If you, like me, have no qualms with downing half a cup of butter in one sitting - I highly recommend making twice the amount of hollandaise for this dish. If you are a reasonable person, then this should make plenty to feed two.
1 bunch asparagus, fibrous bottoms removed
1 tin sockeye salmon
2 tbsp capers, patted dry
1 egg yolk
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
⅓ to ½ cup butter, room temperature
A glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chive flowers or chives to garnish
Add the egg yolk, lemon juice and dijon mustard to a small saucepan with rounded edges - this is essential for easy whisking. Whisk until fully combined.
Turn your burner to the lowest possible setting and continue whisking. Making hollandaise is a very similar process to making homemade mayonnaise; you are slowly but surely incorporating a fat to emulsify with the egg yolk. Start adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking all the while. You want each pat of butter to melt and incorporate entirely before adding the next. The mixture will get thicker and thicker with each addition of butter. Once you’ve added all of the butter (the more butter you use, the thicker your sauce), you should be left with a silky, emulsified sauce the texture of a loose custard. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Set this aside.
Heat a skillet over high heat. When hot but not smoking, add a glug of olive oil and your asparagus. Season with salt. Sear the asparagus for 3-5 minutes, depending on its thickness. You are going for a gentle char, while being careful not to overcook. The asparagus is done when the thickest part of the stem is just tender.
Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add a glug of olive oil and heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the capers and fry until crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
To plate, assemble your asparagus on 2 plates and season with lemon juice. Crumble over half a tin of sockeye salmon per plate, then cover with hollandaise. Finish with crispy capers and chive flowers.
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