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May 2006 Issue
On old stand bys and new twists . . .
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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So now, you’ve mastered what the great French chefs call a “Mother Sauce”. That is, a basic sauce which can be used on its own or can be the beginning of many other great sauces. Below I’ve listed a few of these and what to incorporate into the basic hollandaise to achieve them. In each case, whisk the additional ingredient into one cup of hollandaise, et voila`!!!

Popular Variations:

  • Béarnaise - add a white wine, vinegar, and tarragon reduction – to achieve the reduction start with equal parts of white wine and vinegar and a few sprigs of fresh tarragon, reduce over medium heat until you have half your original quantity.
  • Dijonnaise - anywhere from 1 teaspoon to a tablespoon or two of a good Dijon mustard.
  • Maltaise - add the zest and juice of an orange.
  • Mousseline or Chantilly – fold in one half cup of whipped cream.
  • Choron – basically a Béarnaise with tomato paste added.
  • Colbert - a Béarnaise with demi-glaze added.
  • Zabaglione – leave out the butter and add sugar and Marsala wine.
Now that you’ve perfected the hollandaise factor, you’re ready to do your own experimentation with Benedict variations, but why not try this unusual twist.

I first made the following recipe for a brunch I hosted for Valentine’s Day many years ago. I still make it every now and then. It’s always a hit and never seems to lose its novelty. Not to mention that it really is yummy!!!


Salmon Benedict

    It’s a fairly simple process. For each serving you’ll need a salmon trout (pink fleshed trout) fillet. Sprinkle with lemon juice and pepper and let stand for thirty minutes. Coat lightly in a seasoned mixture that’s one part cornmeal to two parts fine bread crumbs and set aside, preferably in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

    When you’re ready to serve, brown the fillets in a 50/50 mixture of butter and canola oil till golden.

    Now you’re ready to start assembling. In the centre of your plate, place the trout fillet and set two poached eggs on top (my preference is for runny yolks). Generously douse with hollandaise, sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and garnish with a lemon wedge.

    Serve it to your guests accompanied by some fresh crusty bread and prepare to be showered in compliments. This is truly a great eating experience!!!


Remember your mother in an extra special way this year. Mothers always appreciate a meal they didn’t have to cook or a special trinket made with loving hands. Whatever you choose, put some time into finding out just exactly what your mom’s favourite thing is and then make sure she has it. I wonder what my kids have in store for ME this Mother’s Day???

I’ll leave you with this tidbit: Friends are those who say you’re a good egg, even though they know you’re slightly cracked.


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