I encourage everyone to master fresh Hollandaise sauce. It truly is a treat, and one of the quickest ways to take a meal from mundane to sublime.

3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, melted (no substitutions)
2 tablespoons hot water
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

The secret to the sauce is to give it 100% of your attention once you’ve started preparation, which only takes about five minutes. You want to have your table set, and side dishes and meat prepared. If cooked eggs are part of the meal, start cooking them when you start your sauce. Keep a close eye on them and remove from heat if they finish ahead of the sauce. Chances are, once you’ve cooked Hollandaise a couple of times, you’ll be able to time the eggs and the sauce to finish at almost the same moment.

Gather your ingredients and utensils to within arm’s length. Prepare a double boiler so the water is very hot, on the verge of simmering. Melt the butter and add the lemon juice. Place the egg yolks over the water and whisk until they’re smooth and warm. In a slow stream, add the lemon and butter to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in 1/8 teaspoon of the cayenne, salt and hot water. Taste the sauce and adjust the cayenne. If you like a deeper lemon flavor, now is the time to add another splash of lemon juice. Switch to a rubber spatula and continue mixing and cooking for about a minute.

Fresh Hollandaise sauce is best served immediately, since it requires constant attention to maintain consistency. It changes dramatically as it cools, so be sure your guests are seated by the time you add lemon and butter to the sauce.

Tip: I love multi-use kitchen equipment and I don’t have a traditional double boiler. Instead, I use one of my large metal mixing bowls and a saucepan to get the job done.

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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