the basics: hollandaise sauce

3 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c melted butter
2 tbsp hot water
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

put yolks in top of double boiler over simmering water. whisk until smooth.
add lemon juice.  whisk.
Gradually whisk in melted butter.... I do mean very gradually!
After it's all added, slowly mix in hot water, sprinkle with cayenne & salt. continue to mix 1 minute.
should be thick by then.
Serve warm.
(If the sauce curdles, remove sauce from heat, put an egg yolk in a bowl and add to the broken sauce very slowly, beating with a whisk. once it is smooth, continue with the recipe from where it curdled.)

Bearnaise Sauce: cook 1 small minced shallot with 1 Tbsp vinegar & 1/2 tsp tarragon. Strain and use instead of lemon juice in the Hollandaise recipe. Once thickened, sprinkle with parsley & a little fresh tarragon.

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