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It is all about the sauce

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Sauces are what turn ordinary meals into spectacular ones. That’s a big job for a sauce but there is nothing ordinary about sauces.

"It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef.”

—Chef Fernand Point

Intending to make eggs Benedict, I followed a traditional recipe for the hollandaise sauce. After creating a mountain of dirty pots, I ended up with a curdled mess and a lot of frustration.

Stashed in an envelope in my mother’s collection of recipes I found a note from my tante (aunt) Raymond that suggested adding a little flour to the mixture. She had discovered that it helped the sauce come together and thicken. Clearly I wasn’t the only one who struggled with this sauce.

“Traditional hollandaise is notoriously difficult to make. Cook the eggs too much, and you get scrambled eggs. Don't cook them enough, and your sauce won't thicken. Allow your sauce to cool as you make it, and your butterfat will crystallize, breaking your sauce.”

—Serious Eats

As I was researching le Kitchen Cookbook, I realized that the immersion blender changed all this. You can make a perfect hollandaise sauce in less than five minutes and it’s easy!

Sunday morning Eggs Benedict are back on my menu.



Makes ½ cup

1 egg yolk

1 tsp water

1 tsp lemon juice

1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter

⅛ tsp salt

white pepper

pinch cayenne pepper

Makes 1 cup

3 egg yolks

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp lemon

1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter

⅛ tsp salt

white pepper

pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Melt butter

  2. Pour all ingredients into the blender’s container or a tall glass large enough to just fit the blender head—this is important.

  3. Put the head of the immersion blender on the bottom. Start blending. When the mix begins to come together, slowly raise the head to the top.

  4. The hollandaise will be thick and creamy.

Serve immediately

If you are not using the sauce right away, you can keep it warm for about one hour in a thermos.

Important—hollandaise sauce cannot be reheated.

Because sauces are what turn ordinary meals into spectacular ones, I’ve included an entire section on sauces in the upcoming book (le Kitchen Cookbook).


Here Is What's Happening

Le Kitchen Cookbook

A Workbook

Everything you need to know to be a good cook.

by Adeline M. Olmer

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Bon Appétit
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