Saturday, February 16, 2013

Taking the Mystery Out of The Mother of All Sauces...Hollandaise

Oh how they love Hollandaise Sauce. The Dowager Countess of Grantham loves this silky smooth sauce on her pouched fish.                          
 Oh, well, that is an easy caveat to accept, because I'm *never* wrong. 

I Remember just what happened to Ivy, the perky new kitchen maid, in the Dowwnton Abbey kitchen right before a grand meal. Even Daisy, the more experienced assistant cook, panicked when she saw the curdled sauce.

It's Alfred to the rescue, the very inexperienced and tall footman, who comes to the rescue. Prior to serving at Downton, he had worked as a hotel waiter, where he had caught glimpses of how master chefs save a separated or "broken" sauce. He quickly strained out the curdle portion of the sauce and whisked one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water to the remaining sauce, still keeping it warm during the process. His fast reaction would please any chef and mark this young man as someone to promote. (Is Mrs Patmore , Downton's cook, observing his flare, leading possibly to future plot developments?) 

Hollandaise is thought to be the most finicky of all the French Mother Sauces. All kind of things can happen, the sauce "breaks", the eggs curdle, you drop in on the floor and cat starts licking it up.
Now DO NOT allow this sauce to intimidate you. Ounce you understand the basics and the how too's then take a deep breath...let's cook!
This sauce is like a mayo, hollandaise is an emulsified sauce, that means the mixture stays together unlike a oil and vinegar dressing that quickly separates. The egg yolks are the thickening magic. That and the clarified butter bind the sauce so its thick, smooth and creamy. The more you cook the egg yolks, the thicker your hollandaise will be. However, the longer you cook your egg yolks over the heat,'s now a scrambled eggs sauce.
I like to heat the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water (aka double boiler). The gentle heat of the steam is much more forgiving than a direct flame. With that said, let's make some sauce of LOVE!
First What Is Clarified Butter?
Clarified butter is whole, unsalted butter that is melted down and allowed to separate so that the milk solids can be removed. The milk solids is what make butter BURN. The solids need to be removed to make a perfect sauce.

First the easiest way to clarify butter is to place it into a pan on medium heat and bring to a gentle boil and then turn it off. What happens next is  milk solids "foam" on top.  To finish the process, simply skim off the “skin” and pour off the clarified butter, being careful not to pour off any of the solids that's settled to the bottom. it ready to become a thick and creamy and amazing sauce...

The Happy Diabetic Classic Hollandaise Sauce

The Classic Ingredients:
  • 3 egg yolks, large eggs
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste

The Classic Preparation:

1. In a small saucepan set over a double boiler on medium heat, whisk 3 egg yolks and a splash of water.
  2.Continue whisking the egg yolks, taking the bowl off the steam occasionally so not to cook the eggs to quickly.
See the wipp marks?
 3. When the sauce is thick and you can see the wipp marks take if off the heat. now its time to add the butter. 2 teaspoons at a time, until all the butter is thoroughly incorporated into the sauce. The sauce will be thick, smooth, and glossy.
Whisk the lemon juice and salt into the hollandaise sauce, and then continue stirring it for 1 minute. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve it immediately.
This hollandaise recipe makes about 2 cups

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