Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whisk Wednesdays—Sauce Hollandaise (Warm emulsified sauce) and Sauce Moutarde

::Whisk Wednesdays::
Welcome to Whisk Wednesdays!
I now have a couple of buddies who will join me as I cook my way through a cooking school curriculum. I'm so excited to find other bloggers who are interested in doing this too! I've had to organize myself a bit and have explained it all HERE. We will probably have to make adjustments as we go, but it should be fun. You should join us!

Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise SauceHollandaise sauce
This week it's Hollandaise sauce, another of the five mother sauces. (Velouté, Espagnole, Béchamel, and Tomato are the others.) Hollandaise is similar to mayonnaise and lemon curd, but it's served warm.

Hollandaise is basically a sabayon, which is a foamy, emulsified mixture of yolks and liquid (in this case water). If you were to add sugar and a sweet wine, you would have zabaglione. But, today we're adding a ton (only half a pound) of butter to the sabayon.

History and Tips
Hollandaise dates back to the 17th century and used to be named Sauce Isigny, which is a town in Normandy famous for its butter. However, during World War I, France could no longer produce butter so they imported it from Holland and the name stuck. (from Linda Stradley at What's Cooking America)

Hollandaise is a tricky beast and requires constant attention, sorta like kids. You must whisk constantly to ensure the eggs don't stick to the bottom of the pan and to keep the texture smooth, not grainy.

There are different ways of making hollandaise: with a double boiler or directly over the flame. With clarified butter or with cubes of unsalted butter. With a blender or just a whisk.

Today, I tried putting the yolks directly over the flame (or burner, in my case!) and whisked constantly. I also made two batches: one using clarified butter and the other using butter cubes. The sauce with the clarified butter was runnier, plus I prefer the flavor from using the milk solids from good 'ol butter (and I'm not wasting any precious butter).

Earlier this year, I made lemon curd for a lemon cream tart and at the same time tried making a hollandaise sauce following the method suggested for Dorie's The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart. It turned out great. This is yet another option for making hollandaise.

Hollandaise Trouble
Many things can go wrong with this sauce, but here are the tips I found to try to correct the problem.

• If curdled, blend in a blender although the texture won't be the same. You may just want to start over.

• If broken, try whisking in a little cream or water. The sauce may break if it becomes too hot. In this case cooling it off with cold water or an ice cube might do the trick.

• If too thick, add a little boiling water.

• If too thin, you may have added the butter too fast.

If you have the time (and an extra half pound of butter lying around), just start over! That's what I ended up doing after finding my first batch too runny. I put it back on the stove to reheat since it had been sitting out too long for the photo shoot(!), which quickly caused it to break into many pieces!

Watch a Pro
• Here is a great video showing how to make hollandaise.

• Here is another video with Alton Brown demonstrating hollandaise (jump to the 2 minute mark).

I also found these cool links:

• Here's one that shows a picture of deep-fried hollandaise!

• Here's a good article with more background information about hollandaise.

Recipe for Hollandaise

Hollandaise sauce mise en placeYou can find the recipe for Hollandaise in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home. To see how the rest of the group fared (all 3 of us!) with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger!

Sauce Moutarde

Sauce MoutardeFor a variation, you can add Dijon mustard (or whatever mustard you want) to taste. This version tasted great on a ham roast we had. I also tried it on asparagus and the Eggs Benedict and loved it on these too.

Recipe for Eggs Benedict

Serves 1

1 English Muffin, toasted
1-2 slices back bacon, cooked
1 poached egg
Hollandaise sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise SauceSauce Moutarde on Asparagus and HamTasting Notes
Eggs Benedict always seemed so special when we went out for breakfast. Everyone else would order it, and I would order my French Toast. Now, though, I've discovered how much I love this heart-unfriendly breakfast fare and plan on making it more often. The hollandaise was rich and buttery, smooth and creamy, with a slight tang from the lemon. The hardest part of this dish is getting the poached egg properly poached (not too underdone and not too overdone). I still need practice on this front.

The mustard version was delicious too, perfect for a variation on Eggs Benedict or with ham and asparagus.

The best tip I learned was to use a thermos to store the Hollandaise sauce in until you're ready to serve. Brilliant, I tell you.

Next Week (June 25)
• Sauce Béarnaise (Warm emulsified sauce derived from Hollandaise sauce) on page 250

• Coeur de Filet Henri IV (Filet mignons with artichokes and Béarnaise sauce)

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $440.68 + $3.31 (Hollandaise) + $2.40 (Eggs Benedict) = $446.39

Butter used so far: 5 pounds, 29 tablespoons

. . . . . . . . . .

Check out the other posts for Whisk Wednesdays:

Grandma's Kitchen Table - Hollandaise Sauce and Moutarde Sauce
InsomniMom - Hollandaise and Sauce Moutarde


Chibog in Chief said...

i normally dislike mustard for their strong flavor but your photos convinced me to give it a try. your photos are stunning!! im a fan :-)

Shelley said...

Oh, my goodness, your photographs are just gorgeous! Everything looks delicious!

Anne said...

Very impressive, I love reading your posts and learning new things! Photos look delicious as always- great job! :)

Anonymous said... I am going to have to learn how to write a better post and take decent photos...LOL.

Terrific job...I am just referring everyone to your site...incredible job you did with it all.

I figure I am explaining all this one time (this week) and then from here on out people just need to get with the program so I don't have to explain things.

I can't wait until next week when I will actually have time to DO it properly and ON THE WEEKEND!

Thanks for including me!

Anonymous said...

That was great to read about Hollandaise sauce. I love Eggs Benedict, but have never made them. I'll have to keep your post in mind when I finally make them! Your photographs are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Oh my...I'm hooked! I ran across your blog this evening, I've read all your Wed. Whisk posts as well as the other posts from the lessons...and I'm hooked. The book is on order, and I'm ready to work! Er...PLAY! Have a great time!! I can't wait to join up with you! I may have to miss Bernaise and fillet this week, but I'll catch up!

Shari said...

dhanggit - Thanks for dropping by! You're doing an amazing job with RecipeMuncher. I'm a fan!

shelley - It's so great to have buddies to work with on this project. I love your blog!

anne - Thanks for dropping by. I keep learning too and love sharing it.

kayte - You are such a warm, friendly, supportive person. I'm so glad you joined Whisk Wednesdays and helped get it launched!

erin - Good luck with your Hollandaise. I actually indulged and made one serving for lunch yesterday! It's dangerous to know how to make it.

cantbellieveweate - I'm so glad you want to join Whisk Wednesdays. I've sent you an email! Welcome!!

Robin@ Good for the Palate said...

Thanks for checking out my blog. Glad to have made your day :).
Can you tell me where you got your ham for this? It looks tasty. said...

This made me hungry, good job. said...

This made me hungry, good job. And congratulations on get into the Foodies of the World book.