Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Perfect Hollandaise

It's no coincidence that the word "hollandaise" bears a remarkable aural resemblance to "holidays".  And don't we all tend to associate a good hollandaise accompaniment to a lazy long late breakfast of perhaps eggs and some perfect pairings: smoked salmon, baby spinach, grilled tomatoes, avocado, good sourdough, or anything else which takes your fancy at that time of day.

I think I need holidays, I mean, hollandaise.  Here's my almost foolproof version:

Simmer some water in a small saucepan, and put a heatproof bowl over the top (I use a small ceramic pudding dish).  Add 4 room temperature egg yolks and add 2 dessert spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, whisk with a fork until combined.  Dice up an entire stick (250g) of unsalted (also room temp) butter, and add in one piece at a time to the yolks.  Keep whisking, adding a few pieces of butter at a time, until melted and the sauce is thick.  If it starts getting too thick just remove from the heat immediately and add in a small splash of hot water if necessary (keep the kettle boiled in case you need this contingency).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let cool slightly to thicken more, then spoon over your favourite breakfast.  Try not to eat it by the spoonful - remember how much butter went into it!

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