Sunday, May 21, 2006

Beginner's luck: Hollandaise Sauce

My beloved's birthday was last weekend but I made an actual birthday dinner for him on Monday last. I stupidly realized that I hadn't taken a picture of the lamb shoulder that I'd cooked for him (not perfect but definitely edible) until after it was all cut up.

There was one thing that I was really proud of, though. At the last minute a mustard sauce was requested by The Frog. My only hope was the hollondaise based mustard sauce I saw in one of my newest cook books: The Cook's Book In a complete panic about the timing I resorted to using the blender version because the one over the simmering water scared the heck out of me for fear of curdling or something. I have to say that the blender version was not only good but "a perfect texture" according to said Frog. The taste was really good although not as mustardy as he'd hoped. I'm including here the basic recipe because everyone should have a chance at making Hollandaise without fear.

Hollandaise Sauce: In a Blender

Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp lightly crushed white peppercorns
4 egg yolks
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, clarified
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper

1) Place the vinegar, water and peppercorns in a small, heavy-based pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute, or until reduced by one-third (to about 2 1/2 tbsp). Remove from heat and leave until cold, then strain the liquid into a blender, adding a pinch of salt and pepper.

2) Place egg yolks with vinegar in blender. Blend for a few seconds [I did it for about 15 seconds but didn't seem to matter]. Heat the clarified butter. With the machine switched to the highest setting, trickle in the hot butter and blend until thick and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and seasoning.

Voila! It's just that simple.

Now, mind you, you have to clarify butter yourself if you can't get it in the store but that's only a matter of skimming off the solids while the butter slowly melts in a pan. That's easy enough for me. It's easy enough for anyone then.


To add a mustardy taste you can add 1 tbsp Dijon mustard at the end of the blending. Maybe it should be two if you REALLY like the taste of mustard like The Frog.

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