Soundtrack: Heartbeat of Rock ‘n roll by Huey Lewis and the News
1 1/2 Tablespoons Water
One stick butter
3 to 4 Tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Start by filling a sink (or a pot larger than the one you will be cooking in) partially with cool water.You’ll use this water to rapidly cool the bottom of the pot later.
Melt butter in a pot over medium heat (or nuke it to melted). Completely melt the butter, but not so it’s burning hot. Crack open the eggs and place them into a bowl. Add water to the bowl and whisk the eggs and water together very well until they are one color throughout.
Now comes the hard part. Turn the heat down on the butter pot. If you look at the flame, you want it to be a 2 on a 5 scale, the 5 being full flame, 1 being almost no flame. Low heat, but not too low. If not sure, go lower, not hotter, until you get the hang of it, lower heat will simply take a little longer and your whisk arm may fall off. If you go too hot, the eggs will become little bits in a butter mix, not a sauce. You can recover this by blending the hell out of it.
Pour the egg mixture into the melted butter and start whisking the pot gently, or faster if you see visible egg bits starting to float around in the pot. Do not stop whisking. The goal is to keep the eggs from forming a thin omelet on the bottom of the pot. You want to keep stirring until the eggs "go off" and thicken the mixture from a liquid to a gravy-like sauce. When you see it turning into the desired thickness of a sauce, immediately pull the pot off the fire and put the pot bottom into the cold water in the sink so the bottom of the pot is immediately cooled off and stops cooking the sauce.You may want to keep whisking a little bit while it cools. Now here's the thing - we are told that people use lemon for Hollandaise Sauce. Why? We have no idea. It tastes a bit like dessert that way. We like tarragon vinegar and like it much. Once you cool the pot a little, take it out, add two tablespoons of vinegar and taste the sauce. If it is strong enough for you, excellent. We usually add at least two more tablespoons of tarragon vinegar, or more, to taste. Sometimes we make it light for guests and "Rip your face off strong" for ourselves in a separate small pitcher.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Sometimes people use just the egg yokes in the sauce. The sauce will be really thick and tasty if you do it that way.
Now all of this involved process, we are told, can be avoided by the use of a double boiler to even the heat out and cook the sauce slowly, but that is cheating and we will not give you your Girl Scout chef merit badge if you do it. Actually, we have never had a double boiler when we needed it, and see them as somewhat of a unitasker (bad) unless one makes candy a lot, so we do it our way.
You can also do much the same thing in a blender or a microwave. How embarrassing.Don’t talk to us.
We generally make 2 to 3 times this recipe and eat it on broccoli cooked al dente. Please do NOT overcook the broccoli, American style. Limp broccoli is a vile abomination unto the gods.