When I told Dot that The Chef and I would be making Hollandaise for (the third) “Christmas morning” (in a row), she did not look convinced. And I’ll admit, I had some reservations.
Any time a cookbook directs me to a double-boiler, I have flashbacks of making those damn cake balls that everyone loves that are 100% NOT worth it. Trying to squish cake and icing into balls so you can dip them in rapidly hardening “melted” chocolate does not bring holiday joy; it brings profanity.
Anyway, The Chef directed me through the cheater technique for sauces (i.e. the blender), and I have no idea why anyone would go old school ever again. The consistency came out perfect, and the lemon juice provided just the right amount of acidity to cut through all the glorious buttah.
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
Add egg yolks to blender with salt and lemon juice. Blend.
- Blend on low, slowly adding melted butter. Sloooooowly. That’s the key.
- Serve immediately. Or if you have to wait a few minutes, keep in a warm – but not hot – spot in your kitchen until you’re ready.
I’d bet you can put this on top of anything from ham to cardboard, but we used it on the Honeycomb Breakfast Casserole, and I can verify that goodness first-hand.
Time to get fancy at NummyNumNum! I love chicken livers in all forms. Having moved to New Orleans, I am extremely lucky to have access to fried chicken liver poboys pretty much at every restaurant. I probably need to chill out on the NOLA eating as it is bikini season. Anyways, I love chicken livers, and a mousse version is always welcome in my recipe box. This recipe is so amazing and surprisingly easy. My good friend Chef Kim made this and gave away in cute mason jars for Christmas gifts. Chef John and I ate the whole thing in one sitting. Beware if you are cooking this in an apartment, your place is going to smell. Keep windows open! Serve with slices of bread or crackers and cornichons.-ts
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup Cognac or other brandy
6 oz chicken livers, trimmed (3/4 cup)
5 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Several bay leaves (only fresh; see note, below)
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cook shallot in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat and carefully add Cognac (use caution; if Cognac ignites, shake skillet), then boil until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender and add livers and yolks, then purée until smooth. Add milk, flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice and blend until combined. Pour into crock, skimming off any foam.
- Put crock in a larger baking pan and bake in a water bath until mousse is just set and a small sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes.
- Arrange bay leaves decoratively on top of mousse. Skim froth from butter, then spoon enough clarified butter over mousse to cover its surface, leaving milky solids in bottom of saucepan.
- Chill mousse completely, uncovered, about 4 hours. Bring to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.
The bay leaves are decorative, if fresh ones are unavailable no need for using dried.