The title of this recipe roughly translates as "asparagus time in Germany" as cooked by the Klee family. While on a diplomatic tour in Germany in the 80's, my husband met a distinguished German gentleman on a golf course in Bonn. They soon became not only golf partners, but very good friends and before long, the Klees adopted our little family and taught us a great deal about the importance of eating fresh white asparagus in season, and in particular, enjoying it the Klee Way! This dish features white asparagus, which is grown under mounds of rich black German soil. It's harvested in April, so the month of April is known as spargelzeit, and is the only truly acceptable month for eating asparagus in Germany. Of course there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of asparagus recipes in Germany - all of them delicious - but the "Klee Way" is a unique way to appreciate white asparagus in a meal. This recipe is a gift from Dorette and Walter Klee to you. —bcnichols
juice of one lemon
1 stick of chilled unsalted butter
salt and pepper
excellent imported Bavarian ham, cut thinly
Make the Hollandaise Sauce: Whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice in nonstick sauce pan. Turn on heat to low and continue whisking while you add the butter, incorporating one tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking while you add salt and papper to taste, and when sauce is as thick as mayonnaise, add chopped chives. Remove from heat, set aside, and whisk occasionally while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Drop fingerling potatoes into boiling, salted water and cook for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and set aside and keep warm.
Remove woody stems from the asparagus (about 2 inches). Peel bottom half of asparagus. Drop in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, or until crisp tender. Drain and cover to keep warm.
Prepare eggs: Softboil eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes, or longer if you prefer your eggs cooked more. Drain and run under cold water for a minute to stop cooking. Cover to keep warm.
Assemble plate: Divide asparagus and potatoes among 4 plates. Roll up ham cigar fashion and fan out pieces on each plate. Place two softboiled eggs in egg cups on each plate. (You may poach eggs rather than softboiling them in their shells.) Place a dollop of Hollandaise Sauce over asparagus on each plate. Serve remaining sauce in small sauce boat.