As I stood in my kitchen, musing over life’s big questions: why do toddlers decide to revolt just when you need them to behave? Why does every New Yorker (myself included) believe they can perfectly time the subway commute? And, most importantly, what’s the best way to make Hollandaise sauce without turning my kitchen into a disaster zone? Classic me, right?
In between these essential ponderings, my youngest decided to exhibit his inner Picasso by using my new designer lipstick to create a mural on his bedroom wall. Oh, the joys of motherhood! It struck me then—it’s all about finding balance, both in life and in cooking.
Have you ever found yourself juggling family, a seemingly ever-growing to-do list, and trying to maintain your sense of humor? Welcome to my world! It’s crazy, chaotic, beautiful, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In this blog, we’ll tackle the wonderful world of Whisking 101, more specifically, the egg-citing art of Hollandaise sauce. You’ll nail it, we all will, and who knows? Maybe, just maybe, life will feel a tad more manageable with a delicious, creamy sauce to pour on top. Here’s to keeping it real in the kitchen and embracing life’s delightful unpredictability!
- Egg yolks – The foundation of the sauce, provides a rich and creamy texture.
- Lemon juice – A classic ingredient that adds a tangy citrus flavor and cuts the richness of the egg yolks and butter.
- Unsalted butter – The key to the richness and smooth texture of the sauce, can be substituted with clarified butter.
- Cayenne pepper – A dash to add heat and balance the richness of the sauce. Any other hot sauce can be used if cayenne pepper is not available.
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk together 2 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- In a separate bowl, melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the microwave, or use a small pan over the stove.
- Place the bowl with the egg mixture over a pan of simmering water, or use a double boiler, being careful not to let the water touch the bowl. The steam will heat the mixture.
- Slowly pour the melted butter into the egg and lemon mixture while whisking continuously.
- Keep whisking and stirring gently until the mixture thickens.
- Mix in a dash of cayenne pepper once it thickens, if desired.
- For a more even heat, use a double boiler when making hollandaise sauce.
- If the sauce starts to “break”, don’t panic! It can happen to the best of us. Just take the sauce off the heat, whisk it vigorously until smooth, and then return it to the heat to thicken again.
- The key to a great hollandaise sauce is using fresh and large eggs, so don’t skimp on quality when it comes to the yolks.
- If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, you could try using aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) or a plant-based butter instead of traditional ingredients.
Serving Suggestions for Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise sauce is a classic French sauce that’s perfect for dressing up any dish! Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Eggs Benedict: The ultimate brunch staple, this dish wouldn’t be complete without a rich and creamy hollandaise sauce. Serve it over a toasted English muffin, with a juicy ham slice and a perfectly poached egg.
- Steamed Vegetables: Jazz up your steamed veggies with a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. It’s the perfect addition to carrots, green beans, asparagus, or any other veggie you have on hand.
- Grilled Fish: Give your grilled fish a luxurious twist by spooning some hollandaise sauce over it. It’s particularly delicious with salmon or tilapia.
- Baked Potatoes: Upgrade your baked potatoes with a dollop of hollandaise sauce. It’s the perfect addition to the classic comfort food.
- Grilled Meat: Add a touch of elegance to your grilled chicken, steak, or pork chop by spooning some hollandaise sauce over it. It’s the perfect complement to any meat dish.
Remember, hollandaise sauce is best served warm, so be sure to heat it up before serving.
What kind of equipment do I need to make hollandaise sauce?
To make hollandaise sauce, you will need a double boiler or a large saucepan and heatproof bowl, as well as a whisk.
Can I use a different kind of pepper instead of cayenne pepper?
If you don’t have cayenne pepper on hand, you can try using black pepper or white pepper, but keep in mind that it may affect the overall flavor of the sauce.
Can I make hollandaise sauce in the microwave?
You can melt the butter in the microwave, but you’ll need to whisk it together with the egg yolks and lemon juice over a pan of simmering water (or a double boiler) to thicken the sauce.
What should I do if my hollandaise sauce starts to break?
No worries, if your sauce starts to break, it happens to even the most skilled cooks! Take the sauce off the heat and place on the counter. Whisk the sauce vigorously until smooth, then return to the heat to thicken.
Are there any alternatives for fresh eggs that can be used in hollandaise sauce?
As hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of eggs, it may be hard to find an alternative for fresh eggs, you can try experimenting with aquafaba, the brine from a can of chickpeas, but it will not have the same texture and consistency as the hollandaise made with fresh eggs.
Classic Hollandaise Sauce
- Double boiler or large saucepan
- Heatproof bowl
- 2 large, fresh egg yolks
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until well combined.
- In a double boiler or a large saucepan filled with simmering water, place the bowl with the egg mixture. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water.
- Gradually add the cubed butter to the egg mixture, whisking continuously until the butter has fully melted and the sauce has thickened.
- Add cayenne pepper, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined.
- If the sauce starts to break, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the sauce vigorously on the counter until smooth. Then return to the heat to thicken.
- Serve the sauce immediately, while still warm, over your favorite dish.
If you prefer a thicker sauce, add additional butter. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a little warm water or additional lemon juice.
The sauce can be kept warm over the double boiler for up to 30 minutes. If not serving immediately, transfer to a heatproof container and keep in a warm place.