Sunday, January 10, 2010


Hollandaise: flavorful relish or dressing or topping served as an accompaniment to food

We usually cook from scratch as opposed to boxes and cans, and this pantry/freezer challenge is a great way to try some new things in the spirit of creativity. This morning Greg was going to make himself a “McMuffin-like thing” for breakfast when I asked if he’d want to try making Hollandaise sauce and having Eggs Benedict. His eyes lit up – that’s like his favorite thing for breakfast ever, and he watched “Julie and Julia” with me last weekend, so I knew he’d be open to trying something new.

Hollandaise is one of those things I’d never heard of before beginning my high school career as a waitress at Village Inn. (There were lots of things I learned out there, not all food related, but mostly all legal…) So I had my first ever order of Eggs Benedict, but that’s not the best way I’ve enjoyed Hollandaise. My co-worker and friend, Jill, taught me about using it as a sandwich dipping sauce. We’d order patty melts on rye with a cup of sauce on the side, then go to town. I haven’t eaten that in years, but I do always wish for a cup of Hollandaise whenever I have a patty melt.

So we looked up recipes and the seemingly easiest one was from Tyler Florence on the Food Network website. A few egg yolks, a stick of butter, some fresh lemon juice. No problem. We tag-teamed the entire dish, poaching eggs, whisking sauce, toasting English muffins.  The sauce came out perfectly, buttery and lemony, and the eggs were perfectly poached with soft yolks that blended with the sauce for a rich, smooth feel in my mouth. I’m sorry that I enjoyed and gobbled this down without taking a photo. It was pretty. It was yummy. It was easy.

Hollandaise Sauce


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt


Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

  • 8 slices Canadian bacon
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hollandaise sauce, recipe above
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain. To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings

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