Lemon Biscuits | Hollandaise | Soft Boiled Egg | Pan Seared Asparagus : and a word on salted butter
Biscuits can be daunting to me in the same way as a pie crust. I sort of psych myself out to thinking they are way way too hard to deal with, but the truth is, they are a breeze. All you really need is that trusty can with both ends opened up and you’ll do fine. The truth is I am much more of a cook than I am a baker. The fact that I only ever keep cultured salted butter in the fridge is a dead give away since usually the only recipes that call for unsalted butter are cookies or pies, etc. So, if you are like me, I want to give you a heads up right now. GET UNSALTED BUTTER FOR THE HOLLANDAISE. You’ll be fine with the biscuits if you use salted butter and just cut down on the salt, but I made the hollandaise with salted butter and regretted it. It was passable, but definitely too salty. That aside, this ended up being one of the easiest breakfasts I’ve made so far, and it was a hit. I am going to post them in the order you should prepare them.
I always look at a lot of recipes before I start cooking, though I rarely follow them. I usually have an idea in my head about how I want to approach a dish, and look for recipes that seem to fit. For buttermilk biscuits I ended up looking for a recipe that was made with butter which was suprisingly hard to find. I only found one, so I based my Lemon Biscuits on a recipe from RecipeZaar. Generally, I stay away from sites like this because it always seems that people are trying to one up each other with unnecessary ingredients like sour cream or yogurt, but this one is simple and classic making it easy to adapt to salted butter and lemony needs.
Lemon Biscuit Ingredients:
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if using salted butter)
- 6 tablespoons of very cold unsalted butter
Lemon Biscuits Instructions:
- preheat your oven to 450F
- mix together the lemon juice, zest, and milk and set aside until thickened (not much longer than it takes to prepare the rest of your ingredients, but if you remember, start it early to be on the safe side)
- in a medium sized bowl, mix together your dry ingredients, then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or cleaned, dried, and opened can. cut the butter at least until pea sized, but preferably until it is the consistancy of coarse grain (think steal cut oats or rice), then begin working the larger clumps between your fingers until the butter seems well broken up and evenly distributed. Remember: the less you touch the butter with your hands or work the flour the better. You want to stay away from softening the butter at all, or activating the gluten.
- making a funnel in the center of your dry ingredients, add about 2/3 of the milk and lemon mixture and quickly and in as few strokes as possible mix it in until you have a good idea of how dry your dough is. Add remaining liquid accordingly. It’s okay if you don’t use it all, but you definitely won’t need to add more than what you have left. Again, work the dough as little as possible, but make sure there aren’t any dry crumbly places.
- dump the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and pat it down (do not roll!) until it is a half inch thick. If you make them too thin thats okay, don’t start over, it’s better to have thin biscuits than tough biscuits! Using your can or a cookie cutter cut out the biscuits and place on a baking sheet. You can press the scraps together to get a few more biscuits which will still be delicious but not as flakey.
- if you have a small amount of the milk mixture left over, brush it over the tops of the biscuits, otherwise use plain milk. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
Soft Boiled Eggs
At this point you should start the water for the soft boiled eggs. This biscuit recipe can accomodate about six people, so start a pot large enough for 6-12 eggs depending on your company. Soft boiled eggs take 4 minutes if you do a modest batch, 4:30 if you do a dozen+. Keep the water simmering until about 5 minutes before the biscuits are ready. To serve, place in egg cups, sake glasses, or back in the egg carton with some small spoons and a dish for the shells. Tap the top of the egg off and spoon the rest onto your plate discarding the shell. They will be hot, but okay to handle if you are quick.
Hollandaise with lime and chipotle
Alright, little bit of a disclaimer here.. I’m sure there is a “correct” way to make a hollandaise sauce, but I don’t really know what that is. So forgive me if I get it wrong, but there is a method to the madness. Patrick and I recently learned about tempering an egg, where you add a bit of warm stuff to it so that you can heat and fluff it without actually cooking it, before you cook it. If you don’t know what this is, it will make sense as you do it. So, the method I applied to making a hollandaise is based on tempering the eggs.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 4 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- have the boiling water on hand, easily available
- melt the butter in a skillet and keep it warm without browning it
- in a metal bowl that can fit above a pot of simmering water without touching it, mix the yolks, salt, and lime juice, beating quickly until frothy
- while still beating the yolks, slowly add the boiling water to temper the eggs, then add the butter and quickly place over the boiling water, continuing to beat the mixture until it thickens
- quickly remove from heat, place it in a boat or creamer in a warm place until needed
Pan Seared Asparagus
Don’t panic, you can do this in just a couple minutes! All you need is 1 bunch of asparagus, salt, pepper, olive oil, and an iron skillet
Pan Seared Asparagus Instructions:
- heat up your iron skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil while you wash and cut the asparagus, you only need to cut or break off the ends
- when it is well heated, but not quite smoking, toss in the asparagus, salt it, and crack some black pepper over the top
- let it sit for about a minute, then toss them around and let them sit another minute, then you’re done.
to serve the whole thing, cut open the biscuit, top with asparagus and hollandaise, then spoon the soft boiled egg on top. Delicious!