happy hollandaise

some quick thinking on em's part last night ensured that we were fully stocked up, ready and able to make eggs benedict this morning. holla!

jimmy wasn't able to be part of this process unfortunately as we took him downtown so he could catch his bus to the airport. while we were down there, dave and i popped into zeitgeist for a shot in the dark and a lemon bar. Zeitgeist has the best lemon bars around. A++ recommended, would eat again.

popped back up to the house, threw some kahlua in my coffee and got down to business with this as the end result:

best eggs benedict we've ever made. poached egg credit goes to emily because i always fuck that part up.

we actually did not have a lemon or lemon juice to make the hollandaise the traditional way, which really bummed me out. i love a really bright, lemony hollandaise, but this wasn't an option today so i had to improvise. improvisation in the kitchen usually works out pretty well for me but since this is definitely a high point in my hollandaise game i want to record this for posterity/share it with y'alls.

3 jumbo egg yolks
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup salted butter
~4 tbsp white wine

melt the butter in a pan over mediumish heat. purified butter is a pain in the ass and isn't really neccessary, so don't worry about straining out the milk solids. keep it warm until you're ready to use it, at which point it helps to transfer it to a measuring cup or some sort of poury receptacle.
briskly whisk the yolks and vinegar in a metal mixing bowl over heat (double boiler or direct heat, your call) until they start to thicken. if you see steam rising from the yolks, remove them from the heat, or you'll end up with scrambled eggs. continue to whisk while adding melted butter a few drops at a time, making sure that butter is fully integrated before adding more.
once butter is fully integrated into the sauce, whisk in the white wine. taste frequently. i found that about 4 tablespoons worked out pretty well.

if you're making the sauce as part of eggs benedict (as i obviously did), you should already have toasted your english muffins, griddled your ham, poached your eggs, and been ready to serve the sauce immediately. if not you can keep it somewhat warm by intermittently whisking over heat until your other components are ready.

breaking the hollandaise is a typical rookie mistake. you'll know the sauce is broken when it looks something like curdled milk mixed with movie theater popcorn butter. you can usually rescue it by separating another egg yolk, whisking it up in your mixing bowl, and then and very slowly whisking your broken sauce back in over low heat.

if you find your sauce is delicious enough to drink, congratulations, you did it right.

hollandaise is a great way to eat an entire stick of butter in one sitting and is excellent as part of the widely known breakfast powerhouse known as eggs benedict. it also goes great over broccoli, asparagus, or salmon, so it's versatile enough to span several meal classes.

being snowed in is a really nice opportunity to make a hot classy breakfast for yourself and your friends, as we were happy to rediscover this morning. if you find yourself in the same situation, you'd be doing yourself a favor by doing the same.

"we won't starve to death; we've got fat on our bones."

1 comment:

stefanie p. warmouth said...

eggs and beacon! looks great. fun title. call me.