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October 1998 Issue
Sensational Sauces
by Philip R. Gantt
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Hollandaise Sauce

This sauce is one of the many French style sauces that can be used to compliment vegetables, fish or meat. It is very rich, yet pleasant in flavor. Try this sauce on broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, squash, steamed carrots, or whatever vegetable suits your fancy. Use also on broiled or poached salmon, or any white fish like halibut, rockfish or cod. A little Hollandaise on broiled or roasted meat or chicken will turn your meal into a gourmet treat!

Of course, you can used one of the prepackaged mixes to make a quick Hollandaise, but they will not be as good as the one presented here. Making the sauce is a delicate process however, that requires some care. Because it uses eggs, there is a tendency for the sauce to "break", in which case you can quickly add a little cream to try to salvage the texture. Alternately, should the sauce break, you can try reconstituting it with another egg yolk. To prevent breaking, the temperature must be kept low.

  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten with any cords removed
  • 4 tbsp. very hot water
  • Speck of cayenne or white pepper
  • 1½ T. lemon juice
  • Pinch of tarragon
Melt the butter very slowly in a saucepan over very low heat. Do not allow to bubble. Set aside and keep warm. Have a small pot of boiled water ready for mixing. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate saucepan over very low heat until they just begin to thicken. Add one tablespoon of water and continue to whisk until thickened. Do the same for the remaining 3 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice. Once thickened again, very slowly add the warm melted butter whisking constantly. Do not allow the sauce to get too hot or it will break. Finally, add a pinch of tarragon, mix and serve.
  • Yields: 1 cup
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
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