I LOVE hollandaise sauce. I have ever since college, when I lived down the street from a great little breakfast place (The Big Bean in Newmarket, NH) that made the most amazing sauce. Now, no matter what I order at the local diner, I always get a side of hollandaise. And I’m not just talking on Eggs Benedict, either. I’ll put it on hash browns and home fries, and on omelets of all varieties. If I ate pancakes, I’d probably put it on that.
Before beginning a paleo lifestyle, I thought of hollandaise as a very guilty pleasure. And while I still would not recommend eating it every day, I now know there are some great health benefits of the ooey gooey nectar of the breakfast gods. The vitamins and fats found in egg yolks provide are vital to the body’s ability to process and absorb calcium, and we all know how important calcium is, right?
Still, despite my love of hollandaise, I had never tried to make it myself until a couple of weeks ago. The kitchen experiment that took over our kitchen that morning was well worth it. Because guess what, people- hollandaise is easy!
The first day we made it, we used it to top a delicious eggs benedict made with poached eggs (first time making those, too!), bacon and grain-free herbed biscuits (from Caitlin Week’s new cookbook, Mediterranean Paleo). But we soon realized how incredibly versatile our new kitchen skill could be. We used leftover sauce (I know, surprising there was any left!) the next day to make pulled pork benedict and added some chili powder to the hollandaise for an extra kick.
Just off the top of my head I can think of about five million (OK, three) other versions of hollandaise I would like to try: pesto hollandaise on a roasted tomato, spinach and poached egg benedict (maybe with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze, too), curry hollandaise on a benny made with a sweet potato cake and leftover chicken, and maybe even some kind of cranberry hollandaise to turn Thanksgiving leftovers into the eggs benny of a lifetime.
The point is, if you make this at home you’ll soon be filled with the healthy nutrients that egg yolks provide, because you won’t be able to stop making it!
Here’s the recipe (I know, I know, took me long enough!):
- 5 egg yolks, separated from the whites (save these to add to a scramble later!)
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- any other spice you can think of
Now get ready to be amazed. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a pot. Place your egg yolks in a heat-safe bowl and place the bowl on top of the pot (you do not want the bowl to be touching the water). As the steam heats the yolks, whisk continuously for about three minutes, until the yolks begin to thicken and stick to the whisk.
Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly add in the melted butter, a small amount at a time, whisking the mixture throughout. Add in the water and lemon juice and whisk to combine. If the mixture seems too thick, more water can be added. Stir in some salt and pepper and any other spices you want. And you’re done! You can keep the sauce warm over the still hot water in the pot while you’re making your poached, fried or scrambled eggs.
I love serving hollandaise with poached eggs, but they take some practice. I would trust the Food Network’s Alton Brown with my life, and therefore, I recommend you take his advice (over mine!) when it comes to poaching perfect eggs.
While the grain-free biscuit recipe is not mine to share (you’ll need to buy Mediterranean Paleo to get it!), the book’s author does have a very similar recipe on her blog. You can find it here.
Alright, so who is planning on trying out some hollandaise this weekend?! You can’t tell me this doesn’t look completely amazing. (And yes, it tasted completely amazing, too.)