Hollandaise sauce is a classic French sauce that has been around for centuries. Made with egg yolks, butter, lemon juice, and pepper, this rich and creamy sauce is a staple in many kitchens.
While it’s commonly associated with eggs Benedict, hollandaise sauce can be used in a variety of dishes to add a touch of indulgence and sophistication. In this article, we’ll explore the versatility of hollandaise sauce and discover the many ways it can be used to elevate your meals.
From poached salmon to roasted broccoli, we’ll show you how to make the most of this delicious sauce. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about hollandaise sauce and its many uses.
What Is Hollandaise Sauce Used For?
Hollandaise sauce is a versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes. Its rich and creamy texture makes it the perfect accompaniment to many foods, including eggs, fish, and vegetables.
One of the most popular uses for hollandaise sauce is on eggs Benedict. The combination of the runny egg yolk, crispy bacon or ham, and creamy hollandaise sauce is a match made in heaven. But hollandaise sauce can also be used on other egg dishes, such as omelets or frittatas.
Hollandaise sauce is also a great addition to seafood dishes. It pairs well with poached salmon or baked turbot, adding a rich and buttery flavor to the dish. It’s also a great topping for crab imperial, a classic Maryland dish made with blue crab.
Vegetables are another great pairing for hollandaise sauce. Roasted broccoli or asparagus are perfect for mopping up the creamy, herbed hollandaise sauce. It’s also a great topping for grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini or carrots.
The History Of Hollandaise Sauce
The history of hollandaise sauce can be traced back to France in the 19th century. It was originally known as Sauce Isigny, named after a small town in Normandy famous for its butter and cream. The sauce was made by emulsifying egg yolks and butter, with the addition of lemon juice for a bit of acidity.
Although its exact birthdate is unknown, Isigny sauce is found in recipe books starting in the 19th century. It was later added to the list of legendary French chef Marie-Antoine Carême’s four distinctly French “mother sauces” as the fifth mother sauce by 20th century chef and culinary writer Georges Auguste Esoffier.
Despite having “Holland” in its name, it is generally agreed among chefs that hollandaise sauce was first born in France. However, after World War I, the dairy industry shuttered in Normandy and French chefs had to get creative. They imported butter from Holland as a substitute for rich cream, which led to the name “Dutch sauce.”
The earliest mention of a similar sauce to hollandaise is found in a 1593 Dutch cookbook, and Pierre La Varenne described a similar sauce in his 1651 cookbook Le Cuisinier françois. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that hollandaise sauce became popular and began appearing in recipe books.
Today, hollandaise sauce is most commonly used to season fish and steamed vegetables such as asparagus. Its appeal lies in its perfectly silken texture, buttery scent, and the fact that when it is made properly, this delectable sauce is both light and lively. Despite its rich flavor profile, it can be used in a variety of dishes to add depth and complexity to any meal.
The Basic Recipe For Hollandaise Sauce
To make a basic hollandaise sauce, you only need six ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry. These include three egg yolks, one tablespoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 1/2 cup of melted butter.
To start, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk continuously until the mixture thickens and doubles in volume. This should take about five minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly pour in the melted butter while whisking continuously until the sauce is smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a few drops of warm water to thin it out.
It’s important to note that hollandaise sauce can be finicky and prone to breaking. To avoid this, be sure to whisk continuously over low heat and add the butter slowly. If the sauce does break, you can try to fix it by whisking in a tablespoon of warm water or lemon juice.
Once you have mastered the basic hollandaise recipe, you can experiment with different variations by adding herbs like tarragon or chives or substituting vinegar for the lemon juice. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to create delicious hollandaise sauces that elevate any dish.
The Different Variations Of Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise sauce is a classic French mother sauce that has been adapted and modified over the years to create new and exciting variations. Here are some of the different variations of hollandaise sauce:
1. Jalapeno Hollandaise Sauce: For those who like a bit of spice, jalapeno hollandaise sauce is the perfect option. This variation of hollandaise sauce includes pickled jalapenos, jalapeno juice, and cilantro blended together with the traditional hollandaise sauce ingredients. This spicy sauce is perfect for Mexican-inspired dishes like huevos rancheros or breakfast tacos.
2. Southern Style Hollandaise Sauce: This variation of hollandaise sauce includes roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce blended with the traditional hollandaise sauce ingredients. This sauce pairs well with Southern-style breakfast dishes like biscuits and gravy or chicken and waffles.
3. Sauce Choron: Sauce Choron is a variation of béarnaise sauce without tarragon or chervil, plus added tomato puree. This tomato-based hollandaise variation is perfect for grilled meats like steak or lamb.
4. Sauce Foyot (a.k.a. Valois): Sauce Foyot is béarnaise sauce with meat glaze (Glace de Viande) added. This variation of hollandaise sauce is perfect for beef dishes like filet mignon or prime rib.
5. Sauce Café de Paris: Sauce Café de Paris is béarnaise sauce with curry powder added. This variation of hollandaise sauce is perfect for chicken dishes or grilled vegetables.
6. Sauce Paloise: Sauce Paloise is a version of béarnaise sauce with mint substituted for tarragon. This variation of hollandaise sauce is perfect for lamb dishes or roasted vegetables.
These are just a few examples of the many different variations of hollandaise sauce that exist. Each variation adds its own unique flavor profile to the classic French mother sauce, making it a versatile and delicious addition to any dish.
Hollandaise Sauce And Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict is a classic American breakfast dish that traditionally consists of English muffins topped with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. The creamy and buttery hollandaise sauce is the perfect finishing touch to this savory dish. Making hollandaise sauce may sound intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. The sauce is made by emulsifying egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and warm butter until it becomes smooth and creamy.
To make eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce, start by poaching your eggs. This can be a bit tricky at first, but with practice, it becomes easier. Crack your eggs into a small dish and gently add them to simmering water. Cook for about 4 1/4 minutes and use a slotted spoon to carefully remove them from the water.
Next, toast your English muffins and cook your Canadian bacon until crispy. Place the Canadian bacon on top of the English muffin, followed by the poached egg. Finally, spoon a generous amount of hollandaise sauce over the top of the egg.
Hollandaise sauce can also be used in other egg dishes such as omelets or frittatas. It’s a great addition to seafood dishes like poached salmon or crab imperial. And it pairs perfectly with roasted vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.
Hollandaise Sauce And Seafood Dishes
When it comes to seafood dishes, hollandaise sauce is a popular choice among chefs and food enthusiasts. The rich and buttery flavor of the sauce complements the delicate and mild taste of seafood, creating a perfect balance of flavors.
One of the most popular seafood dishes that pairs well with hollandaise sauce is poached salmon. The tender and flaky salmon is drizzled with the creamy sauce, adding a burst of flavor to each bite. Another great seafood dish that pairs well with hollandaise sauce is baked turbot. The mild and delicate flavor of the turbot is enhanced by the richness of the sauce, creating a delicious and satisfying meal.
If you’re a fan of crab, then you’ll love hollandaise sauce on top of crab imperial. This classic Maryland dish is made with blue crab meat and topped with a creamy hollandaise sauce, creating a decadent and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
In addition to these dishes, hollandaise sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce for shrimp or lobster. The rich and buttery flavor of the sauce adds depth and complexity to the mild taste of the seafood, creating a delicious and sophisticated appetizer.
Hollandaise Sauce And Vegetables
Vegetables and hollandaise sauce are a match made in culinary heaven. The rich and creamy texture of the sauce pairs perfectly with a variety of vegetables, adding a decadent touch to any dish.
To prepare the vegetables, blanching is a common technique used to achieve the perfect texture. Brussels sprouts, for example, should be simmered in salted boiling water until knife-tender, then tossed in butter and seasoned with salt and nutmeg. Cabbage leaves can be blanched for 10 minutes in boiling salted water, then tossed with butter, salt, and pepper before being rolled up and fastened with toothpicks.
Endives are another great vegetable to pair with hollandaise sauce. They can be caramelized in a skillet with olive oil and sugar before being simmered in wine and seasoned with salt and nutmeg. Carrots can also be blanched in salted boiling water for 5 minutes before being caramelized in a skillet with olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Once the vegetables are prepared, the hollandaise sauce can be drizzled on top to add a rich and buttery flavor. The sauce can be made by whisking egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and warm butter over low heat until creamy. Parsley can also be added for an herbed touch.