Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bearnaise Sauce (Page 884)

  • Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: C+



I have been working on the Sauces and Salsas section of The Book lately, making everything that can possibly be served on broccoli. I made this sauce a couple weeks ago. I wasn't too impressed with this rendition of bearnaise. In fact, I was so unimpressed with it that I ate my broccoli plain rather than topped with this sauce (about halfway through dinner I discovered that dipping the broccoli in the sauce from our main dish that night was really the way to go). So what was wrong with this sauce? Well for one thing, the texture. It was WAY too thick. I thinned it was a bit of water before serving, but still -- crazy thick. I wasn't wild about the flavor either. The tarragon made the sauce very intense, which seemed inappropriate for this kind of rich, creamy sauce. I have to acknowledge though that my dislike of this sauce may just reflect a general bad attitude about egg yolk enriched creamy sauces. I generally dislike hollandaise, which is close in concept to bearnaise (some would say that bearnaise is a derivative sauce of the mother sauce hollandaise -- others would call that nonsense). I usually avoid bearnaise, so it's hard to comment how this one compares to others. I will say that it was very stable. People often worry about hollandaise or bearnaise breaking, but that was no concern here. If you are looking for a nice buttery sauce though, the beurre blanc in The Book is much better than this sauce.

This recipe isn't online.

Ah, California! It has been such a nice trip out here so far. This week has been fun -- conference all day, relaxing with Em and Brian in the evening. We have had some delicious food, and I have drunk more beer this week than probably in the past month combined (Brian built a kegerator in their living room, which was filled with fantastic home-brewed IPA. I say "was" because we drained the keg last night. Very sad. There's another keg in the kegerator and it's full of oatmeal stout, so I guess we will be moving on to that). Last night we made filet mignon rubbed with ancho chile paste (by "we" in that sentence, I mean Brian). I threw together some corn bread from The Book, and Emilee roasted some cauliflower. It was delicious! There is nothing nicer than cooking, eating, and drinking beer with great friends! Usually I don't get to see so many math people, and so many non-math people in the same trip. This trip has been exceptional in that way, and the only complaint I have is that it is hard to spend time with everyone that I would like to!

The conference ended this afternoon, and soon a bunch of us will go out for dinner together. Tomorrow I am meeting with Mike (post-doc supervisor Mike) and then having dinner at Chez Panisse with Em! I can't wait.

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