One of my favorite days at the International Culinary Center was the class we learned about the five mother sauces of French cuisine (béchamel, espagnole, veloute, tomato, and hollandaise). While many chef’s have found ways to simplify these recipes, I believe it’s important to learn the traditional recipes and techniques for making these sauces. To start, I’ll explain my favorite sauce of them all; hollandaise. So here’s how to make hollandaise.
1 cup clarified butter (melted)
2 large egg yolks
1 T lemon juice
1 T hot water
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) If you don’t have any on hand, start by making clarified butter (check out a recipe for clarified butter here). Once your butter is clarified and melted, keep warm to the side.
2) In a medium sized metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, and hot water. For a quicker sauce, use a large balloon whisk (your arm will thank you).
3) Once incorporated, place the bowl over a sauce pot of barely simmering water. Be sure that the bowl does not touch the water, or the sauce will get too hot and break. Keep an eye on the heat throughout this process (again, don’t let your sauce overheat and break).
4) Now that you’re working over the heat, slowly drizzle in the melted, clarified butter and whisk. Whisk constantly and do not stop until all the butter is fully incorporated and the sauce is thick and creamy. Your arm is going to start to hurt, but keep whisking! Remove the sauce from the heat and season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Keep the hollandaise warm and serve immediately (hollandaise cannot be stored and reheated). Enjoy!