Happy Hollandaise: Mayo heart be light

Andy Mueller

andy mueller | in the kitchen with chef andy | dec. 2018

Considered the top dog in all the “Mother Sauces,” Hollandaise seems to have the ability to turn nothing special into something spectacular. Joining Espagnole (brown sauces), Velouté (chicken, pork or veal sauces), Béchamel (white sauces) and tomato sauces, Hollandaise usually gets the nod when a chef wants to turn something decent into something decadent.

You've probably had eggs Benedict at some point in your life and I'm sure you've had mayonnaise on a sandwich or in a salad more times than you can remember. Both are part of the mother sauce category that calls for some type of emulsion between eggs and some type of fat, be it butter in Hollandaise or oil in mayo.

When blended at a high rate of speed, the fat and the egg create an emulsion that results in a creamy, almost velvety sauce that not only pleases the palate but takes almost any food to the next level.

The difficulty level in making a proper Hollandaise falls in the "moderate" category, as you do need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. By this I mean you need to be able to do two things at once (drizzle butter or oil with one hand and whisk vigorously with the other). Of course, you can grab a partner and split duties, just make sure you keep a steady pace until finished with the sauce.

Temperature also plays a big role in the emulsion process. With Hollandaise sauce, the butter needs to be at a hot enough temperature to suspend the sauce; it can't be too hot as to cook the eggs. If the butter is too hot, the eggs will scramble and your sauce will be ruined. With mayonnaise, the eggs can't be too cold or the emulsion will not happen and you'll be left with a broken mess. Follow the recipe for Béarnaise sauce below. It's a "blender" version of Hollandaise that's great on baked chicken, veal or that roast beast you're planning on serving for the holidays.

Béarnaise Sauce

In a Food Processor or Blender add:

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

pinch salt

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

In a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat add:

12 tablespoons butter

Melt butter. Stir butter until it just starts to boil. With the food processor running at lowest speed, slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter in a steady stream until the sauce thickens. Do not over process. If the sauce starts to break, the butter is too hot. Add an ice cube and lightly process to bring the sauce back to life. Serve over roast beef, prime rib or grilled chicken. Enjoy!

--Photo by Katherine Lim

Chef Andy Mueller is a well-seasoned Chef with over 30 years in the restaurant business. He's been on Food Network with Guy Fieri, was Reggie White's personal chef during their Super Bowl run in 1996 and has been Executive Chef at Zimani's in the late '80s, the original Executive Chef at Black & Tan Grille the first four years of operation and owned restaurants in Door County including Glidden Lodge restaurant north of Sturgeon Bay and Hillside Restaurant in Ellison Bay. He currently owns the massively popular supper club 'Galley 57' in Allouez at 2222 Riverside Dr.

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