12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temp.
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
3 pounds fresh asparagus
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, and cayenne in a blender or food processor. Blend for 15 sec. With blender on, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds. (You can leave it in the blender at room temp. for up to 1 hr.) Side note: You can use this Hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict.
Preparing the asparagus:
Remove the tough bottoms of the asparagus stalks. Blanch the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on their thickness, until cooked through but still al dente. Remove to a platter with thongs and lightly sprinkle with salt. Pour the hollandaise sauce over the warm asparagus and serve. (serves 6)