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Hollandaise Sauce

Use this hollandaise sauce to prepare eggs Florentine, a variation on eggs Benedict that is made with spinach rather than Canadian bacon. Hollandaise also pairs deliciously with poached fish, such as trout or halibut, and with steamed or roasted asparagus. For dishes that incorporate hollandaise sauce, see related recipes at left.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon and lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 pinches of freshly ground white pepper
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, combine the egg yolks, lemon and lime juice and water and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, then continue whisking about 1 minute more. Remove the bowl from over the pan as soon as the mixture thickens. Add the salt, cayenne pepper and white pepper.

Using a stick blender with the aerator attachment, blend the mixture while slowly pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover and keep warm over very low heat, or transfer to a cast-iron sauce warmer until ready to serve.
Makes 2 cups.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Brunch Entertaining, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1999).