Hollandaise is a Do!

Continuing  my  cooking  craze  for  2010,  I decided  to  make  poached  eggs and asparagus with homemade hollandaise sauce.  I was a bit  timid to try this one (both for fear of mistakes, and fear of calories), but in the end, it was definitely worth every artery clogging bite!

To begin, the Ingredients List:

3 eggs (very cold)

3 tsp Salt + a couple pinches

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 tbs extra virgin Olive Oil

5-6 stalks of Asparagus

4 egg yolks

1 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)

a pinch of cayenne pepper

tarragon for garnish

————————————————

Start by heating up 2 liters  (about 9 cups)  of water into a sauce pan that allows for at least 3 inches of depth. Add the white wine vinegar and 3 tsp of salt to the water. Bring to a slow boil and then turn heat down so that you have a low simmer. Take the 3 whole eggs and, one at a time, crack them into a very small bowl (I used a measuring cup) and carefully lower them into the pot of water, emptying the eggs from the bowl/cup.

To make sure the little guys don’t get stuck to the bottom, use a spatula  to gently move underneath the eggs after 30-45 seconds of cooking. After the 3 eggs are in and unstuck, begin a timer. For soft boiled eggs, cook for 3 minutes. For medium boiled eggs, 5-6 minutes. I like my eggs hard boiled so I left them in for about 8 minutes. When the eggs are done, remove them one at a time (once again, carefully) from the water to a paper towel to drain. They should look like this:

Now it is time to start the asparagus. In a medium skillet,  pour in about 1 tbs of olive oil. Heat to about medium temperature. Wash the asparagus, cut off any of the stem that is too white and/or hardened, and cut each stalk in half. Add to the skillet.

Toss these occasionally, but no need to fuss too much.  These  will simply saute while you are preparing the hollandaise sauce.

Now it’s really time to start cooking. Begin by preparing a double boiler using a stainless steel sauce pot for the top. The water should be just barely simmering. It is better that you begin this too cool than too hot.

With all ingredients prepared and at hand,  begin the sauce by adding the 4 egg yolks to the small sauce pan (I improvised…). Add the lemon juice and whisk, whisk, whisk away for about 4 minutes or until the mixture gets a bit thicker and doubles in size.

Put the pot onto the double boiler but make sure that the water is NOT touching the sauce pot. Keep whisking for about a minute. Now is the time to slowly(!) add in the melted butter. A bit at a time works well. Whisk it into submission bit by bit! You will most likely be tired by the end of all of this, but just keep whisking. in about 8-10 minutes, the sauce will begin to thicken and become an amazingly gooey, rich texture and color.

When it reaches this stage,  remove it from the heat and add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Honestly, I wasn’t in a spicy mood so I just added a bit of fresh tarragon in place of the pepper. It was delicious as well. Note: if the sauce happened to get a wee bit too gooey, just add a drop or two of warm water, and whisk again until even in consistency.

Now it’s time to eat.   Toss those asparagus another time or two so they are nice and glossy and warm, and add them to your plate of choice. Place the poached eggs on top of the asparagus and drizzle (or pour, as I did) the hollandaise sauce over the pair. Garnish with a leaf of tarragon.

Honestly, this was the first time I have ever made (or eaten) poached  eggs. The same can be said of the sauce. It was worth the time and effort. The creaminess of this recipe alongside the crunch of the asparagus makes for a perfect (and filling) out of the ordinary meal.

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16 February 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Food and Recipes.

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