My First Hollandaise

December 3, 2011

Firsts are fun. I really love to experience something new and exciting. That’s what life is about – experiencing, living, loving. I have had many new experiences in the past 10 years, and it’s those that I have actively sought out to accomplish that stand out…

Like the first time I traveled overseas. I was with my mum, we went after I finished year 12 and had the most magical time in Italy, France and London. I will always cherish our Christmas in Reggio Emilia, where we were the only tourists in sight, enjoying a lively, incredible, festive lunch at a restaurant filled with locals and spending the evening walking around the town square amongst the sparkling Christmas lights. That was my first taste of Europe. And now I’m addicted.

Another first was jogging for 45 minutes straight. Previously I was a sprinter, absolutely loathing long distance. Cross country running in primary school was the bane of my existence. But in my early twenties something clicked. I decided I wanted to be a runner. And so I trained, I pushed myself. I worked hard. And gradually I built up my fitness and ability to run long distances, until I was running for 45 minutes at a steady pace, without any walking breaks. That was a real achievement for me.

Sometimes firsts ignite a passion that sticks with you forever, continually fuelling and inspiring you – like the time I first made Pastry (link). It started an obsession with making pies and searching for the perfect pastry recipe and pie crust. Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry is still a favourite.

And then there was the first time I tried Hollandaise… yes, this one tends to summon gasps. Prior to my August NYC trip, I’d never tried Hollandaise sauce. I just never saw the appeal. Yet so many people love and rave about it, I knew it was a first that I simply had to tick off my list. And so when I saw it on the menu during one NYC brunch, I took the plunge.

Peta, Vicki and I were brunching one morning. I want to say that it was the morning after a big night out. We all were looking a little…fresh…and there was lots of coffee on order, so it’s a safe bet. We headed to Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village for a ‘Summer in the City’ street-side brunch.

Double Espresso over ice with a dash of skim milk.

This was my regular NYC coffee order. When travelling, it allows you to…do stupid things faster with more energy.


Peta ordered the Huevos Rancheros, sans cheese. Black beans and salsa at breakfast? I like it.

And here we have my Eggs Florentine, served with Roasted Garlic Potatoes…as you do. I love how in the USA they are all about potatoes at breakfast.

My English Muffins appeared to be homemade, or at least very good quality. It was such a treat! Nothing worse than thin, flaccid English Muffins.

What did I think of Hollindaise? Well, to be honest, I barely touched it after my first taste. I felt like it was overkill – I already had a gooey yolk, why should I want another rich yellow sauce? I just didn’t take to it. Sorry, I am very aware that I’m in the minority here with my feelings about Hollindaise. No judgement.

For some reason I deemed Vicki’s meal unworthy of pictures – Vickles, why was this so? Perhaps your order was similar to mine and I therefore felt it was overkill having two lots of pictures… We can all ponder that.

As we left our brunch spot we came upon an injured little bird. Ooooh so small! Poor little thing.

The bird seemed to recover a little and we left, off to explore the city. In fact this was the day that we visited Magnolia Bakery and then hired bikes and road along the Hudson River (link). “Oh, stop it”, you say? I know, I know, I’m jealous of my former self too.

My first time in New York City was amazing. I’m beyond eager for my second helping.

Heidi xo

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  • msihua December 3, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Hahaha.. you're so funny about your hollaindaise! There are just times when you need to have it! Like when watching James Bond! I have no idea.. but I love the creamy runny sauce with runny yolks!

  • Michelle Chin December 3, 2011 at 11:43 am

    yay to your first hollandaise. i did not understand the appeal of it until i ordered it as an extra for my three bag fulls veg. breakfast. seriously good stuff! it seems to go well with every breakfast component out there! maybe not french toast though. hehehe

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Hehe you are too cute Heidi! And I do love it but then I do love butter and any vehicle for butter! 😛

  • Heidi December 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    msihua – hahaha you're hilarious 🙂

    Michelle – haha, noted, thanks 😉

    Lorraine – indeed 😉

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah December 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    My trips to New York number 4, now, and I never want to stop going back. Ever. There's always a new first, even if it's a first that you're pretty sure will remain a first, like this hollandaise. Me? I always order my eggs florentine sans hollandaise (and with tabasco, if I think I can get away with it) because, like you, the yolk is creamy enough for me 🙁

  • Iron Chef Shellie December 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Lollllll flaccid muffis 😛

    I totally understand what you mean about hollandaise and runny egg yolks. I am one that loves hollandaise if it's done right. 🙂 x

  • The InTolerant Chef December 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Your next first should be to make your own hollandaise from scratch- much easier than you may think!

  • Heidi December 5, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Hannah – tabasco, interesting!! Another first to try 🙂

    Michele – hehehe 😉

    InTolerant Chef – I remember observing the chef at the cafe where I worked making it, even helping. Gee – arm workout?! Yes must make my own, & perhaps use it with asparagus or other veg rather than eggs…

    Heidi xo

  • riotersbloc December 5, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I love this post! The photos are gorgeous and you're a wonderful writer. You make me want to go to NYC right now.

  • Lisa December 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I love hollandaise but have to be careful, the richness does not always work with my lazy digestive system which leaves me feeling unwell. So rather than on eggs (which is sooo delicious but very prone to making me feel cruddy for the rest of the day) I love it on veggies. Mushrooms, spinach and asparagus are all particularly excellent with a good hollandaise.

  • Cass @foodmyfriend December 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    A good hollandaise has to be zesty and lemony I think. Freshly wilted spinach and some well toasted sour dough. YUM!!

  • Heidi December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    riotersbloc – thank you, that's lovely 🙂

    Lisa – yes, it seems that's what I need to do – pair it with other things like veggies, thanks!

    Cass – oooh zesty would be good!!

    Heidi xo

  • Lucas December 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Rancheros, like corn fritters, are a great hangover breakfast due to all the protein.

    And I too cannot comprehend peoples' love of hollandaise. Can't stand it!

  • Heidi December 7, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Lucas – thanks for the tip! I had a taste of my friend's dish, delicious 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Carly Findlay December 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Ooooh NYC!!!!! Can't wait!! You should come to the blogging conference 😉

    I am not one for Hollandaise either .. too…vingerary??