I first came to know hollandaise sauce when I was shopping in the grocery store. There was a hollandaise sauce ready-mix right next to the asparagus. I then saw it in the movie "Julie and Julia" and learned that the famous Julia Child has a classic recipe for it, which didn't look too hard to make. I also saw her making it on her cooking show on PBS. Since then, it has been on my "to cook" list, and today I finally get to do it. It is basically to incorporate melted butter into egg yolks and produce this creamy and frothy butter sauce. The color is pretty too, like a baby duck's coat. It is a classic when served with egg benedict (a French breakfast sandwich) or asparagus.
Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking):
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 stick (4 oz) of butter
1. Bring the eggs to room temperature. Or warm them up in a jar of warm water.
2. Place egg yolks, seasonings, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in the bowl.
3. Cut the butter into pieces and heat it to foaming hot in a small saucepan. Or melt it in a microwave.
4. Beat the egg yolk mixture with a electric beater at top speed until the color change to pale yellow, and the volume increases a little.
5. Start pouring on the hot butter in a thin stream of droplets. By the time two thirds of the butter has gone in, the sauce will be a thick cream. Omit the milky residue at the bottom of the melted butter. Taste the sauce, and blend in more seasonings if necessary.
6. If not used immediately, set the jar in tepid, but not warm, water.
7. Pour over the blanched asparagus.