Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce, like Bearnaise and Mayonnaise, is part of the emulsion family of sauces that really should be taught in high school chemistry for their amazing combining effects and delicate nature. Even though my attempts at Mayonnaise failed a couple of years ago, and I've never tried to do it again, Hollandaise is one of those things that I was able to make on the first go. Don't ask me why, as the principles are basically the same.

This velvety, slightly tangy sauce is perfect over vegetables, like now-in-season asparagus, and lovely over poached eggs for an indulgent Sunday brunch (New York Times optional). Below, I've listed several tips that can help lead you to success in preparing this sauce. It's not fool-proof, but once you've made this from scratch, you'll never use pre-made versions again. Once you understand the tricks to it, it goes very quickly and you can adjust to avoid culinary disaster and scrambled mess (much the same as with making a custard sauce).


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Inside-Out Cheeseburgers

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been a little bit sidetracked from posting. I'd traveled over Easter weekend and had picked up a couple of food magazines that I don't normally buy. Then, it seemed like my regular culinary reading pile just seemed to grow of its own volition. It got a bit overwhelming so I decided to plow through all of it.

This sort of took me off of my previously-stated goal of recreating the recipes with which I grew up, and also highlighted an interesting dilemma for me. There's so much new stuff and different recipes out there it's some times hard to stay on focus. One of Epicurious' bloggers pointed out this week that, for most people, there seems to be a "rotation" of meals on a regular basis. With this reliance on the quick, simple and familiar, it does get a bit daunting to try to slot in something a bit more daring.

But, this week, I decided to return to the recipe card file once again. I picked something that was on the Epicurious blogger's proposed list for the American family meals merry-go-round, but that has a little twist. This recipe was on a pre-printed card that came with the box and was one that I learned to make when I was still a pre-teen. It's simple and the gooey insides make for a great surprise for those who aren't expecting it.

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