Bearnaise Sauce

Bearnaise Sauce, is one of those things that you think when you see on a menu or hear someone say it, that it is this fancy and very difficult sauce, but its not. I honestly always used the powdered gravy starters and then just added ingredients until I got the texture and taste to where I wanted it. Now that I make Bearnaise, I use it on everything. Fish, chicken, beef, on vegetables and even use to dip my bread in. Its a really great tasting sauce that is very simple to make and will always make your guests think you went out of your way.

I also am including the history in the sauce from Wikipedia. Béarnaise sauce is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and flavored with herbs. It is considered to be a 'child' of the mother Hollandaise sauce, one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. The difference is only in their flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice. Its name is related to the province of Bearn, France. In appearance it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy. Béarnaise is a traditional sauce for steak.

Ingredients: This makes 1 1/4 cups so double or triple as necessary
2 sticks of butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbs. of tarragon leaves or 1 tbs. of dried
4 white peppercorns, crushed
1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/3 cup of white wine (something you like to drink)
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. salt

Heat the butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat until it melts. In separate pan, bring to boil in the vinegar and wine, the shallots, tarragon and peppercorns until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain into the top of a double boiler. Whisk in the egg yolks. Place the top over the bottom of the double boiler containing simmering water. Make sure that the top of the water is below the bottom of the upper part of the double boiler. Whisk constantly. As soon as you see that the yolk mixture begins to thicken slightly, remove from the double boiler and continue whisking. Turn off the heat. Add 6 ice cubes to the bottom of the double boiler to cool the hot water. Put the pan of yolks back above the hot water. Whisk in the melted butter, very slowly. If at any time the sauce looks as it it is about to separate, remove from the double boiler and whisk it to cool it down. You can add a teaspoon of cold water as well. Continue to whisk and add in salt and cayenne pepper. When the butter has blended, taste and add salt and cayenne as desired.

Seems like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it you will be able to do it more quickly. :)
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