Though I don’t mention it often, I suffer from several chronic illnesses. They limit my life choices, and have caused my career goals to slide from surgeon to virologist to chef. Ultimately, my disabilities chose my career for me; I ended up becoming a foodie housewife. I was incredibly depressed and upset at first, but I eventually accepted that I had no say in the matter and figured I may as well embrace what things I could do.
I’ve always been an over achiever, so I delved into the books I was meant to study in culinary school. I had a wonderful appetite and found joy in cooking, often waking early to pore over books from my would-be academie de cuisine’s reading list. All of that psyching up made me feel like I had conquered an empire when I made my first roulade, a hero when I made my first croissant, and Chef (yes, with a capital C) of my kitchen once I had mastered the five mother sauces: béchamel, velouté, tomate, espagnole, and hollandaise.
The books were infectious and led to me wanting to share my new-found knowledge with others. When I oh so casually mention that there are five sauces that one should memorize when learning to cook, however, most folks headed for the hills (for some odd reason). But you, Home Eccers, you surely must appreciate the trademark luxurious mouth feel and depth of flavor of a properly prepared mother sauce—and not just any mother sauce. We’re talkin’ hollandaise. (And everyone loves Hollandaise, right?)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice or good, light colored vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (use less if desired)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Dash of hot sauce, if desired
In the blender:
Skim the foamy solids off the top of 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter; hold the butter over low heat (or zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds before you use it).
Add 4 egg yolks to your blender. Pulse until light, fluffy, and thickened. This will take about 45 seconds.
Once the eggs are light and fluffy, turn the blender on. Add the melted butter in a thin stream; the heat from the butter will cook the eggs. If at any point your sauce starts to look grainy, pulse in an additional egg yolk.
Once the sauce has formed, pulse in 1 teaspoon lemon sauce, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash hot sauce (if desired). Taste the sauce and add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice, if desired. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of water.
On the stove top:
Step One: Skim the foamy solids off the top of 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter; hold the butter over low heat (or zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds before you use it).
Add 4 egg yolks plus 1 teaspoon water to a medium sized metal bowl placed over a simmering pot of water. Whisk until the yolks are fluffy, about 3 minutes. Once the egg mixture is light and fluffy, add the melted butter in a thin stream while mixing constantly. Cook, still whisking constantly, over the simmering water until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Once the sauce has formed, whisk in 1 teaspoon lemon sauce, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash hot sauce (if desired). Taste the sauce and add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice, if desired. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of water.
Michele Newell is a housewife turned blogger turned Home Ec 101 contributor. You can read her near daily ramblings at Dreams Unreal.