I’ve always been wanting to make Hollandaise Sauce since I heard about it about say, four years ago. But there’d been no motivation nor inspiration all these days, right up till last week. Sarah got me Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas and yes, in there was the recipe for the famous Hollandaise sauce. (If you don’t already own this book, get it at once. It will change your life.)
For a first attempt, I wouldn’t say making the sauce was an easy task, even though the stipulated cooking time in the book was five minutes. I took twenty. I don’t remember tasting Hollandaise sauce ever so there was no mental end product in mind, no idea what I was aiming at, although I do think it was a lovely job done nonetheless.
Hollandaise sauce is basically but not simply, a sauce made from egg yolk, beaten continuously over low heat until creamy before beaten further with lemon, and a chunk load of butter. It’s a painstaking process and technically challenging, but oh so rewarding when your palette meets with a rich creamy luxurious artery-clogging Hollandaise sauce. I won’t go into the details of how to make it here, because I’m sure you’d find excellent ones online and elsewhere.
You’d see Hollandaise sauce in Eggs Benedict, traditionally done as poached egg on ham or bacon on an English muffin, with a generous drizzle of the sauce.
Extremely extravagant, yet superbly satisfying.
I know I make a bold claim with the word ‘perfect’ right up there. But trust me, with this recipe, you can’t go very far off. Besides, it’s from Chef Ramsay himself.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Crack your two eggs straight into a pot, not a bowl. No whisking, no seasoning, no mucking about.
- Add in a generous knob of butter. And by ‘generous’, that’s at least a thumb-sized piece, we’re talking about.
- Get your pot onto the hob and turn on the heat. With a spatula, stir away. Like risotto, don’t stop stirring.
- The eggs will start to get all velvety and golden-looking, you’ll know now you’re doing it right.
- Before the eggs start getting lumpy, take the pot off the heat and continue stirring. Make sure you get all the rich goodness off the sides of the pot.
- Then put it back on the heat. Keep stirring.
- Repeat steps #5 and #6 a couple of times. Essentially, you wanna be slow-cooking the eggs.
- Finally when the eggs start to look right, keep working at it until they’re perfect.
- Now add the salt and pepper, and a teaspoonful of cream or crème fraîche, or if you have neither, two tablespoons of milk will do.
- Stir some more.
- If you’re awesome, add fresh chives, chopped.
- Stir and serve atop unbuttered toast.
Practice makes perfect.
Sunday Breakfasts are a luxury, as much as sleeping-in is as well. But if you’re up bright and early on Sunday morning, sunny or not, put the kettle on and make a cuppa tea. But don’t stop there. Put a pan on, make an egg (or two) sunny-side-up. Toast some bread, and spread some butter. Why not toss in some cheese, some ham and peas even. Finally, don’t forget a bit of your 5-a-day: lettuce. Have a hearty breakfast, not only ‘cos it’s ‘the most important meal of the day’, but because you can afford the time to.
Have a good week, everybody!
- 2 eggs, cracked in a bowl, unbeaten
- ¼ mug of milk
- small knob of butter
- small handful of finely grated cheddar
- pinch of dried oregano
- freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Everybody’s got their own method of scrambling eggs but here’s how I like mine done:
- A small knob of butter goes in on a skillet, on high heat.
- Once the butter melts, put in the eggs and turn down the heat to low.
- Using a spatula, break the yolks and scramble the eggs erratically.
- Add the milk, cheese and oregano. Stir about till done.
- Season with salt and pepper accordingly.
I like my scrambled eggs with chunks of white and yellow, as opposed to having everything mixed thoroughly into a single colour. Then again, do it any way you like.
The scramble for scrambled eggs ends here. Hah.
Circular Microwaved Eggs
Most people probably already know this but here’s for those who don’t.
The microwave is awesome, especially when you wanna have an egg ready-to-eat in 30 seconds. It’s super round, and cooked hassle-free with a mix of hard-cooked and soft-runny texture.
What you’ll need:
- A small microwave-safe dish (above)
- An egg
- A microwave
What to do:
- Crack the egg into the dish.
- Stick it into the microwave.
- Press ’30 seconds’ and ‘Start’.
- When it’s done, use a spoon to get it out in one swift circular motion.
- If you want, add salt, or soy sauce, and pepper.
TIP! If you don’t have a small dish, use a mug! Or maybe try out it with a square dish!
I slept in today and was inexplicably lazy to get food. This was sort of a suggestion from a friend this morning, and it came at the perfect time.
It’s a segment off Nigella Bites, so watch it here, from 0:45 onwards. Saves me the trouble of attempting to transcribe the goddess’ every word.
Here’s about what you’ll need:
- a single serving of long pasta, depending on how much you can slurp at a go
- two egg yolks
- 70g of parmesan, or as much as you want
- 100ml of cream, or just enough to make the sauce perfectly creamy
- zest of half a lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- 50g of butter
I made a few changes and came up with this; I can’t do without my meat. Plus, the peas added a lovely burst of sweetness in every bite. (;
Discovered a new way to eat pasta today. No, it doesn’t involve using bare hands to dig in. It’s actually a slightly different kinda sauce from the usual white sauce. Almost like carbonara but less rich and more tasty. I think. Here’s how to make, what I’d like to call, Cheesy Eggy Pasta.
Fry the bacon to render out some of that glistening fat. Then, add a wad of butter together with the mushrooms and peas. Don’t forget some oregano to complete the wholeness of flavour. Let the pasta join in the party when it’s done al dente.
When you’re happy with the way everything looks in the pan, add milk. Just enough to make a sauce. And just before the milk boils, crack in an egg and grate in a hunk of cheese. Now, turn down the heat and mix. Don’t forget the salt and pepper. Parsley, optional.
Finally, get ready to sink your teeth into a marvellous alliance of bacon, egg and cheese, all in your pasta sauce.
Asparagus and Bacon, were made for each other. Due to impatience and negligence, this didn’t turn out quite right for me. Follow the instructions below and I’m sure you’ll get a better result.
The beauty of this dish is that apart from the potato mash, no seasoning is required. I made a mash so that it’ll be a bigger meal. If you exclude the carbohydrate, it’s a breakfast fit for a king.
Here’s how to make your own Asparagus in Bacon & Egg Jacket.
- 3 streaks of bacon, halved lengthways
- 6 stalks of asparagus
- 2 large eggs
Asparagus in Bacon
Using the smoked bacon, wrap the sticks of asparagus. Grill in the oven at 200°C till brown and crispy, flipping them at midpoint. (They looked so good that I got impatient and hungry, so they didn’t make it to the slightly crispy and almost charred stage. I couldn’t do it, but you can.)
There’s a trick to getting them right even though you can’t see what’s going on inside. Stick a pot of water on the hob and get your eggs in. Make sure there’s enough water so that the eggs are completely submerged. Hit the switch to full whack. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and let the eggs soak for about 3 minutes. Flush them briefly with cold water and place them on those little egg holders, or shot-glasses would do. With the ‘sharper’ tip of the eggs pointing downwards, lop the tops off with a knife. Say hello to your golden yolks.
To consume, grab a stick of that pretty asparagus, with your fork or fingers, it doesn’t matter. Dunk it into the soft-boiled eggs and take a bite. Let the incredible nuttiness of asparagus mingle with the smokey aroma of bacon. Pay attention to the lush gooey texture of the egg, holding everything together. And just before you swallow, have a little wad of potato mash join the party.
Feel like a king yet?
This morning I made a discovery.
Reluctantly creeping into the very dirty kitchen, I resolved to leave with a hearty breakfast.
So I toss a wad of butter into the pan, then some chopped garlic and spring onions.
Next, comes a mushroom (yes, just one), sliced.
And then the magical herb of the moment: oregano
All these ingredients sauteed and pretty are bound together with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a beaten egg.
Ta-da! Morning omelette, success! It’s the perfect way to start your morning.
Fresh lettuce, basil carrots and garnishing, optional.