Here’s a Tip
Don’t cook on an empty stomach. Tonight marks the third time I have made Hollandaise sauce and I’m beginning to suspect that my first try was beginners luck.
When I made the sauce for the crab cakes it turned out so well I thought I had this classic sauce figured out. I made Hollandaise again for Valentine’s Day and it didn’t turn out exactly right – it still tasted good, but didn’t seem like Hollandaise to me or Kira. Tonight’s attempt was pretty much an exact repeat of that experience. My sauce broke about 5 minutes in and I added an ice cube to get things back to a liquid state. It worked and things looked good, but it just tasted like warm butter with a little lemon juice. I decided that I couldn’t make things any worse so I heated up some more egg yolks while whisking them and folded them into the existing sauce. My theory was that I was only getting the flavor of butter because I had cooked too much of the egg. Solution – add more egg. I think it helped a little, but still didn’t make the sauce I remembered from the first time. I added more salt, pepper, and cayenne. The end result was something that tasted pretty good, but wasn’t please-pour-this-directly-into-my-mouth delicious. And, really, that is what you are going for with Hollandaise.
My day was kind of busy. I got up at a decent hour and went running, then I took the kids running. Next an outing with my wife to go Troll shopping and a quick stop for ice cream at Izzy’s. Return home and make a grocery list including what I needed for tonight’s dinner. Then grocery shopping and come back home in time to take Max and his friend to Free Comic Book Day. I made another trip to the a different grocery store for pit ham because I couldn’t find anything labeled pit ham at Rainbow. Luckily I knew that Kowalski’s would have it because I remembered seeing it there during my hunt for fat back. I dropped Max and his friend at an event for Kira’s school and went home to cook. By the time I got settled and allowed the egg yolks to reach room temperature it was about 5:45 when I started cooking. As I was separating the eggs I realized that the only thing I had eaten all day was a half a slice of pizza and a single ice cream cone. The egg whites aren’t used for anything in this recipe so I scrambled them up with some salt and pepper to have a little snack. I dashed on some red pepper flakes and was proud of myself for keeping my blood sugar up before I tried something as difficult as making Hollandaise sauce from scratch. Or at least I would have been if I hadn’t set them on the counter where I found them an hour or so later completely cold and completely forgotten.
I don’t really blame the busy day for the sauce not being perfect. I wish I could, but I don’t feel like I rushed anything. This makes it all the more frustrating because it implies some variable I am not thinking of or don’t know about. On the plus side (?), before I am done I will have five or six more tries to figure this out.
The sauce may not have been perfect, but I think the meal as a whole was quite delicious.
Recipe #83: Nearly Classic Eggs Benedict
Damn good Starship quote of the Day: Maybe this is all part of God’s plan…he made before he died.