de provonce because I love the blend of herbs that add an amazing aroma. The lavender adds a nice mild floral note that pairs wonderfully.
The asparagus was blanced briefly in some heavily salted water before being wrapped with pancetta. I placed the pancetta wrapped asparagus on a baking tray with a rack in order for the heat to circulate. Make sure to place the seam-side down so that your asparagus bundles do not come apart.
Hollandaise is pretty easy to make. It just takes some paitence and technique. Making sure everything is not too hot nor cold or your sauce will break. Make sure your clarified butter is warm and you add it in a steady stream. I rolled up a towel into a circle for my bowl to nestle into--for when whisking, the bowl is not moving all over the place.
In order to keep the yolks tempered, I kept the pot with hot water on the stove and alternated the bowl between pot and towel. If I felt the yolk mixture was getting too cold, I did a few whisks of the pot over the water while drizzling in the butter and then returned it to the towel. Season at the end with a little bit of creole seasoning and hot sauce, and there you go!
Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus
- 2 pounds asparagus (do not use the extra big ones.)
- 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5-6 slices of pancetta
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon warm water (may need more to thin out sauce)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup clarified butter
- a few dashes of hot sauce (use your favorite!)
- a pinch creole seasoning
- a pinch cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375
Place a pot of water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add a few generous pinches of salt.
Gather a bowl with ice water and place aside.
Cut the bottoms of the asparagus off (they are tough) and place asparagus into boiling water. Blanch for 1-2 minutes and the drop into the ice water to chill and stop the cooking.
Drizzle blanched asparagus with olive oil, herbs de Provence, and salt. Take 3-4 stalks and wrap with the pancetta. Place the seam-side down on the baking rack. Continue with rest of asparagus and then back for 20-25 minutes until pancetta is rendered and crisp.
Gather a bowl and a pot. Add water to the pot and bring to a boil. In the bowl whisk together the lemon, water and egg yolks. Place the bowl over the pot of boiling water so that the bowl sits securely and you’re able to whisk while the egg mixture cooks.
Cook until the yolks can coat the back of a spoon. 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pot and place the bowl on a secure surface (I used a towel twirled around into a circle to place the bowl in). Whisk the egg mixture while adding a slow steady stream of warm clarified butter into the eggs. Make sure to keep whisking to make sure the warm butter and yolks emulsify.
Once all of the butter has been added, season with hot sauce, creole seasoning, cayenne and salt if needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a teaspoon at a time of warm water until the desired consistency is reached. Make sure to store in a warm area. Best if served immediately.
For the hollandaise sauce, make sure bowl sits securely over the pot, making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
If sauce is too thick, you can add a teaspoon of lukewarm water to the sauce. Whisk in until desired consistency is reached.