31 May 2011

Food Lab 9: -aises

As in:



When you're going classic, go classic. Our texts for the day? Julia and McGee of course.

According to McGee, there are 5 basic types of Hollandaise:
  1. Careme – cook egg yolks and water based ingredients – whisk in pats of whole butter
  2. Escoffier - warm eggs yolks and water based ingredients – whisk in melted or clarified butter
  3. Simple - bung all ingredients into a cold saucepan – heat on low – stir constantly
  4. Mayonnaise - warm egg yolks and water based ingredients – whisk in clarified butter
  5. Sabayon – whisk egg yolks with water to form a foam – whisk in butter and lemon
How much butter? For that we go to Julia. She says 2 sticks - a full cup - for 3 yolks, but we felt that *might* be a little excessive. We ended up with about 3/4 c. per batch.

What do I mean by "water-based ingredients"? Non-oil-based. Generally a Tbsp of water and a Tbsp of some acid (we mostly used lemon juice).

I could recount it all, but here's the short of it (I was going to write "skinny" but do you have any idea how much butter we ate Sunday?):
  • Use a glass bowl for your double boiler.
  • Forget the clarified butter - it scrambles your yolks. Use pats of cold butter. Which also cuts down on steps.
  • Do not use an immersion blender. You'll end up with mayonnaise. Which is excellent, but not what we're after.
  • You MUST beat the sauce until sticky before adding the butter if you want a nice thick Hollandaise.

When the sauce broke - aka, the clarified butter attempt (and no, metal versus glass bowls didn't make a bit of difference), the McGee method of fixing it did work, at least for a while. Strain the broken sauce to get the solids out, then start with another egg yolk and a Tbsp of water, whisk that, then whisk in the broken sauce. It eventually broke again, but it took about an hour.

The big difference with Bearnaise is that rather than just using lemon juice for your liquid, you use a reduction. The traditional reduction is white wine, white wine vinegar, tarragon and shallots. But we invented something WAY better: deglaise.

What is Deglaise?

You start by preparing scaloppini beef like we did in deglazing lab. Then you prepare a pan sauce, also from deglazing lab.  Then you use THAT for your wine/vinegar reduction part of Bearnaise. Mad Kitchen Scientist actually asked Chef Spouse to marry him after the delivery of this sauce to the table.

We did also do a Maltaise, which is Hollandaise with orange juice and orange zest added. THAT was an application for the immersion blender, as the added liquid thinned out the sauce considerably. It was delicious, though.

Mad Kitchen Scientist then whipped up a bunch of mayonnaises. Clearly I should've paid more attention, because when I tried to make it tonight to bind our crabcakes, it did not go well. I thought "1 egg yolk, a little vinegar, salt and pepper, then oil until it looks right" seemed clear enough, but apparently not. He did one version using walnut oil, which we decided would be divine on a waldorf salad, and another using sesame oil. It was a little strong initially, but with the addition of some peanut oil and some sriracha was quite nice.

Mama IA made a lemon meringue pie, too, which I heard was fantastic, but I was MUCH too full to partake, not least of which because she made a LOT of meringue, which we turned into a lemon meringue drink with vodka, limoncello, simple syrup and lemon juice.

I leave you with one thought (which was the quote of the day):
"Butter before booze."

1 comment:

shoegal said...

Someday I want to taste that Bearnaise. I'm a fool for the stuff to start with but that variation sounds amazing!