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Simple Hollandaise Sauce + Eggs Benedict Pt. 1

Simple Hollandaise Sauce + Eggs Benedict Pt. 1

Posted by Michele Zagorski on 18th Dec 2015

We love Eggs Benedict.

There's something very home-y and cozy about it. 

Jacek requests it every year for his birthday breakfast, and now my son Mik does, too.  I know it has the reputation of being difficult, but I've created an extra-easy recipe for you!

You can even make this sauce a day ahead and then reheat it.

Here's my simplified Hollandaise sauce recipe, some cooking tips (in red) to make it fail-proof, and I show you how to put it all together step by step for picture-worthy Eggs Benedict!

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe 

Tip: Have ingredients at room temperature before starting.

~ 6 eggs

~ 1/2 lb. butter

~ 3 Tb Tarragon Infused Vinegar

(I linked to this brand since it's made by a LeBlanc, which is my maiden name!)

~ Cayenne Pepper

~ About 1/2 cup of almost-boiling water

This will make enough for 12 hearty servings of Eggs Benedict swimming in rich Hollandaise sauce!

My mother gave me a copy of Joy of Cooking when I left for college, and I'm still using it.  

I always review their Hollandaise sauce recipe before making it, but I've simplified their method even further here. 

They call their Hollandaise sauce 'Holiday' Sauce, and I think that's appropriate, since anytime you eat it, it turns a meal into a celebration!

Tip: It's important to get all your ingredients/utensils/tools out and within reach before starting.  You won't have time to search for that measuring spoon when the sauce needs whisking!

Step 1: Melt 1 cup (two sticks) of salted butter in a sauce pan over very low heat and keep warm.

Tip: I count on my cast iron heat diffuser to distribute low heat evenly, without fail.  I use mine all the time, and it only leaves my stovetop long enough to get washed. You can find one at a gourmet store for less than $30, and they are worth every penny. You can also use a double boiler to make Hollandaise sauce, but I find the diffuser easier to use and it takes up less space. 

Step 2: Next, separate 6 egg yolks from the whites.  This is easy to do and doesn't require any tools.  Just transfer the yolk between the two halves of shell, allowing the whites to fall into a bowl below.  Put all the yolks in a separate bowl.

Here's a quick video I made to show you how:

Step 3: Add about 3 Tb. of the tarragon vinegar (I make my own...I'll teach you how in a later blog post)... the bowl of egg yolks and mix well.

Step 4: With a whisk, blend the egg & vinegar with the butter in the pan over low heat using the diffuser or a double boiler.  Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens. 

Add 1 Tb. of the very hot water and whisk again until the sauce begins to thicken.  Repeat this step 2 more times, for a total of 3 Tb. of hot water.  

Keep warm until ready to use.

Once you are ready to assemble the Eggs Benedict, whisk in one last Tb. of hot water to the Hollandaise sauce.  

Tip: You can adjust the thickness of the sauce by how much water you whisk in.  

Tip: There are several shapes, sizes, materials, & styles of whisks, and I use this Silicone Whisk with my nonstick pans to protect them from scratches. I also love how easy they are to clean up. 

Step 5: Whisk in a pinch of Cayenne powder.  This is optional, but it does make it extra tasty, not spicy, so don't be afraid to try it!

Tip: If you are making the sauce ahead of time, put it in the fridge.  To use, reheat slowly over low heat, whisking.  If the sauce is broken, or not silky smooth, whisk in a Tb. of cream or an egg yolk to restore it to smooth perfection.  You may need to whisk in another Tb. of hot water, as well.

You've made your own delicious 'Holiday' Sauce!  

Once you try it, you'll never want store-bought again.

In my next post, I'll show you how to use your sauce with home-made Eggs Benedict!