IN PRAISE OF HOLLANDAISE

I might not have found my perfect zen yet but I can make a pretty good sauce…

I’ve been doing lots of yoga type things since I got to Sydney and while I find them nice and relaxing most of the time, the whole ‘clear your mind’ thing doesn’t really work for me and I invariably find that I end up deep in meditation on how I can better a recipe…I’ve dedicated many a bikram session to baking and I think a recent near perfect pavalova was a result of this.

I'm gonna try this move next week. Photograph: Lisa Larsen/Getty Images/Time Life Pictures

So last week when I ended up in a 2-hour meditation class (Thanks Susie!) hollandaise was on my mind as I had promised someone at work I would show them how easy it is. Turns out it’s a lot easier than meditating.

All we had to do was repeat a chant – something like ‘Waa Hey Guru’ but firstly I had to concentrate so hard not to bleat out ‘Baa Ram Ewe’ like the Sheep in Babe and then the girls beside me got fits of giggles whenever anyone chanted funny. It was very contagious laughter. Then we had to lie down and listen to some ‘relaxing’ music (I thought it was the sound track from a Hitchcock movie. I could almost feel the birds swooping!) so I turned my mind to perfecting easy hollandaise and here’s what I came up with…

Easy to remember what you need 3,2,1…as in 3 egg yolks, 200g melted salted butter and 1 big squeeze of lemon.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy

Buy good quality eggs as fresh as you can – you will taste the difference…

Make your sauce in a very clean bowl over some boiling water in a pan, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. This is a much gentler heat and will help avoid the egg scrambling.

Steamy = Saucy

So it’s your 3 yolks into bowl, whisking…Put it over the heat. Add the melted butter a bit at a time whisking throughout. If it’s looking like it will scramble take it off the heat.

Keep going, add your lemon, then warm/cook it gently until it is saucy. EASY PEASY. If you want poached eggs to go with it you can leave it over the water but off the heat to keep it warm.

When it coats the back of a spoon you know it's ready to go. Egg-cellent.

POACHED EGGS – now I know everyone has a tip for poached eggs, but I think only two (or maybe 3) things matter.

Gooey goodness every time

Use the FRESHEST eggs you can get. All the tricks and tips in the world won’t help an old egg.

Use a big deep saucepan and make sure the water is really bubbling boiling.

Crack your eggs into a small dish first and then drop them into the water, getting as close to the water as you can.

Have a slotted spoon and some paper towel ready for draining.

When the water sort of expands in that eggy ghosty sort of way turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the water for 2-3 minutes depending on how you want them cooked, just fish them out and take a look. You know they are done when the bit where the white meets the yolk is opaque.

Don’t worry if they are all wispy, you can trim them to make them look pretty – This is what the restaurants do!

So any suggestions on a recipe to get me through my next yoga session?

4 thoughts on “IN PRAISE OF HOLLANDAISE

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