I’ll never forget my first foray into Hollandaise making. If you can imagine, I was intimidated by the whole process so I found a recipe titled “Easy Blender Hollandaise.” And – it was a disaster. My friend, Christin, came over and, when she was finished mocking me and my pathetic attempts, she taught me how to make Hollandaise. Since that day many years ago, my approach to making Hollandaise has evolved to the point that I consider it one of the simplest sauces to make and I can throw it together in less than 5 minutes.
This morning when Tom seemed less than enthusiastic about my offer of poached eggs and English muffins, I whipped up the plate above in the time it took him to walk to the corner for the Sunday paper. Small rant here about the paper: we subscribed for years until we finally got so frustrated with the delivery schedule that we canceled. Getting the paper at 7:30 in the morning doesn’t cut it when I have to leave for work at 7:15, kwim? If the T-U expended as much energy in getting the paper to my house in a timely manner as they do with their constant barrage of telephone solicitations offering me home delivery at a reduced price, perhaps we’d be able to work something out. End of rant.
For the Hollandaise I used 3 egg yolks and a really generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I knew I was serving the eggs on a bed of arugula (nope, not tired of arugula yet) and I love the contrast of pepper and lemon so I upped the amount of lemon juice that I typically use. After whisking the yolks and juice and a few drops of water together in a stainless bowl, I put the bowl above a pot filled with about 4″ of simmering water, double boiler style. Whisking constantly, I watched the eggs turn to a gorgeous shade of yellow at which point I started adding chunks of cold butter, probably about 4T in all. Whisk, whisk, whisk, a little salt and few cranks of pepper – done. If things start getting out of hand (curdling or breaking), remove the bowl from the double boiler and add a drop or 2 of cold water, if necessary. Make this a couple of times and I promise, you will be the master (mistress?) of this versatile and impressive sauce.
For the eggs, I use the bottom part of the double boiler. Add a couple of spoons of vinegar to the water, bring it to a boil and slide your eggs in. I crack my eggs onto a saucer to facilitate sliding them in to the water gently. Poach until they are the way you like them and combine them with your choice of bread, greens or meats to make the morning meal of your dreams.