Have you ever aimed for Hollandaise sauce, but ended up with scrambled eggs or an oily mess? Meet your new best friend:
Photo courtesy of Buy.com
Here is a really simple recipe for making creamy, non-separating, non-curdling Hollandaise sauce—one that doesn’t require a double boiler, egg tempering, or exhaustive whisking. What an improvement. Now, I realize it’s unfair to give you such an easy, fattening recipe as you’re trying to stick to your healthy eating resolutions, but if you put just dab on grilled fish or a bunch of fresh asparagus (don’t send me hate mail because it’s not in season), we can both be happy.
-1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
-3 egg yolks
-1 Tbsp. lemon juice (please don’t use that disgusting bottled stuff)
-Dash of cayenne pepper
-salt (you may not much, or any) and pepper (preferrably white) to taste
1. Melt the butter slowly in a very small pot, being careful not to brown or burn it (or, melt it in one of those liquid measuring cup pitchers in the microwave).
2. Blend the egg yolks and lemon juice in the blender.
3. With the blender still on, very carefully and slowly pour in the melted butter.
4. Blend until your sauce is the consistency of thin mayonnaise.
This can be done ahead, up to the point where you add the butter to the blended egg mixture. When you’re ready to serve, just reheat your butter slightly, so the sauce will be warm. I’d rather not make it fully ahead and then reheat it on the stove— double boilers are a big pain, you might scramble the eggs, and raw eggs sitting around in warm butter just seem like the perfect medium for growing icky bacteria.
Variation: Instead of lemon juice, I usually make a flavored vinegar reduction. Boil 3-4 Tbsp. white or cider vinegar (not balsamic, it will discolor your sauce) with 1 bay leaf, some cracked black pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Reduce to 2 Tbsp. and strain, allow to cool, then proceed as with lemon juice.
p.s. I haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure this recipe could be made in a food processor as well. The feed tube might even make adding the butter easier.