Thursday, August 11

Eggs Benedict Mini-Series--Week 3

It's Thursday, and you know what that means! The next installment of the Eggs Benedict Series. 

This week features the hollandaise sauce. I imagine that, with time, the sauce becomes easier to prepare--much like poaching the eggs. Another component to getting it right is having a recipe you are comfortable with. Don't fret, there are many to choose from.
Over the last week, I compiled a total of six (6) recipes with only two (2) being similar. There is one I will omit from this post as it is very lengthy, complex and not one I am apt to try myself.

So here goes the run-down:

--> First up is courtesy of Food Network Kitchens. 
   Prep: 10 min.   Cook: 30 min.   Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 Tbsp strained fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh ground white pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper

    In a medium saucepan, completely melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes. Skim and discard the white foam that rises to the surface of the butter. Carefully ladle or pour the clear golden butter into a container with a pouring spout. Take care not to add the milky solids and watery liquid at the bottom of the pan. Set the butter aside in a warm spot. 
    In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine the egg yolks and the cold water. Whisk until the yolks are light and frothy. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly and vigorously until the yolks are thickened and light, about 3 to 4 minutes. (If the eggs begin to scramble or the mixture is cooking very quickly or gets too hot, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk to cool.) Remove the eggs from the heat and whisk for 30 seconds to cool slightly.
    Remove the saucepan from the heat and set the bowl over the hot water. Slowly drizzle the butter into the eggs while whisking constantly. Whisk in the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce is very thick add a few drops of warm water to adjust the consistency so it is creamy and light.) Serve immediately or keep hollandaise sauce in a small bowl set over warm water, but not hot water, for about 30 minutes or in a warmed thermos for about an hour.

--> Second recipe is courtesy Emeril Lagasse.
   Total time: 15 min.   Prep: 15 min.   Yield: about 3/4 cup

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tsp water
  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 stick melted butter

    In a stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and water until pale yellow in color. 
Season with salt and pepper. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove the bowl from the pot and whisking vigorously, add the butter,  1 teaspoon at at time, until it is all incorporated.
Attempt #2
Attempt #1

As you can see, my two attempts at this recipe differ in appearance. I assure you, they also differed in consistency. :) 

  • The first time around my yolks began to scramble as I was reaching for the salt and pepper. I kept going with it, but it ended up in the trash.
  • The second time around I didn't stop whisking for anything--but I did still get in the salt and pepper. The result was a smooth, rich, almost frothy buttery sauce. It was a hit all around!

--> The third recipe I added to my research is courtesy Tyler Florence. 
   Total time: 20 min.   Prep: 10 min.   Cook: 10 min.   Yield: 1 cup

    However, I don't plan on writing this one out because it is so close to the previous recipe. Though if the curiosity just won't subside, click on the link to see what Tyler Florence's recipe is verbatim. 

--> The fourth recipe is courtesy of the man, Alton Brown. 
   Prep: 5 min.   Cook: 15 to 20 min.   Yield: 1 1/4 cup

    But I won't be transcribing this one either. Remember that complex recipe I mentioned earlier? Yeah, this is that one. If you are already comfortable with making this sauce then I definitely recommend clicking on the link to check out how Mr. Brown makes hollandaise. For a beginner, like myself, I feel that it is a bit wordy and overwhelming. Perhaps I'll tackle this at a later point. Moving on....

--> The fifth recipe is courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. ~ I like this recipe because it simplifies the sauce and makes it more approachable, less intimidating.
   Times unavailable as the hollandaise recipe was extracted from "larger" recipe.

  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper

    Melt butter in a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. With the blender running, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick. (You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 Tbsp hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.)

--> The sixth, and final, recipe is courtesy Paula Deen. ~ The more I watch this charming lady, the more I love her. I found this recipe within a "larger" recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes. I was sold--'course it helps that this is by far one of the simplest recipes for the rich tasting sauce.
   Time are unavailable as the hollandaise recipe was extracted from within another recipe.

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp cream
  • 2 large Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Chicken broth, optional
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

    Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Stir until thick, approximately 3 minutes; set aside until ready to use. Do not reheat or cover the pot. Thin, if needed with a little chicken broth. Stir in the vinegar. Use immediately.

Ready, set, cook! 

    Go forth and be confident! You are now armed with recipes for hollandaise sauce ranging from complex to fairly simple. Surely you read over one that sounds like a good fit for you. Believe me, it feels like a big accomplishment being able to successfully create this sauce.

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