Most of you reading this have probably never made Hollandaise Sauce. It is guaranteed to impress your friends and family should you serve them this wonderful sauce and tell them that it is scratch made. This sauce adds a real depth of flavor to your dishes as well as sophistication to your cooking. If you can stir a pot, you can make this sauce. It is a great addition to that romantic dinner, whether you are a man trying to seduce a woman, or a woman trying to impress a man. Using this sauce will get you rave reviews from those who partake of it.
If you review cookbooks in the bookstore or your own including the master cookbook from The Culinary Institute of America all talk about pouring melted butter into egg yolks in a blender. Most of them then talk about how to repair a ” broken sauce ” which is of course quite common using their technique. The other problem is, even if the sauce works, cleaning that blender afterwards is hard work because the thickened sauce really clings to the inside of the blender.
The traditional recipe calls for lemon juice only. Many people find that lemon juice only in the sauce is too tart for their palette. You can borrow a technique from Barnaise Sauce which is sister version of Hollandaise Sauce. That recipe calls for reduced wine. You might find a good compromise will include lemon juice and reduced white wine. The traditional recipe does not call for garlic but a little garlic powder (author’s note: please not here that is garlic powder and not garlic salt) adds a nice flavor layer to the sauce.
JOHN’S HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
2 egg yolks well chilled
1 stick butter well chilled
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp white wine (not cooking wine, good table wine)
One half tsp garlic powder
In a sauce pan, add the white wine and reduce down to 1 tbsp approximately. This should only take 2-3 minutes. Place pan in the freezer to chill the pan and the reduced white wine for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the egg yolks to the reduced white wine. Now drop the chilled stick of butter into the sauce pan. Place pan over low heat and stir constantly while the butter melts and the sauce ultimately thickens. This should take 5-7 minutes. As the sauce begins to thicken, toss the garlic powder in and continue to whisk the sauce until nicely thickened. Serve immediately. In other words, this is the very last thing that you do before you serve your dish. The chilled butter does what is called ” tempering ” the egg yolks. If you add hot butter into the yolks, they tend to separate instead of forming the emulsion that you want.
It is very rare for this version of the sauce to break. Sometimes when you get distracted and have to stop stirring, the pan can over-heat and cause the yolks to separate and ” break ” . If that happens, take the pan off of the stove and add another chilled egg yolk into the sauce and continue whisking. It will re-constitute back into an emulsion as if by magic. You then place the pan back on the low heat and continue whisking until it is nicely thickened. You want to do this as the very last thing and pour over your vegetables just before serving while everything is hot