Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Yolking" Around

Before I write anything else, I want to thank mightyfinelife for the link on egg yolk uses. Very helpful, very informative. (I also want to thank you for putting up my links on your site! Very cool!)

Second, I want to apologize in advance for any yolks I might make about eggs. I mean jokes. I mean--I've seen Mother Goose Rock & Rhyme too many times. Remember the Humpty Dumpty scene? Anyone? Well, if you haven't seen it, it's phenomenal. Tons of '80's stars as nursery rhyme characters. Over-the-top musical numbers. Good stuff.

So--egg yolks. As I wrote a few posts ago, I had some left over from the hazelnut meringues (which are all gone now...happily nestled into my fat cells) and I wasn't sure what to do with them. After a lot of deliberation, I made a decision.

Three went into a hollandaise. The last one will go on my face, if I get up the courage. Evidently eggs are good for skin, whether eaten or applied topically. We'll see if I get up the nerve for an egg facial or not. (I'm pretty sure my mom did this to me once in high school. I know it was uncomfortable but I'm not really sure if it worked.)

But back to the hollandaise. It was my first hollandaise, you know. My first time making it and--I'm fairly certain--my first time eating it. The only way I'd ever seen hollandaise used was globbed onto Eggs Benedict--a dish that has never appealed to me--and frankly, to me it was just yellow slime. And calories. So many calories. But once I made a hollandaise of my own, I discovered I didn't care too much about the calories...I was too busy drooling.

At first I thought making hollandaise would be difficult. You hear so many warnings about curdling eggs. I'd seen Tyler Florence of the Food Network make hollandaise in a blender before--how easy it looked!--but somehow, it seemed like one of those magical things that only TV chefs can do, something that for mere mortals will result in stomach cramps and all-night bathroom parties.

So I didn't use the blender. I used a makeshift double-boiler (metal bowl propped in saucepan with simmering water) and followed the instructions precisely. Off the heat, I mixed my egg yolks, water, and lemon juice (I feared the lemon juice would cause crazy chemical reactions with the eggs, but it didn't...just kind of separated them a bit until I whisked it all together). Next, the bowl went over the simmering water and in went the first 1/3 of a stick of butter--very soft, as per the instructions--and the whisk went wild, frantically trying to turn it into sauce, fearing all sorts of egg curdling and butter separation--nasty things you hear about but don't often experience.

At this point, I said the sauce looked pretty and Ian said, yeah, it did look gritty, which would have elicited a light slap on the shoulder had my hands not been busy whisking and keeping the saucepan over the burner. Instead I just yelped like a dog with a trodden-on tail. More butter went in and the sauce smoothed out, then more butter and it began to thicken. Once it was thick, off the burner it went and into a nice, cool bowl to prevent any further cooking (the cookbook didn't say to do this, but I figured if it wanted the sauce off the heat I would take it off the heat entirely). I added a dash of salt and some white pepper, and voila. Done.

I should have taken a picture of this dinner, though a picture wouldn't do it justice. I had toasted up some thick slices of French bread (wheat French bread--I hadn't known such a thing existed but it was delicious anyway) with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. I roasted some veggies (mostly leftover from Sunday's ratatouille)--eggplant, squash, zucchini, onion, potato, carrot, and celery--also with olive oil, salt and pepper, plus thyme and basil. The veggies went on top of the bread and the hollandaise went on top of the veggies.

Oh. My. Gosh. It was possibly the greatest meal I have ever eaten. Of course, it contained a half a stick of butter, so how could it not be? (You might even say it was "eggs"ellent.) Then again, if I dare think about the calorie content, my mind just boggles. I've already done an hour on my Wii Fit today and am thinking about hitting the gym for a while after lunch.


  1. Hi Laura! I wanted to follow your blog but the widget is not there. Your blog is very nice. The images are very beautiful. God is Great. Best wishes.

  2. Why does butter have to taste so good if it is so bad for you!?!

  3. Hi - I'm really loving your blog - thanks for sharing your writing and great pictures !