21 February, 2010

It's The Sauce

Salmon Benedict

Making Gravlax for Salmon Benedict.

This is my absolute favorite breakfast. When Bonne Femme realized I was making a run the sauce this morning, she said, we're gonna eat it right? You're not gonna get mad and throw it away this time right?

I have a checkered past with hollandaise, at school I could bang it out with my eyes shut, I was teaching other folks how fix their slowly curdling pots. But at home it's been a different story; one way or another I wreck it, the last time I attempted it the emulsion broke so bad I could not imagine watching poeple eat it, I threw it away, and sauced with some Löwensenf. After that I determined that I would spend several days making lots of sauce nailing down the technique.

1 kg fillet  with santoku

I never got around to making buckets of sauce, but last week Walt's had a sale on Salmon, so I knew the day would come again very soon when I would have to face the sauce. Salted salmon is a regular feature here on the blog, it's so easy to make, and so delicious, I think everybody should be making it.

Salted to cure

It's salt sugar pepper and whatever seasoning sounds good

Haselnuss for Graavilohi

For this one I used some white pepper and hazelnut brandy.

As for curing time it can be anywhere from 18 hours to 3 days. I started this one Wednesday, so it has plenty of time to firm up.

Pizza:  Onion, Goat Cheese, Gravlax

The cured fish made it debut at the Friday Night Pizza Party, on a pie with caramelized onion, goat cheese and jalapeño.

The Saucier's Apprentice by Sokolov

I have been thinking about hollandaise sauce all week, like Shaun White setting to drop in on the half pipe, I visualized my ingredients, my moves, but my nerves were a mess. I decided to chuck it and turn to something completely different. The Saucier's Apprentice, by Sokolov (A gift from my Grandma and my Uncle), is very good introduction into the world of sauce and the hollandaise recipe rocked: No double boiler, no blender, no cold butter. The gravlax could not have been any happier with brunch on a Sunday morning.

Building Benedict:  Cinnamon toast

Building Benedict: Gravlax on toast

Eggs poaching

Salmon Benedict in the Dining Room



MAC on Gravlax Nation

The Saucier's Apprentice by Raymond Sokolov


Dave said...

"we're gonna eat it right? You're not gonna get mad and throw it away this time right?"

That's hilarious. I used to pitch a lot of breads, that question is familiar.

The salted salmon sounds great. I never tried it.

The 4 poached eggs at once is one impressive trick. Nice post.

Andrew said...

So no sauce recipe? That's ok, the book made the cut at OSU, so I guess I'll wait for it in my mailbox.

Tim Collins said...

Now you really got me wanting to work on my Hollandaise Sauce. Eggs Benedict is a favorite in my house hold. I usually just use the Knorr packet mix but one time I decided to make my own. I did work but could not find a recipe with good flavor (the kids are use to the Knorr)... was too vinegary.

I'll have to look for the book you are using.

You may also think about is adding Creole Seasoning to the "Sauce". Adds a nice kick.

mac said...


Yeah it's pretty funny, some people don't realize this but food is supposed to make you happy, I mean there's no reason to make a Hollandaise sauce other than to produce happiness on a plate. If you get mad, if you feel a twinge of pain watching it being consumed, then chuck it, take a deep breath, and find your smile. I know I'm gettin a 'Amen' from you.

And make some salted fish, so easy so good. If you worry about the quality of the salmon available, go over the the Japanese place on Henderson for some "Sushi" grade. My sis-in-law did that at xmas, got some nice fish, like butta.

OR you can bug Andrew at Slim Pickins' Pork, I think he made some recently.

How did the fish turn out? I froze a bit of the stuff I made last week and used it today. It was pretty good. As for a sauce recipe, Sokolov did a lot of thinking about sauce, and it shows in this really well done book. Everyone should be checking out lots of cookbooks from the library. I hope you find it interesting.

Tim Collins:
Hollandaise is a tricky sauce, it has a narrow temperature range in which it is happy. I made it again today, it set real nice, but while I was plating the eggs, it broke. I probably had it too cold, or whatever, but it's frustrating. I rescued it by whisking in some hot water. When I made this recipe last week I thought it was a little vinegary, this week I used rice wine vinegar, and I think that helped, but if you are concerned about it use half vinegar half water. I have read that the vinegar stabilizes the egg yolks and that the wont scorch as easy. I haven't tested this idea, but I have no reason to not believe it. Sokolov's recipe is bare bones classic, and it is quick, No double boiler, just a good heavy pan. Try to find the book at the library. My sauce professor liked jazzed up Hollandaise, he suggested adding Worcestershire sauce, the possibilities are endless. Hollandaise is a sauce that can, and should be done at home, a little pratice and you can put the powder down for good.

Thanks a lot for writing.

Tim Collins said...

The family will be off to Japan for the summer to visit grandma & grandpa this year so I'll have plenty of time to work on it. Really want to get away from the powder. I did have good luck with just a bowl over boiling water.... was easy to control the temp just by lifting the bowl up. Will have to find the book.

Andrew said...

I ended up smoking the fish (we didn't eat it when I thought we would, so I decided to extend its shelf life a bit with some smoke. Very tasty, I think I like it better than the Charcuterie version.