Tuesday, June 9, 2009

careful not to break it

First we got our raft ingredients for the consomme together. Consomme is a perfectly clear broth that you clarify through simmering proteins and aromatics as a "raft" which produces the clear broth underneath as you strain it out. Here is the raft, which is ground chicken, egg whites, tomatoes, mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery), and some herbs. This is stirred into the chicken stock, then simmered for 45 minutes until the broth is completely clear and the raft stays floating:

Next we made the mayonnaise, which I'm sure everyone buys in the jar, though it is very easy to make yourself (and builds arm muscle!). Using an egg yolk, some mustard, vinegar, and salt, you slowly stream in vegetable oil until its the consistency of mayonnaise. It's important not to add too much oil at a time or it will break.

Then we made a hollandaise, one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine. Its also an egg yolk based emulsion sauce. The egg yolks are brought to a sabayon stage over a double boiler, then clarified butter is whisked in very slow until its all blended. It is quite an easy sauce to break if you get overzealous and add more butter than the yolks can take at a certain point. Breaking is when the oil and other molecules in the sauce separate, and must be reagitated or started all over.

Here are the egg yolks for the hollandaise:

And the gastrique you add to it (a vinegar, water, shallot, peppercorn reduction that helps the oil hold its emulsion as well as adding flavor):

First you bring the egg yolks to sabayon consistency over a double boiler, until pale yellow and can coat the back of the spoon:

Then the clarified butter is slowly ladled in until it reaches the right consistency:

We also made a beurre rouge, which is a butter based emulsion flavored with vinegar, red wine, and shallots:

Here are the mayonnaise, hollandaise, and beurre rouge:

And my clear consomme:

For lunch, I went to the Asian kitchen and got the curry platter:

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