I’ve always shyed away from hollandaise sauce in restaurants, mainly, because I thought it was a yellow mayonnaise. The horror, I have a life altering fear of mayonnaise. I’m working on it, albeit halfheartedly, since for health reasons, why would one ever attempt to learn to love mayonnaise? That said, I like butter, I really like lemon juice, and in general I really like sauces topping anything, unless they’re white. But hollandaise is a lovely shade of yellow. The exact perfect shade of yellow for a baby nursery or just one of those colors which bring forth warm, happy, loving feelings. Not that either of my children had their nurseries painted in real life, but it was something I thought about doing many times. Perhaps if I hadn’t spent so much time preparing meals or on those cloth diapers, they could have had lovely walls to look at. Ok to be fair, it was probably my TMZ addiction that ate up the bulk of my wall painting hours. I had both my children during the Britney meltdown years! Oh well, they can bring it up to their therapists one day amongst all the other millions of things mommy never quite got around to doing. I can’t leave them lacking material to disparage me, can I? ; )
Years and years ago I made the Halibut with Hollandaise from the Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook I seem to always be referencing. I remember messing it up and scrambling my eggs at least once. In retrospect, everything went extremely easily this time so I’m not sure where I went wrong the first time. If you’re hesitant with your double boiler, I would use a glass bowl over the pan of simmering water, just so you can watch it to ensure your water doesn’t boil. And if your whisk is showing signs of rust or just bent and old, throw it out. They’re not very expensive and I hung on to my crummy one way, way to long. Sauces and gravies are so much more pleasant with a nice whisk. Here’s the one I chose if you’re needing inspiration. We’ll definitely continue eating asparagus plain more often than not, but this was a nice touch.
4 egg yolks
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 stick butter, melted
Beat egg yolks in top of double boiler until thick and creamy. Add lemon juice then whisk continuously until mixture has doubled in volume. Place over barely simmering water, whisking continuously, then slowly drizzle in melted butter in a stream, whisking continuously the entire time. Continue to whisk over heat until mixture is light, smooth, fluffy and has again doubled in volume. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a touch of cayenne. Serve immediately. Entire process took about 10 minutes.