Hollandaise Sauce

Man, there’s very little I love more than Hollandaise sauce. Lemony, buttery, and rich, it’s the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of foods. Eggs, fish, chicken, seafood, and veggies, I’ll eat anything if you give me a bowl of Hollandaise to go with it!

Hollandaise sauce is not really difficult to make, just tedious. And if, like me, you don’t have a hand mixer, you’ll get an arm workout with every batch of this luscious sauce. Which is probably an excellent thing because Hollandaise is like the anti-health food, so you’ll need all the exercise you can get.

I like mine pretty lemony, but if you don’t, feel free to halve the lemon juice.

Obviously not the greatest photo I’ve ever taken, but I kinda don’t care because this Hollandaise sauce was pretty damned good!

Hollandaise Sauce

3 large egg yolks
1 TBS water
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 sticks (8 oz) butter, room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized chunks (I used salted butter)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used smoked paprika for my Baked Asparagus “Fries”)
Salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

Set a large saucepan of water to boil. In the meantime, whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl or a saucepan slightly smaller than the first one. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and set the bowl with the yolk mixture on top. It’s okay if the water touches the bottom of the pan. Whisk the egg mixture continuously until its volume doubles and you can see the bottom of the bowl when you drag the whisk across it.

Continue whisking while you add the butter pieces one at time, whisking until each piece is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next bit of butter. Keep whisking until all the butter is gone. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in an additional teaspoon or so of lemon juice.

If you need to put it aside for a few minutes while something else cooks, you can pour the sauce into an insulated thermos  or pour out some of the simmering water so that it no longer touches the bottom of the bowl, set the bowl back on the saucepan, turn off the heat, and keep the sauce covered until you’re ready to use it, but you should use it within an hour or two of making it.

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