Know what is really easy (but can be hard if it goes poorly?)
Julia Child’s Hollandaise Sauce.
Life is full of this combination for me.
Spring is bringing back warmer weather and this funny feeling that is so unfamiliar called, umm, well-being. But everyone, me included, shared a lovely cold complete with fevers and cancelled plans and fatigue. Luckily everyone was well by Easter (gratuitous family photos coming up next).
^ Seriously, can we just eat?
And Andrew, who is turning 1, is definitely in my Easy/Hard Category. He was the easiest baby (I am only allowed to say that because I have had not the easiest babies). And that gave us the most joyful first year, and I am really sad to say good bye to his baby days next week, even though a baby year is really tough. I am juuusssttt starting to feel like my whole self again. I go through a lot of “what is wrong with my life” during baby’s first year, and then I realize, every time I ask, that the answer is “lack of sleep”. x1000 and repeat. Even though I love all the other parts of it, sleep deprivation is a mind trip that needs constant detour signs.
And blogging is easy/hard, because I think of stuff to write all the time but I only get to it in the wee hours of my life (it is 11:05 pm before we leave for a cruise to Florida and the Bahamas tomorrow. I will keep you posted on if we survive this trip. And I think the cruise will be easy/hard too, for the record.)
Thankfully, running is moving into the more easy then hard category and I signed up for the Smuttynose Half Marathon in October. Running balances something very essential to my life and after some bad back stuff this winter I am hoping to stay strong. And I love my hot pink running shoes.
But seriously, back to Hollandaise. I used to have Eggs Benedict with my family a lot on Easter, and I revisited it because I have been doing quiche but my kids don’t always love it. They LOVE poached eggs, and butter and lemon and I thought hey, maybe a combo of those things would be good. We’ve been having Corned Beef Hash at the ski condo (don’t judge) and they love it so we may have even taken our fancy brunch and put some of that on the side.
It was so good and a surprisingly easy thing to put together while the kids watched this show. Now I want to slather it on everything, including artichokes, spring asparagus, steak, chicken, and of course, corned beef hash.
SO, retro though it may be, try out a little Hollandaise on your next free weekend morning (or evening). You will not be sorry. Unless you curdle the eggs, then you will.(Don’t over think it, just follow Julia’s directions and you’ll be fine.) I am off to get my last good night of sleep for next 8 days. Don’t be jealous.
Julia Child’s Hollandaise Sauce (printer friendly version here).
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, if needed (or more)
6 -8 ounces very soft unsalted butter
1 dash cayenne pepper (I omitted this)
salt, to taste
fresh ground white pepper, to taste
1 Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale (this prepares them for what is to come). (Note: I used a glass bowl over boiling water, aka a double boiler. This meant the eggs never cook and never curdle, avoiding the #1 problem in making this. Or follow Julia’s way carefully without little people interrupting you).
2 Set the pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan, where the eggs tend to overcook.
3 To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on. (If, by chance, the eggs seem to be cooking too fast, set the pan in the bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then continue).
4 As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat.
5 By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want.
6 Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed. Serve lukewarm.