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Béarnaise Sauce

2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
1/4 cup (60 ml) tarragon vinegar
10 crushed white peppercorns
4 sprigs tarragon, chopped
1 sprig chervil, chopped
3 egg yolks
2 T. (30 ml) cold water
1 cup (240 g) butter

Using a double boiler, combine wine, vinegar, shallots, peppercorns, tarragon, and chervil. Cook over direct, low heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Cool. Clarify the butter [link to clarifying butter page], and let cool for 10 minutes. Briskly whisk the eggs and water into the shallot mixture, and continue whisking over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds. Whisk in the clarified butter in a thin but steady stream. Strain the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, whisk in a small amount of water to attain a thinner consistency.

Hollandaise Sauce

1/2 cup (120 g) butter, melted and warm
1-1/2 T. (20 ml) lemon juice, barely heated
3 egg yolks
4 T. (60 ml) boiling water
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
Few grains cayenne

Place egg yolks in the top of a double boiler and whisk until they begin to thicken. Add 1 T. (15 ml) of boiling water at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Beat in lemon juice and remove from heat. While whisking continually, slowly add the melted butter, salt, and cayenne. Beat until the sauce is thick.

Hollandaise Sauce (Harold McGee)

Traditional methods of making Hollandaise sauce do not heat the egg yolks enough to kill salmonella bacteria. Food scientist Harold McGee suggests this recipe, which microwaves egg yolks to kill bacteria.

2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
2 T. (30 ml) water
3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, cut into thick slices
Pinch salt

Place yolks in a 2-cup (480 ml) microwavable bowl and whisk vigorously. Add lemon juice and whisk. Add water and whisk. Discard whisk.

Cover the bowl with a plate, and microwave on high until you see the surface of the mixture begin to rise. Cook 8-10 seconds, then remove the bowl and whisk vigorously with a clean whisk. Discard whisk. Quickly return the bowl to microwave and heat until yolks begin to rise. Cook 8-10 seconds. Remove bowl and whisk vigorously with a clean whisk until smooth. Cover bowl and let rest 1 minute.

Place yolk mixture into small saucepan. Whisk in the salt. On low heat, add the butter slices, and whisk slowly until all of the butter has melted into the sauce. Correct seasoning as necessary.

(Note, depending on the power of your microwave, cooking times may differ.)

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