Monday, January 25, 2010

A sauce that seems scary

But Hollandaise isn’t really scary at all.

I honestly don’t know how this luscious, lemony classic French sauce got its name as a culinary ego killer, but let me tell you something: My brother Andrew is not exactly a wizard in the kitchen, yet he made the perfect sauce (pictured here). Using my perfect recipe (listed below).

He practically glowed with pride after successfully completing my Hollandaise challenge, and then wondered aloud, “So what’s all the fuss about with that?”



(Serves 4)


2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice cold unsalted butter, cut into pats

cracked black pepper


Get out a saucepan and a stainless steel bowl that can rest on top of the saucepan. Fill the pot halfway with water or below the point that it’s touching the bottom of the bowl. Bring to a boil then drop the egg yolks, juice and salt into the bowl. Whisk constantly over the simmering water. If you see the eggs start to seize and scramble, immediately remove from heat, plop in a bunch of cold butter cubes and whisk like mad. This should save the sauce. Otherwise, slowly add cubes of cold butter, slowly whisking in to combine. Stir constantly. In the end the sauce should be the consistency of a thick gravy. You’ll know it when you see it. Add some pepper to taste and serve over poached eggs or with steamed asparagus, or beside wild salmon or beef tenderloin, or whatever strikes your fancy.

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