For those of you that listen to our podcast, you know that this month was eggs benedict. One of the dishes I conceived of was a vegetarian eggs benny, that used asparagus instead of any meat, and latkes instead of an english muffin, since good bread and english muffins are both hard to come by in Taipei.
I started with this:
Spices included: salt and pepper (duh doi) as well as chili powder and ginger root in the latkes, and jerk seasoning (shoutout to my neighbour who gave it to me).
As you can perhaps see, my kitchen is small, so I had to do this all in steps. First, i did the potatoes- two smallish ones, and one sweet potato, as well as about a quarter of an onion and ten grams of ginger root, all of which I shredded up (thanks food processor/my mom for that very useful kitchen tool), seasoned and then added two eggs and a bit of milk to make the latke mix:
Next was just roasting some asparagus in the oven with salt, pepper and olive oil. And then came time for hollandaise.
I’ll be real you guys, hollandaise took me a couple of tries- three, to be exact. The first try I learned two things- one is that the aluminum pan you see pictured here really doesn’t work for hollandaise, because it turns the whole thing greyish, which looks yuck (this is because of a reaction between the aluminum and the yolks). I also learned you gotta be more careful about adding heat. This was a hard learned lesson because in the next attempt, I switched to a non-stick, non-aluminum pan, but still overcooked and scrambled the yolks because once they started to thicken, I didn’t remove them from the heat (and since I have a wacky strong stove, I used a double boil, and this still over cooked the yolks).
So the takeaway is- always switch between whisking on the stove and whisking off the heat, that’s the best way to control the temp. When you do it correctly, and then season it with jerk seasoning, salt and pepper, it looks like this:
Final bit was to fry up the latkes while poaching the eggs, then to assemble. I put the latkes on the bottom (obviously), and the fried up nicely
And then did the asparagus, the two eggs, and finally some hollandaise. IT turned out looking pretty good:
THis was a recipe I basically went off of myself. I used Julia Child’s guidance for the hollandaise (recipe here), although in my first attempts at hollandaise, I think I used too much butter, and I would’ve liked to have lemon juice (lemons are not to be found these days in Taipei). I also would have added more ginger and chili to the latkes, the flavour was stil pretty potato-y, and I wanted it to be spicies. But I hope you take this idea and run with it on your own, it was time consuming (mostly because my kitchen is tiny and I fucked up the hollandaise three times) but overall pretty delicious and fun to make.
Good luck, happy cooking and experimentation, and stay hungry!