This is a classic hollandaise sauce flavored with blood oranges and served on fat asparagus. Hollandaise is a bit of a bugaboo and intimidating for a good reason. It is a delicate emulsion (that is to say a suspension of oil in water) of butter, reduced vinegar and citrus, that is stabilized with egg yolks. Hollandaise likes to “break.” With very little coaxing, the emulsion separates and you’ve got yellow grease with gobs of egg yolk in it.
Total time: 45 minutes
3 egg yolks
4 blood oranges
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound butter
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Bob’s Red Mill xanthan gum
Zest 4 blood oranges. Boil two pots of water. Pour hot water from one pot into your blender to warm it up. In hot water from the tap, submerge three whole eggs. Melt the butter and keep it warm and liquid. Blanch the blood oranges in the other pot of boiling water three times. Juice the oranges and strain the juice.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the juice, the vinegar, the sugar and the zest. Reduce on the stove by half. Strain out the zest and reserve.Spill the hot water out of the blender. Separate the yolks and drop them into the blender. Add a pinch of salt, half the juice mix and the mustard. Blend for 30 seconds. Add the remaining juice and the xantham gum. With the blender running, dribble in the butter. Increase the stream as the mixture thickens. If it gets too thick, add water or lemon juice to thin. When the butter is totally incorporated, turn off the blender, transfer the sauce maltaise to a warm bowl and taste for seasoning—salt, pepper or zest. Serve over or along side of steamed asparagus.