A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Friday, April 18, 2008


(1-1 ¼ cups)

Hollandaise is an old school French sauce, made from whipped egg yolks and butter. The two ingredients, when whipped together form a light creamy sauce to use on top of fish, asparagus or my personal favorite Eggs Benedict/Eggs Florentine (Benedict but with sautéed spinach in place of ham). You may never intend it drizzle this sauce over your vegetables (I don’t) but learning to make it is quite worthwhile if you love eggs benedict as I do.

The ingredients-
3 egg yolks
1 Teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon table salt
Dash of Tabasco (optional)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or wine vinegar
1 ¼ sticks of butter – if doing this by hand over double boiler the butter will be room temp and cut into small, pea size chunks… If doing this in the more modern way the butter will be melted
Have on hand- heavy cream

Set up some simmering water in a pot (I use a pasta pot because they are taller and keep the eggs further away from the heat). Simmer but never boil the water. Set a large heatproof bowl over the pot and add the eggs. Whisk eggs for 1 minute. Whisk in the cornstarch, salt, Tabasco, lemon juice or vinegar, Then, slowly, a few pieces at a time, whisk in the lumps of butter until a creamy sauce forms.

THE MODERN (and I happen to think better/much quicker) WAY- it is so easy to make this sauce if you use a mini food processor. You will use melted butter in place of chunks.
Place your egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, Tabasco, and lemon juice or vinegar into the processor. Pulse a few times. With the processor running, pour the melted butter through the top 2 holes of the processors cover. Continue adding butter until you fell the sauce thickens and you have reached the desired consistency.

Why the Heavy cream? Well, if your sauce breaks or curdles from too much heat some say you can add a tablespoon of hot water and a tablespoon of heavy cream into the broken sauce and whip it up again. (Alternately you could start in a fresh bowl, whipping a new egg yolk and add the broken sauce back into the new egg) I happen to think these fixes are just ok at best- maybe its better to make a new batch…

Can I make it ahead? It’s so easy to make in the food processor that there is no need, but if you insist then refrigerate it. You can try to reheat it in the microwave (10 seconds at a time until warm) or over a water bath, or putting it back in the processor and pouring through the spouts 4-6 tablespoons of hot heavy cream.

Sauce Béarnaise-Hollandaise with chopped shallots, parsley, tarragon, and lemon juice and reduced wine vinegar
Sauce Paloise- wit chopped mint and anchovy
Garlic Hollandaise - with minced garlic
Mustard Hollandaise- with mustard
Sauce Maltaise- basic sauce Hollandaise but with orange juice (about1Tablespoon of orange juice incorporated while making the sauce and 2-4 tablespoons of juice and or zest whipped in to the finished sauce) in place of lemon juice or vinegar

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