Friday, July 25, 2008

R2R: Thank George's Bank

Recipes to Rival is back with its second challenge and this time it's breakfast!!  Hooray for the often overlooked but as we all know, most important meal of the day!  I was happy to see that this selection by Belita included both hollandaise and a poached egg, which, in my opinion makes any recipe a winner.   Unfortunately, I had a few mishaps along the way with this one.  P and I had made a similar recipe before for mother's say brunch.  We had made a crab cake eggs benedict which was bangin' and I expected as much from this one. Unfortunately, I was a bit let down.

We replaced cod for haddock because it was available and cheap.  The fish cake "batter" came together well, although I added extra fresh herbs and a sea salt mix I have for fish to punch up the flavor.  I refrigerated them after forming to help them stay together while frying.  However, most of my cakes fell apart and did not brown evenly.  P had the brilliant idea of adding a few breadcrumbs to the surface of the last few, and those fared better in the cohesion department but still didn't brown as nicely as I would like.

Eggs were poached, easy peasy.  The secret is the vinegar in the water- they help the egg white stay together and not go all feathery and all over the place. 

I figured that despite the messiness of the cakes, all of which were serviceable just not picture perfect, the whole thing could be covered in the hollandaise and no one would be the wiser, right?  in theory, except when your HOLLANDAISE SEPARATES WHEN IT HITS THE PLATE.  That's right.  separates.  P and I have made Hollandaise with great success in the past- light, fluffy, fantastic.  This seemed a little more viscous when we made it but we still tasty, cohesive and saucy in the bowl.  On the place, however, well, you see the result.  disappointing, isn't it. 

Why, might you ask, did my sauce separate?  Online I found that it can separate due to coagulation or evaporation at standing.  Perhaps the viscosity i had noticed was actually coagulation?  I dunno, but at any rate it made me sad. 

While I love fancy breakfast recipes, and this one had potential to be an all-star, it needs some perfecting before I'll serve it again.  However, I did learn that my hollandaising needs some practice, so perhaps perfecting this recipe would be an excellent excuse for that!

Thank George’s Bank
(serves 4)

4 Black Dog Fishcakes (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 eggs for poaching
½ cup hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)
toast or breakfast bread of choice

1. Prepare fishcakes and hollandaise sauce.
2. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add white vinegar and reduce the heat to a simmer.
3. Crack and gently drop in the eggs.
4. Simmer about 3-5 minutes or until whites are firm and yolks are done to your likes.
5. To serve: place each poached egg on a fishcake, cover with hollandaise sauce. Serve with your favorite breakfast sides.

Black Dog Fishcakes
(this says 4 patties, but even with wasting a lot on mistakes, I still got 6. I think this more yields 12)

These fishcakes are a popular Black Dog alternative to bacon or sausage. These are excellent for using up leftover potatoes!

2 cups cooked potatoes, mashed
1 pound skinless and boneless codfish
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, beaten
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter

1. If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, peel and dice two large potatoes. Boil in salted water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Mash and set aside.
2. Place fish in a steamer, cover with diced onion and seasonings. Cover and steam for 10-15 minutes or until the onion is cooked.
3. In a medium bowl, combine cooked fish and seasoned onions with the mashed potatoes. Mix in the egg and cream, divide into four patties.
4. Sauté the fishcakes in a sauté pan in butter over medium heat until browned.

Hollandaise Sauce
(from Joy of Cooking)

10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) butter
3 large egg yolks
1½ tbsp cold water
½-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
dash of hot pepper sauce
salt and white pepper to taste

1. Over low heat, melt the butter.
2. Skim the foam off the top and keep warm.
3. In a double boiler (or a bowl on top of a saucepan), place the egg yolks and water.
4. Off the heat, beat the yolks with a whisk until they are light and frothy.
5. Place on top of saucepan or double boiler and whisk continuously until eggs are thickened, 3-5 minutes, making sure the eggs don't get too hot.
6. Pour into a separate bowl to cool, and while whisking continuously, slowly add the butter, omiting the milk solids.
7. Whisk in the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt, and white pepper.
8. If sauce is too thick, add a few drops warm water.
9. Serve immediately or you can keep it warm up to 30 minutes by placing the bowl in warm water.


giz said...

This was an interesting challenge wasn't it. Looking forward to seeing your pix.

Robyn said...

Sorry your hollandaise sauce separated and you had trouble with the fishcakes. Glad you liked it enough to want to try to perfect it!

Temperance said...

I can see where the Hollendaise seperated, Maybe it was the heat of the egg?

It still looks pretty good though. The egg and cod cake are perfect looking and It sounds like you did miles better then me :)

So Congradulations.

Anonymous said...

I will have to inform H that you ignored her yummy contribution to this meal.

Debyi said...

This was a great challenge, but what a huge potential for things to go wrong, separate, etc. Great job on it though, it still looks great.

virjennifer said...

I'm a little nervous now for making my own hollandaise... Hopefully everything goes well!

Yours still looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Hello, it's peanut. I have a super-easy, half-assed blender hollandaise recipe that I totally love that doesn't separate. I've made it quite a few times. Here we go all haphazard-like:

Microwave the daylights out of a stick of butter in a pyrex. Put 3 egg yolks and 2 tbsp half and half and as much cayenne pepper as you care to handle in the blender. Blend it on a higher speed. WITH THE BLENDER RUNNING, add half the butter, then 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice, then the other half of the butter. Make sure the butter is HOT so that it cooks the yolks as it blends. Word up.