No Double-Boiler Required!
One of my biggest pet peeves with cooking – or at least, with other people's cooking – is a lack of flexibility. At work, that mostly comes about from inflexible diners and employees with no work availability, but that’s not what we’re talking about... I’m talking about flexibility with recipes. A lot of recipes are really strict and rigid, requiring items in strange amounts like “two cups plus a teaspoon of sugar” or “three and a half eggs.” Really? A half egg? From what, a half chicken?!? The great thing about most recipes is that you really can fudge the amounts; your sauce will be just the same without that extra teaspoon, and go ahead and use the whole egg. You’re not gonna kill anyone. But it’s not just amounts, it’s also in the procedure. So many recipes say “bake at 392 degrees for exactly 21.2 minutes” or such nonsense. Sure, a temperature range is great and all, but ovens vary, and my roast chicken in one oven may be done a lot faster than another. The recipe should focus more on the actual procedure, or what it is you’re looking for – golden brown crust, firm center, a certain internal temperature so that you don’t serve raw chicken. Then you might actually kill somebody!
Hollandaise is like that. There’s a half dozen ways of making it; I’ve seen it made in a bowl over a double boiler, over a fryer, in a blender… hell, I bet you could do it in front of a screaming hot oven, but you’d probably cook yourself as well.
But the reason the recipe is flexible, and that people can make it different ways and still come out with the same sauce – that’s because they understand what’s going on. Heat plus eggs equals coagulation, and when you add melted butter, you get the thick sauce you want.
So do the recipe however you want, and as long as you understand what’s happening, and more importantly, why, you can do anything!
- Chef Savage
2 ea Egg Yolks
1oz Lemon Juice
1oz White Wine
1oz Worcestershire Sauce
2 shakes Tabasco Sauce
½-3/4# Clarified Butter
Pinch Salt & Pepper
Melt butter in microwave in 20-second intervals till butter reaches 180 degrees. Be careful butter may boil over and could burn.
Place egg, lemon, wine, worcestershire and tabasco in blender. Blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add butter till desired thickness. Finish with salt and pepper.
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