Saturday, 19 June 2010
Roasted Asparagus and Blender Hollandaise
I love hollandaise. Eggs benedict is one of my favourite breakfasts although I only tasted it for the first time maybe four years ago. In that short time, I have discovered that I like my hollandaise to be more eggy than fatty, I like a hint of lemon rather than a strong lemon flavour, I prefer it to be on the thicker side than thin and runny but not oozy and viscous and I hate the ones that are "fake yellow" - the ones that taste like plastic. Luckily, more often than not, the hollandaise tends to be pretty good.
I've tried making it myself before using the traditional method of whisking your butter into eggs over a double boiler but I wasn't too impressed with the results and I was horrified by the amount of butter that went into such a small amount of sauce. I refused to make it at home again. It was easier to be an ostrich and stick my head in the sand about the amount of butter when you didn't see the butter going into it.
Despite all this, I still wanted to eat hollandaise at home. We don't go out for breakfast as often as we used to in an attempt to conserve our funds and when we do, cost is a more important consideration than selection. This tends to mean that the places we go to eat when we do go out for breakfast aren't the eggs benedict kind of establishments. I miss it. Plus, I've finally learned how to poach eggs properly, but I'll talk more about that in a future post.
I went on a quest to find some jarred hollandaise sauce that would meet my sauce standards. I was surprised that even though I visited quite a few delis and providores, I could only find one brand of hollandaise. You think this would have made me think that it probably wasn't a good idea to have hollandaise in a jar, but that didn't hit me until afterwards.
Anyway, I bought this jar of hollandaise and brought it home. I poached my eggs and everything was ready for my sauce, so I lightly warmed some hollandaise in a glass bowl over my poaching water. It looked lovely and it was a light creamy colour. Unfortunately, it tasted awful. Absolutely terrible. The worst plastic tasting hollandaise sauce I've ever tasted. I couldn't eat it and we ended up throwing the whole jar away. The whole $12 jar.
I started researching to see if there was a passable hollandaise sauce that could be bought by the jar (apparently not) and while I was looking around I found a post on a blog where someone commented that they couldn't go past something called blender hollandaise. A quick Google search showed that blender hollandaise was - surprisingly - hollandaise sauce made in a blender. No double boiler, no whisking. It's just some egg yolks, mild English mustard and lemon juice in a blender and you drizzle in some melted butter as if you were making mayonnaise. So easy.
I found a few recipes with varying ratios of egg yolks to butter, but I like this recipe from AllRecipes the best. I made it as written the first time and it was amazing. It wasn't greasy, it was thick and luxurious. It gave some of the restaurant hollandaises a run for their money.
As I said before, I prefer my hollandaises to be on the eggy side. This recipe had (comparatively) a small amount of butter and the next time I made it I cut the butter back to 50g with no ill effects. It was even better the second time.
I had bought some beautiful asparagus that morning and it was just asking to be eaten. I mixed them with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and then roasted them for 10 mins in 180 degree C oven. I topped them with my blender hollandaise and it was just lovely.
I did have some hollandaise left on my plate after I demolished the asparagus and it was so awesome I contemplated scraping my leftover hollandaise into a jar so I could have it again. It seemed such a waste.
adapted from this recipe on AllRecipes.com
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp mild english mustard
squeeze lemon juice
80g butter (I have since made this again with only 50g butter and I like it much better)
another squeeze lemon juice to finish
salt and pepper to taste
In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.
Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Finish with another squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste.
Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.