Saucy Endings

This is the third and final personal essay from my memoir class.  I hope to keep them going on a weekly basis.

Saucy Endings

As I stand here whisking egg yolks feverishly jealousy floods through me. The bright yellow yolks start to lighten and become a beautiful, deliciously rich sauce reserved for only the most decadent dishes. Hollandaise, the most complicated, temperamental and richest of the sauces, is my favorite. I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting it in months… maybe even years. Remembering our last encounter, only makes me yearn for it more.

I can almost taste the smooth buttery flavor, thick and creamy smothering poached eggs, ham (or my personal favorite, bbq pulled pork) and an english muffin served with a side of home fries just waiting to sop up any left over sauce. There is something about Eggs Benedict that just seems inappropriate. All of those calories. All of that fat. All of those carbs. I can’t help but wonder who would be lucky enough to allow themselves that treat, as I plate up yet another order. My seventh of the morning.

Long ago I mastered the art of making the perfect hollandaise sauce, and right about now I was wishing I had never tasted it, let alone perfected it.

I need to block out the thoughts of that sauce, they are a distraction… Listening to the sounds of the kitchen is my only options. The stove is sizzling away with five omelets, and a couple fried egg orders, off in the distance I hear the clanging of metal spatulas on the flat top grill. Water is running in a nearby sink, and the dish machine is trying to keep up with all of the used plates. Suddenly a server calls out an order, snapping me out of my trance. As I call it out to the other cook on the line I can’t help but bring myself back to hollandaise sauce as another benedict order is placed.

When service comes to an end I’ve made a ridiculous 19 orders of eggs benedict in just two hours.

I want number 20.

But I can’t. I’ve worked so hard over the last few days, running a 5k on top of my normal hour long fitness dvd workout each day this week. It would all be for nothing after just one bite… A whole plate would be a disaster! Desperate to have my favorite breakfast, I search the kitchen for someone to share with. My hopes diminish when I see everyone already has a plate of food in front of them. Sadness begins to set in as I realize that delicious velvety, rich and creamy sauce will elude me yet again today. Plus, now my appetite is gone.

While I reluctantly toss out the remaining sauce (which is just enough for one more serving) an idea hits me! I can make almost any dish low fat or low calorie, why not this, my favorite. How had I not thought of this before? Running into the walk in refrigerator my mind is racing on how I can do this, how can I turn perfection into a healthy alternative? I need all of those components. Creamy. Rich. Smooth. Tangy. After about two or three failed attempts, Success!

Unforgettable Fake Out Hollandaise

1 egg yolk
4 oz plain yogurt (not greek, its too thick and won’t combined well) or low fat sour cream can be used as well
lemon juice or warm water if you prefer it a little less tangy
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
*1 T butter – Optional

-stir together the yogurt and egg yolk, which will first thin out but as it starts to cook will thicken.
-Keep it moving in order to still not curdle the egg.
-It is ok to simmer this sauce as its more stable than classic however keep it moving so it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom.
-Once thickened and heated through add in the lemon juice just enough to thin it out to a good consistency
-season with salt, pepper and cayenne
(75-125 calories)

Perfected Classic Hollandaise

1 egg yolk
2-3 oz melted butter
1/2 tsp dijon (optional)
lemon juice or warm water
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper

-place egg yolk in a small pan and whip up slightly until light in color
-add the dijon if desired, this will help keep the sauce from breaking
-over a flame whip egg while slowly adding in melted butter until hot and thick
-remove from heat, squeeze in a little lemon juice or water to thin out
-season with salt pepper and cayenne.
(250-300 calories)


This one was a request from the teacher, she wanted to see if I could manage to take a recipe and write a story about that particular recipe.  I did it, but it was really difficult to do.  So after discussing it we decided that I would just write and then if recipes fell in with what I had written about we could work them in.  It is an idea, I almost feel like its inappropriate because although I am a chef and my job is to make things taste good, it almost seems to glorify the situation.  And that is the last thing I want to do.

Everyone seemed to love the personification of the sauce and the dish machine, and that it felt almost like a forbidden love affair.  Things from the descriptions I used to the undertones of the story (obsession).  Its not my favorite and I wasn’t a fan writing it, but everyone enjoyed it.

Again any constructive criticism you have is greatly appreciated.  Hopefully Wednesday I will have another one written.

Comments (2)

  1. Bret

    Good stuff Lauren! I think its a great idea on how to lighten up the dish. Now….if only we could find a way to take out the yolk to make it without the cholesteral….LOL! Really enjoyed reading this kiddo…makes me miss those days back in school where we were first learning sauces….

    • LaurenRenee

      Thanks buddy! Those are some memories I will cherish. That class was thoroughly entertaining on many levels! Especially when Fritz broke his sauce and Chef had to show us how to fix it on the fly. BTW- we are officially coming to Florida in February! (I’ll email you when we decide details!)

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