I am not a cookbook person. No, really! Yes, I know, your jaw just dropped open. How can I be a food blogger and not be a cookbook person, right? Well, actually, I love cookbooks, I just don’t collect them. I like ogling at them at bookstores, turning pages filled with beautiful images of how a dish looks, feels and even tastes. I draw inspiration not only from the recipe that the image spells but the image itself, the styling, the light, the setting, the mood, the props.
Then, it is only natural, that I almost always reach for the most potently photographed and graphically presented books. “Almost“, I say, because there are indeed some exceptions. Books of yore, written by legends, that need no illustration to summon up the perfect image of how the finished dish should be.
Julia Child is an author, whose books you could read just for some light reading. She is witty yet succinct, describing each dish and it’s history in meticulous detail while somehow managing to keeping the reader completely engrossed and not the least bit bored. To her graceful words, the illustrative sketches are just the perfect complement.
My dear friend recently gifted me her two volume compilation of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (my favorite cuisine). This is my first recipe from her book. The first time I made Hollandaise, some three years back, I scrambled the eggs and found the whole experience much too stressful. LOL. Now, I am a more seasoned cook and I figured I could handle a multi part brunch with more panache than before.
With Julia’s precise instructions on hand, it was indeed a pinch to recreate the Perfect NYC Sunday Brunch, which, New Yorkers patiently wait, even hours, for, in the leisure of home, enjoyed in pyjamas!
And the Hollandase! Oh! the decadence of it! Rich, buttery and instensely satifying. Perfectly worth the pain of flexed biceps and all that…perfectly executed too, btw!! ;-))
Voila! Je présente les Oeufs Benedict – oeufs pochés sur sablés au thym, avec sauce hollandaise… Bon Appétit!
(Homemade Thyme Biscuit, Asparagus, Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce)
For each sandwich:
1 thyme biscuit
1 egg, poached
2 spears of asparagus
3 T Julia Child’s Hollandaise sauce
salt as needed
1 tsp butter, softened
Cut each biscuit in half horizontally. Spread butter on the bottom half. You can toast if you like. I just prefer fresh out of the oven biscuit as is. Place the asparagus spears on the biscuit. Gently
200 g flour
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp thyme, finely minced
60 g cold butter, cubed
140 g buttermilk
1 yolk + 1 T cream for egg wash
Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder together. Cut into the mixture the cold butter until they are no more than the size of peas. Stir in the thyme and mix well. Add the buttermilk and mix for form a dough. On a floured surface knead just a bit to make into a non-sticky dough ball.
Pat the dough out with your palms to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out scones and place on a greased baking sheet. Brush egg wash over the scones. Bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool on rack.
4 eggs, freshest you can find
3 tsp vinegar
Bring a shallow pot of water to boil in a wide vessel. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer. Add the vinegar and swirl it in. Break each egg into a ramekin and gently slip them one by one into the hot water keeping the lip of the ramekin as close to the water as you can, without touching the water.
Using a spatula, gently tease the white fingers closer to the center while making sure that the egg does not stick to the vessel. Cook for two minutes until the whites become opaque but the yolk still runny. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove them onto the biscuit.
8 spears of Asparagus (2 per egg)
Blanch the Asparagus spears in the same water that you poached the eggs for a couple of munutes. Drain and quikly saute in butter for a minute and remove.