The Five Classical French Mother Sauces: Hollandaise

The Five Classical French Mother Sauces: Hollandaise

The term “mother sauce” refers to any one of five basic sauces, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces.  The five mother sauces:

  • Béchamel
  • Velouté
  • Espagnole
  • Hollandaise
  • Tomate

Hollandaise is a mild, slightly lemony sauce that is the perfect accompaniment with many things, including eggs Benedict, seafood, shellfish, poultry, and raw or roasted vegetables.

3 egg yolks, room temperature
14 tablespoons cool, unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt or kosher salt
Ground white pepper

Whisk the eggs together vigorously in a sloped saucepan over low heat until it starts to thicken, around 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter until melted. Whisk in the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Return to the heat, and whisk in and melt the remaining butter in 2-tablespoon increments. Continue until the butter is gone. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Many additional sauces can be made from this base such as Béarnaise, which is a Hollandaise finished with a reduction of White Wine and tarragon.

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