Hollandaise is another of the five French “mother sauces”, along with bechamel, veloute, tomato and espagnole. Two french chefs, Marie Antoine-Careme and Auguste Escoffier are credited with identifying them as the foundation of all other sauces.
I learned how to make it to accompany the asparagus for our French Creole dinner. Asparagus with hollandaise is a classic pairing in the French Quarter and this recipe is from the cookbook of the late Roy F Guste, Jr. – proprietor of Antoine’s. I’m not going to lie. I was scared to death after reading horror stories about how tricky it is to make and how easy it is to break. It took me three tries making it on my electric stovetop because the right cooking temperature is halfway between two settings. The third try was the charm and then it became easy to replicate. The end result is a beautiful, creamy, smooth and silky sauce.
This is the only sauce of the five “mothers” not thickened with a roux. Its two main ingredients, egg yolks and melted butter form an emulsion to thicken the sauce into a delicately stable mixture.
If hollandaise is the “mother”, then these five “others” must be the kids.
And just one more thing…
I need a gas stove!