Monday, January 30, 2012

Hollandaise Sauce... the easy blender version

Hollandaise Sauce is addictively delicious, so tasty a topping it could almost make a slab of cardboard seem edible. The classic egg sauce can be a bit touchy to prepare, requiring a double boiler, barely simmering water and a bit of patience as you whisk in the melted butter. Use too much heat and you risk scrambled eggs. Unsightly separation is another common challenge with this classic sauce. 

So why bother? 1) Because this emulsified combination of egg yolks, lemon juice, butter and a touch of hot sauce is so amazingly delicious and 2) because it's so amazingly easy and foolproof to prepare using a blender. Purists may proclaim blender Hollandaise an imposter, a second-rate wannabe, but this method produces a tasty sauce that's welcome in my galley.

Hollandaise is the sauce for Eggs Benedict, a favorite topping for asparagus or broccoli, and it has graced more than a few crab cakes and seafood crepes. Recently we hosted a weekend brunch featuring Lox Benedict. While not exactly low calorie health food,  it was over-the-top delicious.

Before the poached egg and Hollandaise Sauce
Basic Hollandaise ingredients

Blender Hollandaise Sauce

1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
Dash of hot sauce (Chipotle Tabasco or Cajun Sunshine or a sprinkle of cayenne)
Yolks of 2 large eggs
Salt and white pepper to taste (optional)
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foaming, but not browned. Remove from the heat.
  2. Place the lemon juice, hot sauce and egg yolks in a blender; cover and whiz to combine.
  3. Keep the blender running, remove the cover's insert and very, very slowly drizzle the hot butter in a thin stream of droplets into the blender. 
  4. The sauce will become creamy and thicken. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice as needed. Use as soon as possible, this sauce does not hold well.

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