MAKES A QUART. Keeps for a week covered under refrigeration. Takes 20 minutes. Use a good sized double boiler and have a sturdy whisk on hand As well as a cool bowl to pour the sauce into when finished.
In French Cuisine, Hollandaise is a classic Mother sauce, meaning one of the basics that others spring from, such as Béarnaise. It is an emulsified sauce. Basically the same idea, but using a different acidifier in this case lemon juice rather than a reduction of wine, vinegar, herbs and pepper which acidify and typify a Béarnaise.
This is a stove top recipe taught to me “on the fly” during a sauce crisis at dinner service one evening by the very able James Hatch who was assisting me on the line back in the Pine Cone days, circa 1989. Visit James now at his dining spot, the fabulous Home Kitchen Cafe in Rockland ME….he still uses this recipe taught to him, no doubt, by his Dad at the Cupboard Cafe in New Harbor, Maine.
For our Hollandaise, use the best eggs and butter you can find. I like free range eggs and good unsalted butter ( gives a rich color to the sauce) which I melt, then clarify.
To clarify just means pouring off the milk that collects in the bottom of the melted butter… or simply don’t use it. I save mine for a chowder.
- A DOZEN ORGANIC EGGS, SEPARATED ( save the whites for an low fat omelette)
- 1 POUND OF UNSALTED BUTTER,MELTED. I LIKE GRASS FED
- 1 CUP FRESH SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE at the ready
- SALT AND FRESH GROUND WHITE PEPPER TO TASTE
- A DASH OF TOBASCO SAUCE OR CAYENNE PEPPER
On your stovetop, warm the water at a medium heat under the double boiler as you pour your yolks into the top half.
From THIS POINT ON NEVER STOP WHISKING. Adjusting the heat lower as needed, slowly drip in the melted clarified butter until the eggs emulsify and the sauce thickens to your desired consistency . It will thicken further as it cools. If too thick for your purposes, add back in some of the milk from the clarifying process to thin it. Correct the taste with salt, pepper and tabasco, continue stirring until some of the heat is out of the sauce.
Pour your Hollandaise into an airtight container or bowl, cover with Saran wrap. Best if used immediately, but the sauce will hold for a few days in the refrigerator and can be brought back to room temp carefully. Good at Brunch, on crab cakes or poached salmon!