Asparagus with Orange Sauce


2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons orange or tangerine juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange or tangerine rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 to 2 pounds fresh asparagus (amount depends on guests asparagus appetite)


To make the sauce, combine water, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of the fruit juice, the fruit rind, salt, and pepper in a saucepan. Reduce over moderate heat to 3 or 4 tablespoons. Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking over low heat until very thick. Remove from heat and slowly dribble in butter, whisking constantly Slowly add the remaining fruit juice, a teaspoon at a time. Strain if you wish (Bill Sammons prefers the rind left in). If necessary, keep sauce warm over a pan of warm water while asparagus cooks. Remove tough ends of asparagus and cook tips only 4 to 7 minutes, until bright green but still slightly crisp. When asparagus is ready, place sauce in a warmed ceramic bowl and serve with the asparagus.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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