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Plain Sauce Hollandaise Recipe

History of Sauce Hollandaise:
Sauce Hollandaise is a classic French sauce that is well-known for its rich and creamy texture. It is said to have originated in the late 19th century, deriving its name from the Dutch influence on French cuisine during that time. Although it is often associated with Dutch cuisine, the sauce itself is not traditionally Dutch.

Fun Facts about Sauce Hollandaise:
1. Sauce Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine, along with Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, and Tomato sauce.
2. It is commonly served with dishes like Eggs Benedict, steamed vegetables, fish, and grilled meats.
3. The key ingredient in Sauce Hollandaise is butter, which gives it its rich and velvety consistency.
4. The sauce is primarily made from egg yolks, butter, and either lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity from these ingredients helps to stabilize the emulsion and prevent the sauce from curdling.
5. Making Sauce Hollandaise requires careful attention and a delicate balance of heat, as overheating can cause the sauce to separate.
6. In modern culinary techniques, some chefs use a blender or an immersion blender to make the sauce quickly, ensuring a smooth and consistent texture.

Recipe for Plain Sauce Hollandaise:

Ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar or the juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Melt the butter: Start by melting the unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. You want to gently melt the butter, avoiding any browning. Once melted, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

2. Create a double boiler: Fill a saucepan with a couple of inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. This creates a gentle heat source for our sauce.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and water: In the heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and water until they are well combined. The water helps to prevent the eggs from curdling when heated.

4. Cook the egg mixture: Place the bowl over the simmering water and continue whisking the egg yolk mixture. You want to maintain a gentle heat to gradually cook the eggs. Keep whisking for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens and becomes pale yellow.

5. Slowly add the melted butter: After the egg yolk mixture has thickened, remove the bowl from the heat. Begin adding the melted butter to the egg yolks, little by little, while continuously whisking. Be sure to pour the butter in a slow, steady stream to incorporate it into the sauce. This process emulsifies the butter and yolks, creating a smooth and creamy texture.

6. Add tarragon vinegar or lemon juice: Once all the butter is incorporated, add one tablespoon of tarragon vinegar or the juice of half a lemon to the sauce. These acidic ingredients add a tangy flavor that balances the richness of the butter.

7. Season and serve: Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a tablespoon of warm water to thin it out slightly. Serve the Sauce Hollandaise immediately while it is warm, as it can thicken and solidify as it cools.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
Sauce Hollandaise pairs exceptionally well with various dishes, adding a creamy and decadent touch. Here are some classic dishes that commonly feature Sauce Hollandaise:

1. Eggs Benedict: Sauce Hollandaise is a staple component of the iconic Eggs Benedict dish. It is poured over poached eggs and Canadian bacon on a toasted English muffin.

2. Steamed Asparagus: The vibrant green spears of steamed asparagus shine when drizzled with a luscious Sauce Hollandaise. The delicate flavors of the asparagus are beautifully complemented by the rich sauce.

3. Grilled Salmon: A generous spoonful of Sauce Hollandaise on top of a perfectly grilled salmon fillet creates an indulgent combination of flavors. The sauce adds a creamy layer to the succulent fish.

4. Grilled Steak: For a decadent twist on a steak dinner, serve a grilled steak with a dollop of Sauce Hollandaise. The velvety sauce adds a luxurious touch to the tender meat.

5. Steamed Artichokes: Sauce Hollandaise provides a luxurious dipping option for steamed artichoke leaves. Its smooth texture and bright flavors take this simple vegetable to the next level.

Whether it's a classic Eggs Benedict or an elegant accompaniment to steamed vegetables, Sauce Hollandaise elevates a wide range of dishes, making them truly special.

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