Saturday, September 15, 2007

Do Over: Hollandaise Sauce

Since we're doing the Hollandaise in class on Wednesday, I wanted to give it another shot so that I wouldn't be so far behind the curve. I was going to try several small batches until I got it right.

I got out my fresh eggs and followed the Peterson instructions from before. I looked at a couple of other books and they didn't seem to be as technique focused or something. The first batch was exactly the same as the previous attempt. I ended up with scrambled egg yolk. Ugh.

I noticed when whisking the egg yolk and water that I was splashing the mixture out of the brasier, because of the shallow sides. I has used that because of the rounded bottom and the heat resistence. Peterson made a big deal about being able to get at all of the sauce with the whisk and a regular sauce pan had the problematic corners.

I realized that I had a more pointed whisk that could get into the corners easily, so for the second try today, I used my regular sauce pan. It worked! I was able to get a much better froth before it went on the flame. As soon as I could see the streaks on the bottom of the pan (which was the point before when the eggs scrambled), I yanked it off of the fire, whisked more to cool it down (~20 seconds) and added my clarified butter. At that point I was satisfied that it had worked and then proceeded to flavor it with the lemon juice and the salt.

Because I was focusing on the egg part, I didn't bother with juicing fresh lemons and just used the bottled stuff. Then I threw in about a teaspoon of salt. This was a bit much, but overall, it turned out very nice.

So, it seems the key thing I was missing before was a strong enough whisk. Once I was using a pan where I could let loose like I should, all was good.

To make sure that I actually had the technique down, I made a second batch about 10 minutes later. It was no fluke, this worked well, too. I did only put in lemon and mixed the two batched together to reduce the salt taste. Eggs Benedict tomorrow!

2 comments:

Jhiss said...

Hal,

I wanted to comment that I really love your blog. I discovered it from Johanna Draper Carlson's website, Comics Worth Reading.

I love it because I also love to cook, and find your recipes and thoughts interesting.

I live in Chicago as well, and while I've never been to The Chopping Block, I think I'd certainly love to go. The one in Lincoln Square is only about a mile from my apartment.

And, no suprise here, I also love Top Chef. It inspires me and motivates me and it's a great great television show.

So keep on posting, because I love reading it and it won't be long before I'll have to try one of your recipes you mention.

-jason

Hal Shipman said...

Well, shucks. That's awfully nice. I have done absolutely nothing to promote this other than mentioning to friends, so I have no idea how many people are reading. Thanks for the feedback and, definitely, head over to the Chopping Block. I think their 101 courses are guaranteed winners.