Hollandaise sauce is a special taste memory from my childhood.  My dad loved preparing this traditional sauce in our Alabama kitchen.  I recall his meticulous approach at the stove as he melted the butter in a little red sauce pan with a pour spout.  He always tried to encourage me to come alongside him and cook, but the culinary arts did not resonate with me at that age.

In Anne Willan's kitchen with Chef Jaime Laurita

In Anne Willan’s kitchen with Chef Jaime Laurita

Mid-life, I have a passion for discovering my dad’s joy in the kitchen and sharing recipes and stories with you, dear friends.  I have some exciting news to share… I just made my very first Hollandaise Sauce!  This special recipe is featured in Anne Willan’s latest cookbook, Secrets La Varenne Kitchen: 50 Essential Recipes Every Cook Needs to Know.  The publisher has generously offered a special savings to Kitchen Chat friends to order this iconic cookbook for a limited time.  Use this link and the code is Chat0616.  It was a highlight in my culinary journey to visit with Anne in her kitchen on two occasions.  How special that my dear friend, Chef Jaime Laurita (who continues to encourage and inspire me with my cooking) went with me to Anne’s for my first visit.

Anne Willan’s culinary accomplishments are legendary.  As founder of the prestigious Cooking School Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, Anne Willan has launched the careers of countless chefs and has written over thirty books and hosted a PBS series.  She was awarded Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for her accomplishments in promoting the gastronomy of France and is an inductee into the James Beard Foundation Awards Hall of Fame and IACP’s Gourmand Hall of Fame Award.  What a true honor it was for me to have a kitchen chat with Anne in her kitchen where her copper pots hang from the ceiling like artwork.

 

Anne Willan's Hollandaise Sauce on my Eggs Benedict with Guacamole on toasted Naan bread with gouda cheese. (My first recipe that I created)

Anne Willan’s Hollandaise Sauce on my Eggs Benedict with Guacamole on toasted Naan bread with gouda cheese. (My first recipe that I created)

Making Anne’s recipe for Hollandaise Sauce was an emotional experience.  Memories from my childhood kitchen flashed through my mind with the melodic timpani of constant whisking that this sauce demands.  My first attempt to avoid curdling the Hollandaise was indeed a challenge and a true culinary accomplishment for me.  My purpose for sharing this with you is to encourage you on your own culinary journey and to thank you for your inspiration on my journey as well.

Savor the day!

Here is Anne Willan’s recipe for Hollandaise Sauce.  Her publisher is offering a special price for a limited time for her latest cookbook Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen: 50 Essential Recipes Every Cook Needs to Know.  The special code is Chat0616.

HOT AND COLD SAUCES | Les Sauces Froides et Chaudes

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

Sauce Hollandaise

3⁄4 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
3 egg yolks
Salt and white pepper
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon, or to taste

Hollandaise sauce is served with poached fish, vegetables, and eggs. The recipe makes about 1 cup sauce.

180 g de beurre
3 cuillers à soupe d’eau
3 jaunes d’oeufs
Sel et poivre blanc
Le jus d’un 1⁄2 citron, ou selon goût

Rendement: 2.5 dl de sauce environ.

Melt the butter, skim froth from the surface, and let cool to tepid. In a small saucepan, whisk the water and egg yolks with a little salt and pepper for 30 seconds until light. Set the pan over low heat or in a water bath and whisk constantly until the mixture is creamy and thick enough for the whisk to leave a trail on the base of the pan. The base of the pan should never be more than hand-hot.

Take from the heat and whisk in the tepid butter, a few drops at
a time. NOTE: Do not add the butter too fast or the sauce may curdle. When the sauce has started to thicken, the butter can be added a little faster. Do not add the milky sediment at the bottom of the butter. When all the butter is added stir in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Hollandaise is served warm, not hot, and it should be kept warm in a water bath to avoid curdling.

G50 SECRETS from the LA VARENNE KITCHEN

Les Sauces Froides et Chaudes | HOT AND COLD SAUCES

If hollandaise does curdle, this is almost always because it is too hot: Take it at once from the heat and whisk in an ice cube. If this is not successful, the sauce may be started again by whisking an egg yolk and a tablespoon of water over low heat until creamy, then gradually whisking in the curdled mixture, drop by drop. However, if the sauce is badly curdled the egg yolks cook into granules and the mixture must be discarded. Very occasionally hollandaise separates through undercooking, never thickening properly. If so, try whisking in a tablespoon of boiling water. If hollandaise is too thick, add

1 tablespoon tepid water to make it lighter.

Soup tureen and accessories. Soupière et accessoires.
SECRETS from the LA VARENNE KITCHEN G51

HOT AND COLD SAUCES | Les Sauces Froides et Chaudes

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE DERIVATIVES

Dérivés de Sauce Hollandaise

Sauce Chantilly, Mousseline or Vierge

1 cup hollandaise sauce 1⁄4 cup heavy cream

2.5 dl de sauce hollandaise
6.5 cl de crème fraîche fouettée

To 1 cup hollandaise sauce, add 1⁄4 cup heavy cream, stiffly whipped, and taste for seasoning. Serve with fish, chicken, sautéed sweetbreads, and asparagus.

Sauce Maltaise

1 cup hollandaise sauce Juice of 1⁄2 orange Pared rind of 1⁄2 orange

2.5 dl de sauce hollandaise Le jus d’un 1⁄2 orange
Le zeste d’ 1⁄2 orange

To 1 cup hollandaise sauce, add the juice of 1⁄2 orange and the pared rind of 1⁄2 orange cut in needle-like shreds, blanched in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and drained. Taste for seasoning and serve particularly with asparagus.

G52 SECRETS from the LA VARENNE KITCHEN

Les Sauces Froides et Chaudes | HOT AND COLD SAUCES

Sauce Moutarde

1 cup hollandaise sauce
1-2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

2.5 dl de sauce hollandaise
1-2 cuillers à café de moutarde de Dijon

To 1 cup hollandaise sauce, add 1-2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard or to taste. Serve with eggs and fish.

Sauce Noisette

Noisette in place of clarified butter

Beurre noisette au lieu de beurre clarifié

Use noisette instead of clarified butter to make regular hollandaise: When clarifying the butter, cook it over medium heat until nut brown. NOTE: Do not let it burn. Let cool and add to the egg yolk mixture as for clarified butter. Serve with eggs and vegetables.

SECRETS from the LA VARENNE KITCHEN G53

 

 

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