hollandaise sauce and a book review

The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon. I’ve been reading it for the past week (it should be read slow, to be savoured) and it’s really an amazing book. It was first released in the 1950s and it’s just the most eccentric journey into the mind of a cook/chef I’ve read. I love cookbooks, I love reading recipes and finding little personal touches and tips and tricks, things to watch out for, to mind, to not mind. Food blogs are great for that, I’ll be posting a blogroll soon, I think.

This isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a manifesto. It’s a celebration of life, food, the earth, God’s creation. To love things for what they are, not for what they mean, which, by the way, works for people too. Intrinsic value, not exchange value, is what is important. You have value for who you are, not for what you mean to me or to anyone else. And that apple you’re eating, has value for simply being an apple, not just because it’s good for you.

The first thing I made from this book was actually bread; beautiful crusty bread rolls, yeasty and delicious, but they’re not here because I made them at Surrender with some of the people from Credo Cafe over at Urban Seed (if you’re in Melbourne, in the city around noon, head over to Credo for food and good company. I guarantee you it will blast your expectations out of the water.) Their Strangers are Fiction campaign is has been launched, so if you want to jump in with that, by all means do so. We’re not strangers, we’re just family that hasn’t met yet.

The first thing I made from this book when I owned it (after I heard about it at Surrender I had to find it) was this hollandaise sauce and it is seriously one of the easiest things in the world to do. After I made those macarons for Easter, I had all these egg yolks left over so of course, I had to make hollandaise sauce.

For each egg yolk, add a tablespoon of cream to a saucepan (that your egg yolks are already in, I hope) some salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice to taste. Whisk well and then place over medium heat, still whisking. When the custard thickens sufficiently, back away from the heat (carrying your saucepan and still whisking) over to a pot-stand where you have ready two tablespoons of butter for each egg yolk.  Whisk these in and when they are incorporated, you have homemade hollandaise sauce that will rock your socks off.

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