Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Easy Hollandaise

For a ridiculously luscious (but easy) springtime brunch, try poached eggs over whole wheat sourdough toast with Hollandaise sauce and steamed asparagus spears. I served breakfast sausage links from Abner Lapp's farm as well, but found these extraneous (you may want to serve them for hearty eaters of the male variety). Do not be intimidated by the word Hollandaise! I have suffered from Hollandaise-paranoia for some time, but decided to take the plunge. It was surprisingly easy, and came out perfectly the first time. I made one mistake, and that was to leave the sauce over the heat after it was done, which caused it to separate. HOWEVER, it still tasted yummy! Trust me -- you can do this, and it only takes a few minutes. Just squeeze a large wedge of lemon so you have 1 tsp. of juice, separate one egg so you are left with the yolk, and melt about 3 tbsp. of butter. Then proceed as follows:

Easy Hollandaise:
In a small metal or ceramic bowl combine 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Place the bowl over a small pot of hot (not boiling) water, and whisk while slowly pouring in 3 tbsp. melted butter. Whisk in 1/2 tbsp. dried tarragon leaves, black pepper, and a small pinch of salt. Sauce will thicken quickly -- remove from heat so it doesn't get too hot and separate. Serve over eggs and asparagus spears. This makes an adequate amount for 2 people.

About asparagus: Spring is the time for asparagus so eat up!! I have finally come to terms with the fact that I tend to get lazy and not use asparagus and other veggies that require a little prep, so I have found it's a good practice to wash, snap, and steam it ahead of time (until bright green and tender) so you can easily pop it into different dishes. It's even great cold with this breakfast! All I had to do was open my handy pyrex container of steamed asparagus and place a few spears on each plate -- it was really that easy.

A note on fat: As you know, I am a big advocate of wholesome animal fats (which are saturated); however, occasionally I feel a meal is too heavy in saturated fats for my body and I need to balance it with something green. I buttered the toast for this particular brunch as I usually do, but I discovered that between the butter, eggs, sausage, and Hollandaise (I served too much) I felt quite overwhelmed with saturated fats. The asparagus definitely saved the day, though, and rounded out the meal perfectly. Hugo said it was just right (he ate my portion of sausage) and didn't feel there was too much fat. People are different! It's important to pay attention to how you feel and adjust quantities accordingly.