July's Recipe's to Rival challenge is a dish that includes: toast, fish cakes (made with potatos and cod), poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. Of those components, the only item I had any familiarity with was... well... the toast! So this was a challenge for me! I loved that this recipe, while challenging in the techniques, was QUICK! The ratattouille took (well, for me at least) hours, and daring baker challenges generally seem to take days! I was able to make this entire dish in less than 2 hours - without rushing.
And it turned out great! It sure does look like a hot mess in my photos, but I blame that primarily on the eggs. I am clearly not a poached-egg chef! I wasnt a huge fan of the taste of the whites (with the vinegar from the water, and the water-logged effect) but I did love the yolks mixing in with the dish. I think I would prefer it with eggs over easy or sunny-side-up (which, coincidentally, I can cook effectively!). I made the food-processor hollandaise sauce and loved it, but Ryan found the lemon taste to be too strong (I though the tang was a nice note in with all the rich eggs and butter myself).
Many other members had issues with the batter for the fish cakes being too runny. Mine was ok. I couldnt really shape them with my hands.... but it also was not so runny that I could not form them in the pan. I think the reason why is: I didnt use leftover mashed potatos, but just boiled potato and mashed it roughly with a fork. Also, I didnt measure my potatos but used 2 medium supds - and likely that was over 2 cups. I also had a bit more cod that 1 pound (I had a choice of being over or under, I chose over) but I used the same amount of cream (I used half and half since it is what we have) and egg, though I mistakenly added the melted butter to the batter instead of reserving it for the pan.
My first run of cakes (and the batter made WELL more than 4 cakes - unless your cakes are each teh size of a small pan!!!) fell apart on me, but then I got the hang of it... treating them like pancakes seved me well (small scoops of dough, medium to medium high heat, and dont touch the patty until you are ready to flip so it gets a nice sear).
I did struggle with the eggs though. I tried the technique suggested on the boards of using a large spoon to help 'shape' the egg and it did help... a little... but my whites were still everywhere!
Overall, we both really enjoyed this dish! I loved how the flavors all came together and enjoyed the new techniques (who knew that Hollandaise was so easy? not me!). Very rich and decadent... but yummmmm!
Definitely a great challenge!
Note: follow the link in the beginning for the recipe!