Daylight savings time is the absolutely worst! It’s unbelievable how one single hour can totally screw up your entire day. We are not an agricultural country anymore, and you know what? As a lone woman walking to the subway at 6:45 in the morning, I’d much prefer for it to be light during that time where there are fewer people out than at 7 PM when I’m heading home and the streets and subways are packed with people. The only bonus that comes along with living in Arizona is that they don’t mess with changing the clocks out there; every day is the same and you don’t have to worry about it. Crankiness aside, I had a pretty jam-packed weekend. Friday night we met up with Morgan and Joel for some Korean BBQ at Dokebi in Williamsburg. The hot pot was alright; I had never done it before, so it was fun to cook the meat in the sizzling water before creating a tasty broth to enjoy once you’re done, but the spicy octopus and spicy pork were incredibly delicious, so next time I go, I’ll just be stuffing my face with those dishes. After eating an crazy amount of food (honestly, we really went to down that night), we stopped off at a few bars before calling it a night, although I’ll be honest, I was hurting the next morning!
So, to start, first make your hollandaise sauce. Whisk the eggs over a double boiler, makeshift or otherwise, until creamy, then add in your butter very slowly, followed by lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika.
Using a lot of elbow grease, grate your butternut squash into a bowl, followed by your leeks. Toss it all together with two egg yolks, flour, cornstarch, paprika, cayenne powder, salt, pepper, sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Scoop ‘em onto a hot cast iron pan, allow them to caramelize a bit, then flip them, smash them down a bit, and let them finish cooking.
- 1 cup of water, for the double boiler
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon water
- pinch of sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon McCormick smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon McCormick cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon McCormick ground mustard
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and grated
- 2 large leeks, cleaned and grated
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons flour (or matzoh flour)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon McCormick cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon McCormick smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- tiny pinch of McCormick cinnamon
- 1 pot with almost-boiling water
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 eggs (at a time; if you are really good at this, then go for as many as you can, but I am a novice and therefore won't push it so I only do 2 at a time)
- First, because hollandaise can burn so easily, you need to either use a double boiler for this or make one yourself. I don't have one, so I made one. Pour a cup of water (more or less, depending on your pot, just enough to cover the bottom for about an inch). Make sure your second pot will fit inside of the pot with water in it and that you will be able to whisk inside of it without worrying about spilling water inside of it.
- Add your egg yolks to a small bowl and whisk them together with 1 teaspoon of water and a pinch of sugar. Add them the pot you've chosen to go inside of the pot with water in it. Make sure that the water is simmering, then add it to the top (see photo above for clarification). Whisk the eggs over medium heat (the water should just be simmering) for about 7 minutes, until the eggs look glossy and slightly thickened. Remove the pot from the pot with water in it and whisk in one tablespoon of butter at a time. You may have to add the pot back to the simmering water so it stays warm enough to melt the butter.
- Keep whisking in additional tablespoons of butter until you have incorporated all of it. Whisk in the lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and ground mustard. Taste and add more seasonings as needed. Turn off the heat, but keep the hollandaise in its pan sitting on top of the pot with the warm water in it to keep warm while you make the other components of this dish. You may have to add a teaspoon of milk or so if it thickens too much while you work (I did).
- If you are poaching your eggs, this is the point at which you should start heating your water to a simmer in a separate pot. Alright, now the latkes. Peel and grate your squash. You can cut it up and use the proper food processor blades to do this, but I didn't feel like getting yet another appliance out, so I just used a bit of elbow grease and grated it on a box grater, along with the cleaned leeks. Toss together, then squeeze as much liquid out of the mixture as possible by pressing down on it with paper towels. You won't get much, so don't spend too long on this.
- Add in the eggs, cornstarch, flour, and spices. Heat a heavy bottomed cast iron pan with about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Use a 2-tablespoon sized cookie scoop (or just scoop with a large spoon) and scoop the squash and leek mixture onto the skillet. The scoops should sizzle immediately. If they don't, your pan isn't hot enough. Allow the latkes to cool on one side for about 3-4 minutes as they are, them flip them and smash them down with your spatula. Allow them to go for another 3-4 minutes, until they are crispy and golden on both sides. Make sure your remove them from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate for at least a minute before serving so the oil can drain from them.
- Bring a large pot of water to almost-boiling, but not quite as this will overcook the eggs. Add just a splash of vinegar to the water (this is supposed to help. I've heard it's an old wives tale but it works for me so I keep doing it) and stir to combine.
- It is best to crack the eggs you will be using first into ramekins or those neat little silicone cups before your start poaching. This way, you aren't fumbling trying to crack eggs and delicately add them to the water.
- When your eggs are ready to go, take your utensil of choice (mine is a mesh covered scooping spatula usually used for frying) and start vigorously swirling the hot water. It should look like a whirlpool. Take your first ramekin with an egg in it, then dip it quickly and ever so slight in the swirling water, so that the water kind of scoops the egg out and takes it away (I will be honest; this just takes practice. Be prepared to screw up your first few eggs; it's okay!).
- Allow the eggs to swirl and cook (you can swirl the top of the water a bit if you need to keep the momentum going). The idea is that the swirling water will swirl the white around the yolk and cook while the yolk remains nice and runny. They should cook in the water for about 3 minutes, then pull them out gently and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess water, then gently use a utensil, your hands, or, what I find works best, which is to pick up the paper towel and carefully roll the egg out onto your latke. You can leave them on the towels, though, for 5 minutes or so while you finish everything up.
- Just as a recap, I recommend making the sauce first, then heating your water while you prep your latkes, then while your latkes cook, poach your eggs.
- When you're ready to eat, place your latkes on your plate, top with a poached egg, and drizzle with a spoonful of hollandaise. Crack a little black pepper on top for garnish and serve warm. The latkes recipe make about 12 good sized latkes, so you will technically have enough food for 4 people, depending on how hungry you are.