The Early Bird Catches the Eggs

Ever since my first visit to Le Select Bistro a few weekends ago with my cousin, I’ve been dreaming of poached eggs and from-scratch Hollandaise sauce. Not that the smoked salmon or the buttery sauteed mushrooms and spinach as a side dish don’t deserve equal dream time; but it’s the poaching of eggs and mastering of a perfect sauce that would add new skills to my repertoire.

With several ways to mess this one up, I was shocked at how seamless the entire process was and how fool-proof each step was. I credit the hours I spent pouring over different recipes and finally selecting the easiest route: a blender recipe for the Hollandaise. I also kept it very simple with just the prescribed lemon juice and dash of Tabasco. I’ll experiment with cayenne and other flavours before I move to the more challenging true way of making Hollandaise in a metal bowl over simmering water.

After a quiet night in, and a relatively early night for a Friday, I still lingered on my pillow when the sun awoke me at 8. But the thought of him waking to the smell of breakfast cooking lifted me from my warm bed. Unfortunately, I had not yet learned of how hard it is to wake my knight in shining armour. The eggs weren’t all perfect, but he got the prettiest ones. The smoked salmon was delicious. The spinach, as usual, was not enough, because it always shrinks down waaaay too much. And then the hollandaise. It was great when it was first completed, a few minutes after I first roused my knight. So I set up a small sauce pan of simmering water and placed the hollandaise in a glass jar in the water and patiently tried waking him again. After another 5 minutes it was still salvagable, but not as pretty looking and he was finally awake.

Lessons learned: my knight is not a morning person; hollandaise needs to be perfectly timed; and better to let your victim sit at the table waiting and get a perfect meal than to make the food sit waiting for its victim.

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