It’s July, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for a nightly dose of Phil Liggett hyperbole as I sit glued to the Tour de France.
And of course, I can’t forget Paul “The Pedal Has Been Pushed in Anger” Sherwen and Bob Roll, who has a surprisingly impressive command of the English language for someone who’s completely insane. Surely, there are no better commentators in all of sport. I love this shit.
In honor of the fine nation of France, I thought dinner tonight should involve hollandaise – there’s nothing like sitting on your ass eating butter and eggs while watching extremely fit people engage in five straight hours of physical activity.
We have a bunch of leftover smoked chicken from a barbecue over the weekend, so I thought I’d make a hash of it with some potatoes and spinach, toss a poached egg on it and top it with hollandaise. To echo the smokiness of the chicken and add some je ne sais quoi, I decided on a zippy chipotle hollandaise.
I also figured I’d saute the hash in bacon fat, because, you know, why not? Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, I say. May as well work as many kinds of animal fat as possible into the dish. Vive le France!
I put the hollandaise together in the blender, because it’s easy and it works every time. Maybe I should want to whisk it by hand, but really I just want to eat some damn dinner, and the blender certainly facilitates that. Egg yolks, lime juice instead of lemon, salt and a little dried mustard met their buttery end in the blender’s pitcher as I slowly poured in a stick’s worth. I added a chipotle and some adobo sauce, and then a little warm water to thin things out. Et voila, 30-second hollandaise sauce.
The hollandaise stayed warm over very gentle heat while I plated the hash and poached a few eggs.
I firmly believe that learning to poach an egg properly is the single best kitchen skill I’ve ever learned. Delicious and easy, you can put a poached egg on top of virtually anything for an insta-meal. There are few foods not improved by a slick of perfectly oozy yolk.
I feel like I don’t really need to tell you how excellent this dinner was, since barbecue + potatoes + bacon fat + poached egg + hollandaise can only = something very, very good. A mix of textures and layers of smoky flavor bound together by the richness of yolk and punctuated by the acidity and spice of the sauce: delightful.
I often forget how easy hollandaise is to make, which can only be a good thing; I really shouldn’t eat any more hollandaise than I already do. But when Le Tour demands hollandaise, Le Tour gets hollandaise.
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. dried mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter (8 tbsp) melted but not browned
1 chipotle in adobo
1 tbsp. adobo sauce
Put the first 4 ingredients in a blender. Turn the blender on and pour the melted butter in slowly, like you’re whisking oil into a vinaigrette; the sauce will thicken and turn pale yellow. Add the chile and adobo and blend to combine. Taste, and adjust for salt, lime and spice according to your preference.
If you’re holding the sauce, keep it warm in a small saucepan over the lowest possible heat. If it starts to thicken or break, take it off the heat and whisk in hot water by the teaspoon until the consistency is restored.