Monday, September 12, 2016

Oeufs et Truite Choron

     Trout and Poached Eggs with Sauce Choron!
     Choron Sauce is a tomato flavored hollandaise.  The flavor of Choron is perfect with eggs and trout.
     Today's recipe is a classic Choron Sauce.  Classic Choron Sauce is made with a heavy tomato puree or tomato paste, so this sauce has a refined look.  A well known recipe variation is Creole Choron, which is hollandaise combined with a reduced Tomato Creole Sauce.  Creole Choron looks less refined.       
     Trout and egg breakfast entrées are still popular at mountain resorts in the west and in the Allegheny Mountains back east.  Locally farmed Rainbow Trout was offered at the Grand Canyon lodge restaurants when I worked there this year.  Sustainability and local resourcing were the main reasons why trout was offered at this National Park.  
     Guests that visit wilderness areas, expect to see wild game and local fish on the menu.  This adds to the wilderness vacation experience.  Grilled trout and eggs is a traditional camper's breakfast, so the idea of fish being out of place on a breakfast menu is not warranted.
     Trout and eggs with Choron Sauce is a classic New Orleans brunch offering that first appeared on fine dining restaurant menus back in the late 1800's.  Locally grown Creole Tomatoes are usually used to make Choron Sauce in Louisiana, because this kind of tomato has such a rich flavor.   
     Classic Hollandaise Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 3/4 cup of rich hollandaise sauce.  (About 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of hollandaise is a generous portion.)  
     Today's recipe is the classic hollandaise mother sauce recipe that is the standard in the restaurant industry.  The proportion of butter to egg can vary, but if the proportion of butter is too high, a hollandaise cannot be used for applications like glacage.    
     Classic hollandaise should have a delicate flavor balance because it is used a mother sauce to create hundreds of secondary sauces.  This means that the lemon flavor should not be too strong.  Some cooks mistakenly think that hollandaise is supposed to taste like lemon.  The lemon flavor is supposed to only be part of the delicate flavor balance.  
     When whisking the egg yolks, a tiny amount of water is added.  If too much water is added, the finished hollandaise will have a consistency that is way too thin.  The water acts as a buffering agent that prevents the egg yolks from coagulating or seizing while whisking.  The egg yolks have to be whisked till they are a pale opaque color and soft ribbons appear, before the clarified butter is slowly combined.     
     Step 1:  Place 4 ounces of unsalted butter in a small sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Cook the butter, till the milk fat liquid evaporates and the butter turns a light golden color.  The butter should have a very light hazelnut aroma.
     Step 2:  Take the pot off of the heat.
     Pour the clarified butter through a fine mesh strainer into a second sauce pot.
     Keep the clarified butter warm over very low heat.   (The temperature should only be about 135ºF to 140ºF)
     Step 3:  Place a small sauce pot with 2" to 3" of water over low heat and bring the water up to a very gentle simmer, so it can be used as a double boiler set-up.
     *The rim of the sauce pot must be smaller than the width of the mixing bowl used for the egg yolks in the next step.  The water temperature should be just high enough to create steam when the mixing bowl is set in place.  About 145ºF to 160ºF is good, because the temperature will increase to over 185ºF when the double boiler seals in the steam!  Too high of a temperature will ruin the hollandaise.  
     Step 4:  Place the yolks of 2 large eggs in a small mixing bowl that is a little bit wider than the rim of the small sauce pot.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of warm water to the egg yolks while stirring with a whisk.
     Step 5:  Constantly whisk, non-stop, till the egg yolks turn a pale opaque yellow shade and light ribbons appear on the surface.
     Step 6:  Remove the mixing bowl from the double boiler and immediately whisk the eggs while adding 1 teaspoon of warm butter at a time, till each addition of butter emulsifies.
     Step 7:  Once the emulsions looks stable after adding about 1 ounce of clarified butter, return the start of the hollandaise to the double boiler.  Be sure to keep on gently whisking during the entire process.
     Step 8:  While constantly whisking, very slowly add a very thin stream of clarified butter, till all of the butter is combined.  
     Step 9:  Remove the mixing bowl from the double boiler as soon as the butter and egg yolks are combined.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Whisk the ingredients together.
      *Check the consistency.  The hollandaise should be thick enough to easily coat a spoon.  If evaporation causes the sauce to become too thick, add a few drops of warm water while whisking. 
     Step 10:  Place the Hollandaise in a ceramic ramekin.
     Set the ramekin in a 125ºF bain marie.
     Stir the sauce occasionally.
     *Serve within 45 minutes to avoid pathogen contamination.
     Choron Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 cup.  (1 generous portion for a whole trout.)
     Step 1:  Place a small sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
     Add 1 chopped shallot.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped ripe tomato.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste.
     Simmer and reduce the tomato mixture, till it becomes thick paste consistency.  
     Step 2:  Press the tomato paste mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
     Step 3:  Add the tomato paste mixture to 3/4 cup of hollandaise while whisking.  The sauce will be a pale orange color.
     Place the sauce in a ceramic ramekin.
     Keep the choron sauce warm in a low temperature bain marie.
     Roasted Trout: 
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Leaving the head on a whole trout traditionally shows guests that the rainbow trout is fresh.
     Step 1:  Select 1 whole cleaned rainbow trout that has the head attached.  The trout should be about 10" to 12" long
     Cut through the rib bones that are attached to flesh side of the back bone, without damaging the skin. 
     Carefully slice under the cut rib bones to ease their removal.  
     Pull all of the bones and back bone off of the trout.  
     Step 2:  Trim the gill fat flap sections.  
     Retain the fins.
     Step 3:  Brush a baking pan with melted unsalted butter.  
     Set the trout on the pan.  
     Squeeze 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice over the trout.  
     Pour 1/4 cup of dry white wine over the trout.
     Drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter over the trout.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.  
     Step 4:  Place the trout pan in a 350ºF oven.
     Roast the trout till it is fully cooked.
     Keep the roasted trout warm on a stove top.

     Oeufs et Truite Choron: 
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.  
     Never add vinegar to egg poaching water!  Vinegar changes the texture of the egg whites into a rubbery texture.
     Step 1:  Poach 2 large eggs in gently boiling salted water over medium heat.   
     Step 2:  Use a large spatula to slide the baked trout onto a serving platter.
     Place the poached eggs on top of the trout.
     Step 3:  Pour a generous amount of the Choron Sauce over the eggs and trout.  (About 1 cup.)
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs and lemon slices.
     The light tomato flavor of Sauce Choron is so tasty with eggs and trout!