Home for the Hollandaise

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Photo by Windell Oskay (CC) https://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/

If you’ve heard of Jamie Oliver, then you probably haven’t heard of me.

Shame on you. I’m only one of the world’s top chefs. The fact that you haven’t heard of my only goes to prove my theory—the corporate chef culture has worked for years to prevent me from bursting onto the world culinary stage. They don’t like independent thinkers, the kind of gastronomic geniuses who think outside the box and refuse to give up on gluten.

Despite the outrageous claims of my doctor, I am not crazy. These are not the ravings of a lunatic. I’m serious. And I never lie. I really am a top chef.

Here’s what I’m willing to do for you—instead of punishing you by keeping my best recipes to myself, I’ll give you a few, free of charge. Yep. That’s right. Free of charge.

What does that mean? It means that you don’t have to pay me for the incredible insight I’m about to impart. It’s my gift to you. And believe you me, it’s a big one. It’s like Christmas coming early. Literally. I only wish someone would do for me what I’m about to do for you.

Here’s one of my favorite dishes—and mind you, this one will feed an army. Of ants, if you leave it on the floor.

You begin with salt. Lots of salt. You want to create a bed of salt. Use a big serving platter. Oh, that’s another great thing about this one—you won’t dirty up any dishes. You make it and eat it off a serving platter. Neat, huh?

So you make this bed of salt. Use sea salt. Freshly sourced from the Mediterranean. Don’t use Pacific Ocean salt, or the salt extracted around the Canary Islands (it’s full of canary poop). Mediterranean salt is the best. It’s got that perfect balance of je ne sais pas ce que.

Sorry for my French. It happens to me—quelle surprise. It’s what we top chefs do sometimes, speak in tongues.

Anyhoo, get some good salt and make a nice bed of it. Pad it down with the palm of your hand—don’t use your feet. Unless they’re clean, of course.

My next recipe uses everyone’s favorite ingredient, vodka.

It’s called vodka con carne.

Pour vodka into a tall glass—the kind you usually use for drinking water. Uh! Even better (I just thought of this—I tells you, thinking out of the box), you can use a beer mug.

Actually, if you’ve got a plastic bucket, go ahead and use that. Yeah, that’s the best. Plastic beats glass every time, everyone knows that.

Pour your vodka into the bucket—don’t shake it or stir it. Just let it sit there for a while. Don’t look at it, either. A watched bucket of vodka never boils. Little known fact, but true.

After a while–”a while” being anywhere between 1.7 seconds and 2.1 years—it’s ready for the meat.

Enough of savory treats. It’s time for some sweets. As the French say, “Yum yum.”

I’ll give you just two sweet recipes, but these are so versatile you can easily tweak them. Although, to be honest, I don’t really like it when other people mess up my recipes. So don’t do it. Or else.

Every good cookie/cake recipe begins with sugar and butter. Especially at hollandaise time, when you can indulge your sweet tooth—and after this one, you may end up with only one tooth in your mouth.

Melt a thing of butter in a deep pot. “A thing of butter” is a thing of butter—they sell it like that at the stores, so just grab one, or two, depending on how many you want to feed.

After the thing of butter melts, pour some sugar and cream it. You can add a kilo of sugar to a thing of butter. You Americans out there use this conversion—a kilo is to pound what a bird is to a crocodile. Easy enough, right?

The next sweet treat is a great conversation piece. I came up with it one night when I accidentally locked myself out of my trunk.

Cream the butter, sugar, and a dozen free-range organic gluten-free eggs. Cream it good. Real good. That’s important, put some elbow grease in the creamin’. I mean it. Some real elbow grease—you can use your elbow or a friend’s, don’t really matter.

To this you add nutmeg. Ten or twelve big spoons. Heaping spoons, as we chefs like to say. Don’t stir or shake. It should float on top of the liquid. If you didn’t get liquid from creamin’, you didn’t do it right. Start again. But don’t use the same person for elbow grease, or else they might dehydrate and go into antiphilanthropic shock.

So there you go, friends. From me to you, a gift of recipes for dishes you can make when you go home for the hollandaise.

I’ll leave you with this thought—cooking is all about eating. (I won’t charge you for that either, even though, let’s face it, it’s great stuff you won’t hear anywhere else)

Next week I’ll teach you how to make a sticky soup that makes a great pizza topping.

Happy hollandaise!

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