xI enjoy looking through cook books, perusing pictures and ideas. But when it comes to being in the kitchen and actually cooking, I hate having to refer to a page, my fingers all oily or my hands suspended so as not to get meat juice on the vegetables… I like to get an idea, and move forward on my own with it.
Last month, I decided it was time. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m probably not going to find a great breakfast here in Bury, so I am working on expanding the offerings at Mama’s Bistro. I took a look at a slew of recipes out there on the internet, and came up with a scheme for making any amount of Hollandaise sauce, without having to reference a recipe each time. I most frequently make it for one. That’s right. I love making myself an elaborate breakfast, when everyone else is gone, and it’s just me and my coffee, and a view of our garden.
Hollandaise Sauce for One
1 Egg Yolk
1 T hot Water
Lemon Juice (please, from a real lemon!)
Butter (the better your butter, the better your sauce!)
OK, this is pretty simple. Put the egg yolk in a small metal bowl. Whisk it a little. Add a tablespoon of hot water (I am usually simmering some water in preparation of cooking the sauce, and then poaching eggs, so this works out very conveniently) and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk it some more, then add roughly a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a tablespoon (roughly– I have never actually measured it) of butter.
|As you can see here, you don’t need a double-boiler or anything special. I put my bowl in a strainer over the simmering water. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a pot slightly smaller than the lip of your metal bowl, and it can sit on top perfectly without a strainer.|
Put the metal bowl over a simmering pot of water. Whisk. The higher the heat and boil of your water, obviously the faster it will cook, but there’s a higher need to be paying close attention and whisking constantly. I keep mine a little lower, and give myself the leisure of chopping up some greens as I whisk– but still put in the time whisking well. The butter will melt, everything will blend together, and gradually begin to thicken.It’s up to you how thick you want it to be– keep in mind that you will probably want it to be oozy versus gloppy, and it will thicken slightly more as it cools. Taste it. Decide what it needs more of, and add the cayenne pepper or regular pepper, if you like. I have also added a little olive oil to balance the flavors a bit, and haven’t gotten in trouble for adding that, more butter, or even lemon juice after it has thickened. For the record, I have also made this with white wine vinegar, when I didn’t have much lemon on hand (some recipes use mostly white wine vinegar anyhow.)This sauce seems to be pretty easy-going. Since everything is a either a teaspoon or tablespoon or a pinch, it is extremely simple to make it with as many yolks as you’d like, so it can be for just you, or to share with the whole family. And that’s it!
Here’s a breakfast I love to make, and the order of business:
Heat a small pot of water, and make the Hollandaise sauce. Whilst getting that done, crack a couple of eggs to poach in the hot water, and chop some greens. When the sauce is done, you can either blanch the greens in the hot water you’ll use for the eggs, thus getting three uses out of that one pot of water, or you can cook your greens another way– I simply chose to blanch them in a separate pot this time, so I could do the greens and eggs at once. (But sometimes it can be very satisfying to cook everything in the same pot. I guess it’s just a quirk.) Anyhow, cook your greens. Poach your eggs.*
Put your greens in a dish, and salt and butter them. Eggs go on top. And, of course, the Hollandaise sauce makes it all very special.
If you are feeling especially hedonistic, or if this is your breakfast and lunch, I highly recommend adding bacon to the affair. And you will feel like a queen (or a king, as the case may be.)So. Very. Delicious. Questions? Do you think you’ll give it a shot?
I’m updating this post to add another idea for using this Hollandaise Sauce: I made Eggs Benedict, using roasted sweet potato rounds and thinly sliced black forest ham. I finished it with fresh thyme and spicy smoked paprika. The sweetness of the sweet potato and the smoky flavors in the ham and paprika really played beautifully with the sauce!
* A word about poaching eggs: I know it can seem intimidating, if you haven’t done it before. It took me a while to get up the courage to assemble a carton full of eggs that I planned on sacrificing for the sake of learning to do it. Don’t be scared. Here’s a super helpful video, and this is the way I do it. I have even been so lazy as to poach two eggs at once– it’s not as pretty, but it gets the job done twice as fast. (Plus, you can hide the funny-looking ones under Hollandaise.) Alternatively, you can just cook them over-easy in a frying pan!
Here’s a quick recap for you!