When we are cooking and the sauce gets in the curd, we lose our minds again and again. You understand: that always gives our culinary self-confidence a small dent: a phenomenon that undoubtedly affects more people. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that it’s best to ignore that discouraging feeling. Instead, just set up a heroic rescue to rescue that crazy sauce in a jiffy.
Saving Crazy Sauce
The binding of a sauce depends on several factors. The amount of fat relative to the amount of acid, for example, but also the temperature. When one of those factors is out of balance, the different elements of the sauce will dissolve – ie, curdle.
Mayonnaise in the curb
You can prevent homemade mayonnaise from curving, for example by using all ingredients at room temperature. But if your mayonnaise is still crazy, then the rescue is fortunately close at hand.
We find that salvation in Samin Nosrat, in her book Salt, fat, acid, heat (correct yes: from the eponymous Salt, fat, acid, heat on Netflix). Samin tips:
“Get a clean bowl , but keep using the fat beater . Put half a teaspoon of hot (!) water in the bowl. Beat like mad with your sticky beater in the hot water until foam forms. And then add the crazy mayonnaise drop by drop . Keep knocking, as fast as a swimmer trying to escape a shark. Once you’ve added half of the crazy mayo, you should see the emulsion recover. Doesn’t this plan work either? Then start over with a new egg yolk and add the crazy mayo drop by drop.”
Saving crazy beurre blanc
When Joris Bijdendijk emphasizes in a video by Het Parool that a beurre blanc is worth getting out of the loop, we believe him.
Are you noticing that your beurre blanc is gradually decomposing? The best thing you can do is let the sauce curdle completely by heating it extra until a layer of butter floats on top of the sauce, says Joris.
Then add a small splash of cold water (or white wine) to the pan and use a hand blender. Place it on the bottom of the saucepan and briefly press the pulse setting each time. At some point, the fat reunites with the liquid. From now on you can keep holding the pulse mode. You should see the sauce bind again after a few moments into a thicker, shiny mass.
save hollandaise sauce
Of all the sauces in this list, hollandaise sauce (or its derivative béarnaise sauce ) is perhaps the most exciting. Every cook knows how quickly this sauce can curdle, no matter how experienced you are.
As a remedy, you could do two things. Add a tablespoon of water, or a warm egg yolk. Doesn’t work? Don’t get discouraged and start over.
We can say with certainty that this happens to even the best chefs.