Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hollandaise Sauce

My family is a family of traditional foods: clam chowder on Christmas Eve, grape sherbet on Memorial Day, prime rib on New Years, pecan pie on Dad's birthday, Grandma's rolls any- and all the time, and eggs benedict on Christmas morning. I love tradition, but I am all for spicing it up a little every now and again. And in all honesty, I didn't even think it that big a stretch when I declared that I would be making the hollandaise sauce from scratch this year. I thought people would enjoy the nice touch, seeing as how every other year of my congniscent life we have simply reconstituted yellow powder. No, they were not happy. Some members of my family have stricter definitions of "tradition" than do it. I was accused of trying to ruin Christmas, insult 30 years of family tradition, and give salmonella to my pregnant sister. Then comes the ringer, "I have waitied a full year for eggs benedict, and if you ruin them, I will be furious!" I was a little taken aback. I mean, come on! Homemade is always better than powder because there's extra love in it, right? That's what I figured.

Conclusion. It was good: substantially zingier than the powdered stuff, and the family was happy. Christmas was not ruined, and all rejoiced.

Homemade Hollandiase Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 scant tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Carefully melt the butter in a saucepan over med-low heat.

Meanwhile, beat the lime juice, egg yolks, cream, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk a tablespoon at a time of the melted butter into the egg mixture (adding the eggs to the butter will cause them to scramble; this way keeps the mixture smooth) until you've put in 4 -6 tablespoons.

Whisking the whole time, add the egg mixture to the rest of the melted butter. Whisk until heated through and just barely bubbling--maybe 30 seconds or so (don't let it boil, or it will kind of curdle). Serve immediately.

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