Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2019, and a quick-and-easy Asparagus treat for any occasion…

Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2019 perfect partner to the Asparagus Parma Ham Hollandaise

With festive season social occasions just around the corner, Spier has the perfect quick-and-easy dish for your guests – and it goes wonderfully with a glass of Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2019. These pan-fried, Parma ham-wrapped asparagus spears are ideal for a cocktail party, lunch or dinner. They make an elegant starter but can also add magic to a larger spread as a side dish.

Be careful not to overcook the asparagus – they can easily become limp and lose their colour. Once you’ve successfully made the luxurious Hollandaise Sauce (it’s not as difficult as you might think), you’ll be able to move on to classic Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Your weekend mornings will never be the same!

Pan Fried Asparagus & Parma Ham with Hollandaise

For the Hollandaise Sauce

(serves 4 as a starter)
3 extra-large egg yolks
30ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
pinch of salt
150g butter, cubed

For the Asparagus
About 16-24 asparagus spears (not too thin)
16-24 slices Parma Ham, very thinly sliced (roughly 120-150g)
15-30ml (1-2 tablespoons) olive oil
¼ cup (60ml) almond flakes, toasted in a dry pan
A handful micro herbs, for serving (optional)

Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2019

Method
Make the Hollandaise first so that it’s ready when the asparagus is fried. Place a small pot filled with 5cm water on the stove and heat to a slow simmer. In a slightly wider heat-proof bowl (glass or stainless steel), add the yolks, lemon juice and salt. Place the bowl over the simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the mixing bowl doesn’t touch the water. Start whisking the egg mixture immediately, whisking steadily as the mixture heats up. When it starts to thicken (after about 3 to 5 minutes), add a few blocks of butter and keep on whisking as they melt into the mixture. Keep on adding more butter until it is all melted and incorporated, and you are left with a thickened custard-like sauce. If your mixture becomes too thick at any stage or looks like it wants to split, remove it from the heat and add more cold butter to bring the temperature down, and then continue as above. Remove from the heat when ready and set aside until ready to use. (Add a tablespoon of boiling water to the mixture to bring it back to pouring consistency just before serving, if necessary.) Finally, serve it with Spier’s Signature Chenin Blanc 2019.

The Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2019 retails for R69.00 a bottle and is available at the Spier wine shop and leading liquor outlets nationwide. Click HERE to buy online.

Asparagus by Julian Merrow Smith

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