© 2022 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Mother Sauces


Norman Van Aken © Copyright 2003, All Rights Reserved

Yield:  1½ Cup

3 egg yolks

½ pound of unsalted butter

1½ teaspoon lemon juice

Tabasco, to taste

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Cut the butter into several pieces and allow it to melt. (I do not clarify butter for sauce Béarnaise nor Hollandaise.)

Put the egg yolks and a few drops of water in a stainless steel bowl and whisk very well prior to heating them.  Heat a pot of water that will hold the bowl without letting the bowl come into contact with the water, like a double boiler.  Keep on moderate heat.

Now put the bowl over the simmering water and whisk, (not just stir!) the eggs.  Allow them to thicken gently and evenly.  When you can draw a line with the whisk across the bottom of the bowl and see the bottom for a quick count to 3, they are thick enough.

Remove the bowl from the heat and, very slowly at first, whisk in the melted butter.  If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in the lemon juice and Tabasco (if you need to add a few drops of warm water as well).  When all of the butter is incorporated, whisk in the salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm to serve. Feel free to add more lemon juice if you like.

Norman Van Aken has been described as legendary, visionary and a trailblazer. He is known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.