Hollandaise Sauce, Keeping it Simple While I Lose My Mind

Asparagus With Hollandaise Sauce

Lately, my love of eggs benedect, asparagus and so many other foods has gotten me thinking about Hollandaise Sauce.   Mmmmm.

Hollandaise sauce is essentially emulsified egg yolk and butter, seasoned with some lemon juice a bit of salt and some black, white or cayenne pepper.  The creamy texture is a smooth yellow velvety dream that is buttery tasting, rich and has a mild tang.  It’s great on eggs, steak, fish, asparagus or just about any other steamed vegetables.

This is a grand sauce, it’s one the five mother sauces in French haute cuisine, and the delight taste has been found in cookbooks dating back to the 16th century.  The father of Bearnaise, Bavaroise, Creme Fleurette, Dijon, and a litany of other sauces, it is a foundation sauce that is very versatile, not only in what you can put in it, but also the food with which it can be paired.

Hollandaise suace is not for faint-of-heart or newbies in the kitchen, it requires moderate skill, and likely, the first time that you make it will not the best.  But with practice, and a delving into some of it’s derivative sauces, you too can create the smooth and creamy sauce.

Without Further Adieu

Note: This sauce requires near constant agitation throughout the creation process, so get your whisking arm ready, there’s a workout ahead.

Hollandaise Sauce, Keeping it Simple While I Lose My Mind

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A fantastic, rich and creamy sauce that isn't just for eggs.
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, cold water, and a nice dash of salt and pepper (do NOT put all of the salt and pepper in, it will taste like a creamy salt lick with a kick).
  2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat.
  3. As soon as the butter has melted, begin to gradually add your egg yolk mixture to the butter, whisking fervently.
  4. Keep whisking....
  5. KEEP WHISKING! Don't stop... for 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. When you notice that the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency, remove from heat and serve immediately.


Whisking the sauce
Whisking the sauce.

If your sauce begins to separate and your getting pissy in the kitchen because it’s not going your way, take the pan off the heat, splash yourself in the face with a little cold water.  Now do it to the sauce and whisk your ass off.  That just might save the sauce.


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