Hollandaise sauce is rich, creamy, and delicious. It is an egg yolk-based sauce that is used in a variety of dishes. It is the primary ingredient that gives Eggs Benedict its signature flavor.
Hollandaise sauce has three primary ingredients: egg yolks, clarified butter, and white wine vinegar or lemon juice.
Today we are going to walk you through what hollandaise sauce is, and how it tastes. We will help you understand what to expect from this sauce and how you can use it to give your taste buds a little something special.
What Exactly Is Hollandaise Sauce?
This unique sauce is a classic French dish. Hollandaise sauce often comes served with asparagus, Eggs Benedict, or can often be served over toast for a simple, yet delightful breakfast.
This is a dish that is made from butter and lemon juice, and it is often thickened up with an egg yolk. It was originally known as Sauce Isigny. It got its name from its origin country of France.
It was originally from a small town in Normandy, which is famed for its cream and butter production. This sauce ended up getting renamed once it became more popularly known as an enjoyable dish.
The sauce contains the very same ingredients that are used in mayonnaise. However, it is not like mayonnaise as it is significantly thicker and has a much tangier flavor.
What Is In Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise sauce is a classic accompaniment to a French breakfast. It is made from butter, eggs, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice.
It is considered by many people to be one of the most perfect sauces of all in existence, and we cannot help but agree. It is a dish that has a long life since it has been around for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years!
It was used as an egg-based ragout, much like béchamel at first. However, it did not take long for it to become famed among royalty thanks to its delicious flavoring, its luxuriousness, and its lighter consistency.
In a moment, we will look at the details of how you can make your very own hollandaise sauce!
What Does Hollandaise Sauce Look Like?
The ingredients that make hollandaise sauce include egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice. It has two very distinctive characteristics, the fact that it is light in color is one of these, and its creamy thickness.
When it is served on top of food, it often seems to be a thin liquid, however, it could vary to being thick. The consistency is dependent on just how many eggs are used.
You can alter the thickness by using less or more egg yolks, however, it shouldn’t ever be so thin that it is transparent. Be aware that if you leave it for too long, the sauce will become brown and it will be excessively thick.
That being said, there are many variations, you could add lemon juice which will create tartar sauce, this is a delicious addition to seafood, and goes very well with salmon sandwiches.
The consistency for this variation of the sauce is a bit more liquid, and its color is lighter, with a much less runny texture when it is served over other foods such as crab cakes, fried shrimp, and lobster rolls.
While it is not 100% confirmed, it is rumored that when hollandaise sauce was first served, it had curdled and become lumpy due to the improper cooking temperatures used.
Now we know that the ideal texture of this sauce should be a silky smoothie, and should have no curdled bits or lumps!
Hollandaise Sauce: How Does It Taste?
Hollandaise sauce is something of a delight in the culinary world, it has even become an essential component in breakfast dishes.
It is a very rich, tasty, and decadent egg-based sauce that has a flavor that is almost creamy and is rather buttery. However, it can also vary from being tangy to sweet depending on the style.
It is a dish that can vary a lot depending on the specific ingredients that you put in it. If you were to add paprika, then the sauce will have some spicier notes to it.
However, if you chose to add salt and pepper, this could help to balance out any flavors in the recipe.
Should you add lemon juice then this would help to acidify the sauce without overloading it in vinegar. If you were to do this, it would make the dish taste sour.
Similarly, unsalted butter tastes great if dairy is not something that you are insistent on, or if dairy does not restrict your diet.
How Do You Make Hollandaise Sauce?
There are plenty of ways you can use hollandaise sauce in your diet. It is one of the many three sauces from which French cuisine has gained its name, alongside Espagnole and béchamel sauce!
If you were to serve this sauce as part of a meal plan, then there are many different ways you could discover it can be used in your dishes and diet.
Many people who have discovered this dish have found that it becomes a go-to dish when cooking eggs, fish, vegetables, and other dishes which require a bit of an added zing to be introduced.
Of course, Eggs Benedict is a classic brunch dish that includes poached eggs with hollandaise sauce served on top of an English muffin, which is then topped with ham or Canadian bacon. (Yum!)
There is also Salad Nicoise, which is a French salad. This salad uses this as a dressing for the boiled potatoes and green beans, as well as tuna in oil, roasted peppers, hard-boiled eggs, and even tomatoes.
Some people refer to Hollandaise Sauce as being a ‘mother’s milk; as it is so easily incorporated into dishes, and can make so many others! It can even be likely for you to find it being served in restaurants as a sauce to accompany chicken or steak dishes.
One of our favorite uses for this sauce is alongside salmon with rice and broccoli. This can be delicious but also simple. The sauce adds just enough extra flavor without overpowering the very delicate taste of fresh salmon.
Of course, we also find that fish tacos match well with this creamy sauce. Serve it atop some grilled fish, with some cilantro leaves and some crema Mexicana served on top of corn tortillas.
If you enjoy shellfish, we would be remiss not to advise you to dip some shrimp or lobster in this sauce! Seriously! Try it!
Making Hollandaise Sauce
This sauce is made by whisking up some egg yolks in a bowl, and adding some vinegar or lemon juice until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
You should heat the mix on your stove over medium heat and constantly stir it so that it does not burn. Of course, if you feel extra fancy, feel free to add another egg yolk to make it extra rich.
Butter is then added in when you take the mix off the heat, adding it in one tablespoon at a time, just before every tablespoon has become mixed in.
For around every 6 tablespoons of butter that you add as you cook, there should be around 3 times as much of the liquid-based ingredients. By this we mean, the whole eggs, as well as the lemon juice or vinegar.
When cooking the sauce might need to simmer for around 1 to 2 minutes after you have added in the butter, which is when it will likely start to thicken up.
You do need to have plenty of patience and time to fully complete this process and make a good, traditional Hollandaise sauce. It will take around 10 minutes of cooking time overall.
As well as this, there are countless varieties regarding how you can alter the recipe to suit your preferences or needs for the sauce.
This means you could use lemon juice in the place of vinegar, or substitute whole eggs with egg whites or half egg yolks. You could even choose to use a food processor or blender to help you make the sauce as well!
Buying Hollandaise Sauce
Making a sauce like this can be extremely intimidating. It is a very delicate sauce that needs a lot of skill and close attention to make it properly. However, you cannot simply buy it from a store either.
It is considered a bit of a ‘special occasion’ sauce as it is quite tricky to make it yourself, so many people buy it, because few know just how easy it is to make it yourself!
Bought from a store, hollandaise sauce won’t be as creamy or thick as it is when it is made by hand, yourself. It is easily purchasable in many grocery stores, and online retailers tend to offer varieties as well.
Hollandaise sauce is a great sauce to pair with salads and fish-based dishes, however, it also pairs well with eggs, meat, and shellfish too! It has a creamy taste and can be altered easily enough to your taste if you make it yourself.
While you can buy it from stores, it is always best to try and make it yourself to see the beauty in the dish and enjoy it at its greatest potential as a sauce.