YUM! Why have I never made Hollandaise sauce before? It is so easy! While this newfound knowledge is certainly not good for my waistline, it is most definitely a culinary milestone for me.
As I have mentioned earlier, I watched a lot of cooking shows in Ireland, and one of them, Economy Gastronomy, inspired me to make an easy Hollandaise sauce at home. The recipe, which utilizes the food processor to make the sauce, is at the end of the post and can also be found here.
It could not have been easier, egg yolks, mustard, and lemon whizzed up in the food processor mixed with hot melted butter.
The Hollandaise was creamy, rich, and lemony. I immediately ate about 10 pieces of raw asparagus dipped in it.
While the Hollandaise was the star of the show, I of course needed a meal to put it on. I roasted six potatoes at 420 until they were golden and cooked through.
I gently steamed some asparagus.
And used the recipe from Economy Gastronomy to poach up some salmon steaks.
A simple bath of white wine and water with bay leaves provided the perfect place to poach two beautiful salmon steaks.
Everything came together perfectly. It was quite the gourmet meal for a girl who stayed out until almost 2 am Sunday!
Do you have a culinary milestone to share? Or is there something that seems too daunting for you to make at home?
For the poaching liquor:
- 250ml white wine
- 2 onions (about 400g), peeled and diced finely
- 3 bay leaves
- 500ml water (or fish stock if you have any)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the hollandaise:
- 150g salted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 salmon fillets
- 700g Jersey Royals or new potatoes
- A few sprigs of mint
- 12 spears English asparagus, woody ends snapped off
- Put all the ingredients for the poaching liquor in a wide saucepan or roasting tray. Keep the liquor over a low heat for 20 mins to infuse, but make sure it stays below the boil – don’t let it start simmering and reduce away.
- Scrub your Jerseys and put them in a pan of cold water with some salt and the mint sprigs. Bring to a simmer for 20-25 mins.
- Once the spuds are on, lay the salmon fillets in the poaching liquor, skin side down, keeping the heat very low. Season and cover, and after 10 mins lay the asparagus spears in the liquid too, put the lid back on and cook for a final 5 mins.
- While the salmon is poaching, melt the butter for the hollandaise, and whizz the yolks, mustard and lemon juice in the food processor for a couple of mins until light and fluffy. Once the butter has melted, bring it to a rapid boil, then immediately drip-feed it into the whirring food processor. As soon as it’s all incorporated, tip the sauce into a bowl and season with salt to taste and some freshly ground black pepper. (There’s a visual argument for white pepper here, but the flavour is different.)
- All that remains is to gently lift the salmon on to a suitably pretty serving dish – good idea to use a couple of fish slices to lift it, and move decisively. Keep and freeze the poaching liquor for future use. Don’t strain it, but pick out the bay leaves. Tumble the spuds on to the plate and finish with some jaunty lemon and the finest English spears of the season.
Economy Gastronomy is on BBC2 on Wednesdays from the 5th August at8pm. The book to accompany the series ‘Economy Gastronomy’ by AllegraMcEvedy and Paul Merrett is available now published by Penguin Books,£20.
By Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett