How to Make Hollandaise Sauce, Plus Common and Creative Uses for It
Hollandaise sauce is possibly the most finicky of sauces to make, but poured over the freshest of asparagus, well worth the hassle.
How to Make Hollandaise Sauce
- 1/2 lb of unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolkes
- 1/2 oz cold water
- 3/4 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- Clarify butter.
- Beat egg yolks until creamy, then combine with water and lemon juice in a bain marie (that's a bowl over pot with boiling water and works better than double boiler; easier to stir because of the bowl's rounded bottom).
- Slowly add butter while constantly stirring with a whisk. If sauce thickens too much add few drops of water or lemon juice. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Warm Butter, Not Hot Butter: It's important to remember to work with warm, rather then hot, butter, as the chances of curdling will be less. If per chance the sauce does look curdled, there's no reason to panic. Just gently whisk in another egg yolk.
- Don't Leave the Sauce Out: It's a health risk. Do not leave the sauce out for more then 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Lighter Version of Sauce: Try replacing the butter with 1/2 cup + one teaspoon of olive oil. Chances of it curdling are slightly higher but in that case add another egg yolk and a small teaspoon of plain yogurt.
- Poured over a new spring crop of blanched asparagus. Mmmm good.
- Also great over Brussels sprouts. Especially fresh from the garden, just after the first light frost hits them.
- Eggs Benedict is maybe the most famous use of hollandaise sauce. Place poached egg on top of lightly toasted English muffin. Add a few spears of asparagus. Pour sauce over, and sprinkle with some extra cayenne pepper. Dinner served.
Some Creative Dishes:
- Over Broccoli and Cauliflower: Place blanched broccoli and cauliflower in an oven safe dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with sauce, sprinkle with 1/4cup of grated old cheddar cheese & 1oz of breadcrumbs. Place on broil only until cheese melts 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately; perfect with a pork or beef roast.
- Pasta Casserole: Cook rotini or fusilli noodles al-dente. Slice very thinly (using a mandolin slicer or food processor) 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery and 2 small zucchini. Add a medium chopped onions. In a pan with small amount of olive oil stir fry veggies until soft. Combine veggies with noodles. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of shredded asiago cheese and 2 tablespoons of bacon bits. Salt and pepper to taste. Place under broil until cheese melts slightly 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven let stand 5 minutes cover with generous amount of sauce. Serve with a fresh garden or spinach salad.
- Green Bean Side Dish: Fine string cut green beans, one medium red bell pepper finely chopped, 1 medium vidalia onion finely chopped. Blanch green beans. Meanwhile caramelize onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add blanched beans and red pepper keep over heat only until red pepper is soft. Salt and black pepper to taste. Pour hollandaise sauce over veggies and serve immediately. Nice as a side with a steak or pork chop. (my favorite)
- A Lebanese Twist: My brother-in-law's Lebanese roots show through in this next dish. (As I don't like Okra, it's not my fave.) Blanch okra in water with some lemon juice. Caramelize 2 large chopped onions in a little olive oil. In oven safe dish layer slightly browned and crumbled pita bread (excellent way of using up left over not so fresh pita bread), strained okra, caramelized onion, 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Sprinkle with sumac spice (available at all Middle Eastern Stores) and allspice. Salt and pepper to taste. Dribble or spritz a bit of olive oil between layers. Place in 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 -12 minutes. The Lebanese way of making the sauce is to add a small amount of plain yogurt. Pour sauce over casserole and sprinkle with roasted sesame seed. Serve immediately great with lamb or mutton.