I am currently taking the Skills One course at school which consists primarily of learning “cooking fundamentals” ranging from thickeners, stocks, grand sauces and their derivatives. The class also has the dreaded knife cut demo trays where each student gets a variety of vegetables that s/he must fabricate into different classical cuts within a time frame. Let’s just say that of the 9 items on my tray the first day, only 4 got done in the hour and a half they gave us. Thankfully, I have sped up since then and yesterday received my first 9.5 out of 10 on one of my cuts!
What I am finding most interesting in the course are the sauces, which is something that I always avoided in my home cooking as they scared me. After a solid week of them, I have come to realize they are not that mysterious or difficult, just a bit time-consuming. However, the October issue of Sunset Magazine has a simple and delicious recipe for a mushroom salad using a quick hollandaise sauce. I think it would make the perfect brunch salad on a weekend as it combines all the elements of a brunch menu onto one plate.
Mushroom & Soft-Cooked Egg Salad with Hollandaise
Prep Time: 30 minutes
4 large eggs
3 teaspoons melted buttered
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
4 ounces each of chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
About 6 cups watercress with stems removed
– Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Using a slotted spoon, gentle submerge eggs into water. Simmer 5 minutes. As the eggs cook, prepare a cold water bath for eggs. When eggs are completed cooking, carefully immerse them in cold water bath.
– Heat 1 teaspoon of butter with the oil in a 12 inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 8 minute, then season with salt.
– Whisk together crème fraîche ,mustard and lemon juice with zest in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter to make the hollandaise sauce.
– Divide watercress among plates. Top with warm mushrooms, then drizzle with hollandaise. Crack an end of each egg and peel a quarter of the shell. Using a spoon, carefully loosen eggs from their shells and scoop onto salad.
– Season to taste with pepper and salt.