The other day, my kids decided to build the most epic pillow fort in our living room – seriously, it was like something straight from a movie! You guys know how it is; once your little architects get to work, it’s all hands on deck. So, while they were all about their engineering masterpiece, I was left in the kitchen looking for a way to channel my inner fort builder.
Now, I’m no architect, but I can whip up something that truly supports the idea of constructing a scrumptious meal (wink, wink). So, the kids have their fort and guess what? Turns out, I’m great at “building” in the kitchen too! Maybe not with pillows and blankets, but I’d like to think I hold the title of the greatest sauce builder in New York. That’s got to count for something, right?
I don’t know about you, but cooking for me is like a therapeutic way of putting the puzzle pieces of life together one by one. It helps me regenerate while creatively crafting something that comforts me (and you!). So that’s what I’ll be sharing today.
On an unrelated note, have I mentioned my husband’s newest hobby, playing the ukulele? Let me tell you, it would have made for an interesting soundtrack to this whole fort-building saga. But, what’re you going to do, right? Life is never dull in our fortress.
- White wine vinegar – A tangy and savory start to the sauce that is simmered with shallot, black pepper, and tarragon.
- Shallot – A little ingredient with a big punch of flavor, sweeter and milder than onion.
- Dried tarragon – A bright and anise-like flavor that is added to the sauce.
- Black pepper – A touch of spiciness to balance the flavors.
- Egg yolks – The base of the sauce, use room temperature eggs for the best results.
- Unsalted butter – A luxurious ingredient that adds richness and indulgence to the sauce.
- Bearnaise sauce – A luxurious sauce that starts with a reduction of white wine vinegar, shallot, black pepper, and tarragon. It’s then combined with egg yolks and emulsified with butter to create a thick and rich sauce.
- Alright, let’s get saucy with this Bearnaise recipe. First things first, grab a small frying pan and add in your vinegar, shallot, black pepper, and tarragon over medium-low heat. Let that simmer until it’s well reduced, which should take about 10-15 minutes. You should only be left with a few tablespoons of liquid. Set that aside to cool.
- Now, heat up about an inch of water in a small saucepan. In a metal mixing bowl, combine the cooled reduction, egg yolks, and a splash of water. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the water isn’t touching the bowl (or, you can use a double boiler if you have one).
- Start whisking and adding butter, 2-4 tablespoons at a time, whisking until fully melted. Keep going until all the butter is added. As you’re whisking, make sure you keep the heat as low as possible so the yolks don’t solidify and turn your sauce into scrambled eggs.
- Once your sauce is at the desired thickness, remove it from heat. Pour it into a gravy boat or serving dish and dig in!
- Whisk continuously and use fresh farm eggs if you can find them – it’ll make a huge difference in the flavor.
- And if it’s a little too thick, don’t be afraid to add a splash of water.
Serving Suggestions for Bearnaise Sauce
Bearnaise sauce is a classic French sauce that’s perfect for elevating any dish. Here are some delicious serving suggestions to help you make the most of this flavorful sauce:
- Steak Night: Drizzle Bearnaise sauce over a juicy, grilled steak for an indulgent and delicious meal.
- Seafood feast: Pair Bearnaise sauce with grilled shrimp, lobster, or scallops for a fancy seafood dinner that’s sure to impress.
- Veggie-Licious: Bearnaise sauce is not just for meat-lovers! Try it over roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, for a tasty and healthy dish.
- Eggs Benedict: Bearnaise sauce is the perfect topping for classic Eggs Benedict. Serve it over poached eggs and Canadian bacon on an English muffin for a brunch that’s worth waking up for.
- Random Fact: Did you know that Bearnaise sauce was created in the 19th century in honor of the famous French chef Auguste Escoffier?
So, go ahead and get creative with your Bearnaise sauce. Whether you’re serving it with steak, seafood, veggies, or eggs, this classic sauce is sure to add a touch of French sophistication to your meal.
Classic Bearnaise Sauce
- 1 saucepan
- 1 Metal mixing bowl
- 1 Double boiler (Optional, replaces mixing bowl)
- 1 cup White wine vinegar
- 2 Medium Shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons Fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 2 Egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 2 teaspoons Fresh lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- In a saucepan, add vinegar, shallots, black pepper, and tarragon over medium-low heat. Let it simmer until well reduced, 10-15 minutes; there should only be a few tablespoons of liquid left. Set aside to cool.
- Heat about an inch of water in a small saucepan. In a metal mixing bowl, combine the fully cooled reduction, egg yolks, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Place the mixing bowl on top of the water-filled saucepan, making sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. (Or, use a double boiler!)
- While whisking continuously, add the butter 2-4 cubes at a time, whisking until fully melted. Continue until all the butter has been added.
- Once your sauce is at the desired level of thickness, remove from heat. Season with additional salt, if needed. Pour into a gravy boat, drizzle over the prepared dish, and serve!
It is extremely important for yolk-based sauce recipes that the mixture is whisked continuously! Keeping the yolks vigorously whisked for the entire cooking time makes sure they cook without turning solid.
If it’s a little too thick, don’t be afraid to add a splash of water!
Using fresh farm eggs will make a world of difference in the quality of your sauce.
Experiment with different herbs, such as chervil or parsley, for a unique twist on a classic Bearnaise sauce.