Friday, May 20, 2011

Where I discover the joys of Hollandaise and Meringue

I had a rare afternoon of feeling good and no laundry (why does it seem like I am doing laundry every afternoon?-- oh, wait, I am a Mom now).

I had been craving Egg McMuffins or Eggs Benedict-- either way, all I could think about on my way home was English muffins, poached eggs, ham products all slathered over with Hollandaise sauce.  I would have even settled for the terrible version they serve at the school's cafeteria-- complete in its own microwavable bag.  I stopped off at the grocery store and picked up eggs, English muffins and ham.  I was wary of the store-bought Hollandaise sauce, I intended to have a confab with Mark Bittman or Irma Rombauer for workable recipe.  I wasn't even sure what Hollandaise sauce was.  Mom thought it was a reux with extra egg yolks.

I found Irma (1975 ed) first.  She had a "no fail" recipe and an "easy" one.  I picked the "easy" one, since it had fewer ingredients.  "No Fail" had a very long write up-- a bit out of character for Irma's usually terse recipes.  Even more scary, I thought.  Hollandaise sauce is basically egg yolks, lemon juice, boiling water, a dash of cornstarch (for thickening) and paprika (for flavor) (don't use this sentence as a recipe-- do read a real recipe).  My sauce didn't thicken dramatically, but the muffins soaked it up in a very satisfactory manner and the lemon made it sparkle more than any restaurant version.  I liked the lightness of it.  I could see it going very well on a white fish, or shell fish.

I was left with a bowl full of egg whites.  Bittman has a delectable-sounding section in his "How to Cook Everything" about fun things to do with meringue.  The Knee-Biter (who is getting tall-- I should upgrade her to Shoulder Biter) is a great kitchen helper and loves chocolate.  So we picked the Chocolate Meringue recipe (almost identical to Irma's-- the only diff was the order of adding the ingredients).  Again, we were treated to a recipe with a short ingredient list (egg whites, coco powder, vinegar and sugar).  The hardest thing was waiting for them to cool.  We ate them hot.  The outsides had a crunchy skin and the insides were nice a chewy.  Between the whole family, only a few survived to be consumed the next day.

I hate the idea of throwing things away, and if I must divorce egg-parts in the future, I have some nice uses for the leftover bits.


onlyincambodia said...

Yummy! Chocolate meringue. Do you need to bake them?

Camille said...

Yup. 350 for 45 minutes.

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I blog about life and soup, but mostly soup.