Hollandaise Sauce Question

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Kuan, now this gets interesting...

My German edition of "Le guide culinaire" (Kochkunstfuhrer) does not include Hollandaise.  Espagnole, the ground sauces, compound butters, but no Hollandaise, or any other variation of it.

I was scratching my head as to why the Swiss clarify the butter for holly, and I have my answer--Pauli says to. "Lehrbuch der Kuche" or "Classical cooking the modern way" is the standard textbook for all Swiss cooks--has been for about 50 years now.  No one deviates from that book...
 
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We teach our students to use clarified butter for roux...eliminating the possibility of burning the milk solids in a darker roux.
 
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Kuan,

Give this a try...place two egg yolks in a clean, small saucepan. Add approx. 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp cool water, a pinch of salt, white pepper, and cayenne. Whisk to combine. Next, add 4 ounces of cold, cubed butter to the pan with the yolk mixture. Place the pan over medium low heat, and stir gently but continuously until the butter melts and the sauce begins to thicken. Pull the pan from the flame, and keep whisking...sometimes the residual heat will carry the sauce to perfect consistency, other times you might need to put the pan back over the flame to thicken it up a bit more. If the sauce is at proper serving temperature, the temperature of the water you add to it as a consistency adjuster doesn't matter...hot, cold, it all works the same if the sauce is the right temp. Add more lemon if you think it needs it. All in all, this version shouldn't take more than a minute and a half from start to finish, and you've only used one saucepan. Also, it cools and reheats beautifully...just add a drop of water when reheating to keep the sauce from separating...a busy line cook's dream...no need to try and hold a large batch through service when you can make high quality fresh Hollandaise so easliy "a la minute".

Mike
 
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Interesting...apparently this debate comes down to the particular version/translation of the Le Guide from which one is reading. Although, it can be agreed upon that there is no mention of clarified butter in either translation.
The only thing that should change with any edition of Escoffier is the number of recipes in the abridged editions and the introductions. Reference numbers are irrelivent as they only relate to the number of recipes in each edition. The content should never change in regards to recipe translation. I'm befuddled as to why you can't find clarified butter in your own index....in any of your copies or why you have a different wording than the rest of us.

Perhaps you would kind enough to scan yours and post it just as Petalsandcoco did since you appear to have the only copy that is different?

In either event there is no indication any where that Hollandaise was created to showcase "top quality butter". I think that's a stretch to assume considering that in the time frame this sauce began all butter was an artisinal hand churned product. The history looks more like a Wikipedia cut and paste. In this case wiki-wiki-opinedia seems to be taking more than a bit of artistic license in regard to their quote from Larousse.

Dave
 
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If you don't think the production location of high quality butter is the inspiration for the naming of this sauce, I'm interested to hear your theory on why the names Isigny and Hollandaise were chosen for its titles over the past decades? Also, am I to understand that you are actually seeing the word clarified in the Hollandaise recipe in the Cracknell and Kaufmann translation? I, as well, find it strange that I would be inpossession of some sort of mutant copy...or maybe I just need new glasses. I don't have access to a scanner until later tonight, but I'll try to get the recipe in here soon.
 

phatch

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I usually make it in a pan over direct but very low heat. I have a terribly wimpy burner that's good for this. I use cold butter in small amounts and whisk it in as it melts. Alton Brown espouses a similar technique.

The first few times I made it, I did the double-boiler techniques and found it more of a hassle than I thought worthwhile.

I've got an induction burner now with a low temp setting of 180. It would be interesting to try it over that heat setting and see how forgiving it is. i bet it's a bit slow, but would be good for a first timer as it has lowers the chance of the sauce getting away from a novice cook and curdling.
 
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The whisking of yolks and reduction and/or water is--for all intents and purposes--a sabayon.

Sabayons should be whisked over a waterbath, and if properly made are bomb-proof.  IMHO when making a holly, the most important part is the "sabayon", if this is made properly the sauce will never break, it can be thckened or thinned at wilI. I've done this technique in volumes of 30 liters (using a Hobart to incorporate the butter only) to a'la minute for special plates of 1 or two.
 

phatch

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What do you think of a temp controlled induction system then? That seems to fit all the reasons that you would use a water bath anyway.
 
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Roux used to be made by putting flour on sheet pan and toast in oven  achieve blond and brown color to flour. This then made the prepf roux easier ,faster and less chance of burning. white roux on top of stove . In this day and age you can even buy a roux base. or buy a Demi Glace or Hollandaise. To me then why go to school?
 
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What do you think of a temp controlled induction system then? That seems to fit all the reasons that you would use a water bath anyway.
Y'know, I've never used induction yet, smart enough not to buy the cheap asian ones, and too cheap to buy the really expensive ones.

Thing with any burner is, is that you only get heat on the bottom of the pan. If using a pan to whisk yolks, most would use a sauteuse*, as you can get a whisk easy in there with no "corners" to stick and burn.

With a water bath, the whole bowl is immersed in water, so you get even heating all over the surface of the bowl--or, if the water boils, you get even steam heating all over the surface of the bowl.  With dry heat, the only thing that comes close is a kwali range--made for woks.

* Sauteuse is the classic name used for about a hundred years now for a bowl-shaped pot with a long handle. (the pan with straight, perfectly vertical sides is called a sautoir).  I believe the Americans have given this pot a new name--"Saucier"--which for me, will always mean a red-faced guy sneaking out the back for a smoke  during the slow periods of the day....
 

phatch

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Ed, I'm not sure I understand your point.

There are many cooking tasks that have been specialized and automated and well accepted as such for quality, price and other reasons. I see no reason to say it's bad just because it's not the way it used to be.

I usually buy my bread, though I can make it myself. Some I make better than I can buy, others I don't.

I buy cheese. Same for wine or beer. I could make those things. Certainly distilling is a more technical process than fermenting which is why I suppose it separated itself out fairly early from the mainstream of home crafting.

I don't slaughter or butcher my own cows though I have the equipment to get through it I suppose.

Sure knowing old ways is fun. I cook with charcoal in a dutch oven when camping, much the way it was done centuries back. I don't do it for historical reasons. I don't do it for nostalgia. I do it because it works for the conditions I'm in and produces good food.

There are good factory produced products and poor ones. Just that they exist doesn't make them good or bad. more if they were produced badly. The good products still use the same basic methods that were done individually in the traditional way and volumes. I've read good reviews of the commercial demi right here on cheftalk.

I've heard that you can buy roux in stores, but not in my neck of the woods. That's something I don't see myself doing as it's done easily enough and quickly that there's not enough benefit, even if done well commercially.

Hollandaise doesn't lend itself to commercial production with current technology. I've seen jars and mixes for sale and I'd say they're not even hollandaise based on the ingredients. Nor have the things I've seen called hollandaise merited the name in chain eateries I've been in. Even tasted a few. Bleah.

The point of automation is to take out the time consuming repetition. Making stocks and reducing them takes a lot of time of little attention. Perfect for automation. The processing for storage and sale is improving in these areas all the time and will continue to do so, which is what brings the better quality products to the market now rather than in the 60s, or 70s.

Going to school to learn to reduce stocks is a waste of time. Going to school to learn how to build flavor and combine them, that's worthwhile.

If you want to pour a pouch of warm demi over a cutlet seasoned and vacced from sysco and heated in your sous vide circulator, time and temp read from the RFID on the pouch, well that's probably coming too for high school drop outs near you.

Hollandaise, they can't automate yet. But don't say it can't ever be done with good results.
 
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Guess my main point is  If every place buys eveything already made, then no matter where you go it will be the same (A La McDonalds or franchise) Then what would make me go to your place instead of Joes place when evrything taste the same. Only thing then you could offer to make a difference is better service and ambiance.  Although I did try a sample of frozen Hollandaise, it was passable but the good thing about it was it did not have to be thrown out after service and did not break, therefore cost effective. I havge tried the Already made Demi and found it salty and expensive, and it was supposed to be top of the line.. Another point is you are the chef and a delivery is late your already mad sauce does bot arrive so you will have to make it, but every place you ever were in they purchased it, now what do you do since you never made it. ??and maybe were never taught how.
 
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The point of automation is to take out the time consuming repetition.
I would say the point of automation is Profit.

Pure and simple.

Profit for the corporations selling pseudo chemical based food full of salt and preservatives Vs. actually taking to make an authentic product,  be it stock, cheese, beer or bread. Profit for the chain he** establishments utilizing labor whose skill set doesn't extend beyond opening a box or can. I'm sure most of us don't buy beef on the hoof but it's getting more and more common to see young "Chef's" that can't even break down a tenderloin, let alone create a Hollandaise or appreciate the nuance between one made with clarified butter or softened butter. Why bother learning all of that when you can grab a can of knorr-Swiss or better yet just open a jar?

Sounds like a riff from a Zappa song.....Just add water, makes it's own sauce!

I think the point Ed is making is solid and that's why we have seen a resurgence with products like artisinal cheese, Heritage breeds, micro-breweries etc.

Thankfully we have a growing consumer segment that is willing to pony up for quality artisinal products. Learning those old school cooking techniques isn't something that's just done for fun but rather a skill set that should be the back bone of our craft. I don't see technology and instant products replacing skill or knowledge but rather complimenting it.

You may get "good" results from an instant Hollandaise but it's not going to make a dish sing like a silky smooth and perfectly balanced sauce made by a Chef with skill.

Some times good.....Isn't good enough.

Dave
 
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Good Analogy Chef. Why pay $44000.00 to go to school to learn the culinary arts and then open a box or plastic bag, bring to a boil and serve. The schools don't even teach meat cutting anymore because they buy boxed meat. I have worked with some instructors that can't do butcher work. Watch some of the cooking competitions on TV they really screw up the fish, the exuse being"I have never worked with this" in particular on the show CHOPPED. I am glad I was born in my era, and worked with the old time culinarians that I worked with. I may have been called old fashioned by todays standards but it was good and not produced in a test tube in a lab.
 
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Well, yeah automation can be much cheaper  to produce, think it was H. Ford who came up with the idea.  But automation brings on it's own problems--mostly with volume.  It wouldn't mke much sense to fire up a production line if you can't meet minimum qty of say10-30,000 units.  If you have warehousing, transport and sales dept's to deal with this--no problem, but everything is volume based, not quality based.

My "business philosophy" in both of my businesses was to produce something no one else could, and I would never have to compete on price.  You can't do this if you're selling the sam effing thing as the guy next door and you have to go low on price or cut corners somewhere else.  Making stuff yourself-braking down meat, making stuff from scratch is labour intensive and expensive--an require a thorough knowledge of the products used and techniques.  However, it also allows you tremendous flexibility and creativity.

Someday soon a line will be drawn in the sand between those who depend entirely on convienience products, and those who do almost everything by themselves--no room for fence sitters........
 
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If I break down my own forequarters or hindquarters which does not take me long, I get varios cuts of meat plus trim for chopped meat,at about an ave. price of 1.70 to 2.10 a pound

 If I buy all these cuts seperate, cost me a lot more , chop meat alone 2.85.  If I paid myself say even $50.00 an hour I am still ahead of the game.
 

phatch

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I agree with you that this path can lead to sameness and food without insight or craft. And in some eateries certainly will.

But it doesn't have to and many will continue to make their own for putting their personal flavor choices into the food. That too will continue to have an audience.
 

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