That was what stared at me when I opened the fridge this morning. I wanted milk for coffee and instead I got a mini guilt trip. The Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake
required 6 egg whites for the hazelnut cream frosting and hating to throw away good food like I do, I tucked the remaining counterparts in an airtight container. I needed to do something brilliant with the yolks soon. The shelf life was ticking away on my little golden gems.
It was too early to make eggnog with them. It was too late to create a sabayon for summer berries. With coffee in hand, I turned to my collection for inspiration. Pot de creme Gourmet Feb 2004 was intriguing but I was still maxed out on chocolate from Katie’s ganache. Butterscotch pudding Bon Appetit Oct 2007 seemed seasonally appropriate, but the thought of it just didn’t knock my socks off. I thumbed through a old French cookbook (circa 1967) that I purchased from an estate sale when I was living in Atlantic City. I had just turned to the chapter on sauces when the clouds parted and birds began to sing. Bearnaise from scratch! And I had a beautiful fresh catch in the refrigerator waiting to be sauteed and properly sauced. I couldn’t wait for dinner. I was sockless.
I must have read the recipe about 20 times to insure I was prepped and ready. The butter was room temperature, the tarragon was plucked from my herb garden, and the shallots were minced and ready. Armed with my favorite whisk, I inhaled, slide my egg yolks into the simmering double boiler and began to stir briskly. I don’t think I took another breath until I was certain the all the ingredients had thickened as the recipe described it should. I pulled the Bearnaise from the heat and stared down into the bowl. It looked okay, so I turned my attention to the fish and to the clock. Despite my proactive prep work, I only had 5 minutes to eat before I needed to leave for the brewhouse. I plated a single serving of fish and scooped a spoonful of Bearnaise and that’s when I saw the beauty that is classic french sauce from scratch. It wasn’t soupy or gravy-like in texture. It was light and whipped and creamy and thick. It was equally fluffy and firm. If I wasn’t so anxious to taste it, I could have rested my head on it and taken a quick nap. It was gorgeous. I was fabulous. I ate.
I was thrilled I only had a few minutes for dinner. Otherwise, I would have eaten both servings of fish and thus consume the entire stick of butter that went into the sauce. I would have too; the blood had just been flying through my arteries lately. I refrigerated the remaining serving though I knew the tempermental Bernaise wouldn’t reheat to it’s original perfection and ran out the door.
I drove to work with a knowing smile on my face. I felt sated and accomplished and very, very sexy. I successfully hit a high note; a back arching, toe curling, head thrown back with eyes shut in full joyous release accomplishment. I exhaled and a sigh of deep satisfaction escaped my lips.
I had an urge to lit up a cigarette.
And I’ve never smoked.