Monday, July 5, 2010

Black Pepper Sabayon (“sah-bye-awn”) on Asparagus Spears

Bon Appétit May 2004 by George Kelso of Edinburgh, Scotland

Husband-Tested in Alice's Kitchen

I recently tumbled down some steps and sprained my ankle. We were invited to a pitch-in dinner so I made this easy dish which didn't require much standing. I made the sauce and blanched the asparagus in advance and then headed to the party. Then I just popped it under the broiler for a couple of minutes and voila! It was quite pretty to look at and it was very yummy. (I know that because the entire platter was clean in a matter of seconds!) I found this recipe online at and made a few adjustments based on the reviews. "This easy version of the classic egg yolk and wine sauce is made with mayonnaise and toasted peppercorns. It works well on meats, poultry, fish, and even sandwiches. Here, it ups the ante on vegetables."

2 pounds large asparagus spears, ends trimmed (I left the asparagus spears whole.)

1 Tablespoon coarsely ground whole black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons finely chopped white onion or shallots (I used shallots.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons whipping cream, half and half, or milk (I used whipping cream.)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, white wine or fresh lemon juice (I used white wine.)

Lemon wedges and fresh lemon zest for serving
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.
Heat heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add peppercorns and onion. (No need to add oil.) Cook until peppercorns are fragrant and toasted, stirring, about 4 minutes.

Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, whipping cream, and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Stir in peppercorn mixture. Season sabayon to taste with salt.

Preheat broiler. Butter 13 x 9 x 2 inch broiler pan. Arrange asparagus in single layer in prepared pan. Spread with sabayon. Broil until sabayon sauce turns golden, about 2 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Garnish with a bit of fresh lemon zest, if desired.

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