Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So, it's asparagus season again! Hurrah. And, just as snails are an excuse to eat epic amounts of butter and garlic, so asparagus is an excuse to eat hollandaise. Which, come to think of it, is only really epic amounts of butter and eggs. Is every seasonal food really just an excuse to eat butter and/or garlic?

While you're thinking about that, let's talk more about hollandaise. I've never made it before today and, on a whim, I decided not to reach for Delia Smith - usually my go-to girl when I'm scared and confused in my kitchen. I reached for another cookbook and found myself with a recipe that turned out to be a bit weird.

I mean, it worked out okay in the end... I suppose... I mean, it's mostly butter, how wrong can it go?:

but it wasn't hollandaise like old Ma Walker makes. It was more the consistency of mayonnaise... and I detected one or little lumps in it. This cannot be right.

First of all, the recipe said that when you clarify butter the residue settles at the bottom of the pan you're melting the butter in, but mine sort of floated on the top AND settled at the bottom.

Then it instructed me to rest my bowlful of egg yolks and vinegar over a pan of simmering water. Result: very nearly scrambled eggs had I not whipped the bowl away just as I realised what the hell was about to happen.

In all, it was stressful. And stress is not something I like to feel so near a 5-ring gas stove. I'm not even going to post the recipe, so umimpressed was I. Serves me right; back to Delia I go.

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