hollandaise, aka fancypantsing


Time from start to finish: 20 minutes
Difficulty level: medium

The first time I made hollandaise for my boyfriend, I served it with these fancypantsy roasted artichokes. From the look on his face, I could tell he was equally impressed and horrified — how do you eat artichokes like a fancy pants?

Answer: you don’t. You rip that sucker apart, drown it in hollandaise, and then rip the meaty bits off with your teeth. The whole process is about as fancypantsy as eating wings at a sports bar. All in all, it was a great bonding experience, and it set some realistic expectations for our relationship. #eatwithyourhands

I’ll post that recipe soon — you have to remove the “beard” from the artichokes and it’s a hairy process that will require some solid pictures to illustrate.

This recipe will show you how to make liquid gold, aka hollandaise, which you can use in a wonderful variety of ways. You burn at least 12 calories whisking this bad boy, which basically justifies slurping up a stick of butter (right?). It’s not an everyday food. But if you have someone to impress, or you want to feel fancy on a Saturday morning, or (like me) you just have a fat tooth and will use any excuse to satisfy it, make this sauce. Fun fact: Hollandaise is totally paleo! So it’s basically salad.

Eat hollandaise with:

  • Roasted broccoli
  • Steamed asparagus
  • Poached eggs
  • Baked salmon
  • Filet mignon (or teres major)
  • Sweet potato chips


Be patient with your hollandaise. Don’t walk away from it. Never stop whisking. If it starts to break, add a touch of warm water and whisk like a madman/woman. YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU ARE A FANCYPANTS.


  • Metal/glass mixing bowl
  • Pot that the bowl can sit on top of
  • Whisk
  • Thermos (if making ahead)


  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 lb. butter, softened
  • paprika
  • sea salt
  • warm water (maybe)


  1. Set up your double boiler: Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water. Place your metal/glass bowl on top. You don’t want the bottom of the bowl to be touching the top of the water. Check the bottom of the bowl — if it’s wet, dump out some water and try again. When it’s ready, turn the heat to medium-high.
  2. Juice your lemon. Make sure you remove all seeds!
  3. Separate your eggs — save the egg whites for breakfast tomorrow. Put the yolks in a small bowl. Whisk the lemon juice into the yolks.
  4. Cut your butter into chunks so it will be easy to add a little at a time.
  5. When the water starts to boil, grab your whisk and your bowl of egg yolks/lemon juice. Gently dump the bowl’s contents into the bowl and WHISK WHISK WHISK! Don’t stop whisking! Add 2 tbsp. of butter, whisk more. Add more butter, whisk more. Add a hefty pinch of salt, keep whisking. Keep adding butter, tasting as you go, until it tastes like heaven.
  6. If it starts to break, whisk in a splash of warm water. Serve immediately, keeping any excess in a Thermos so it stays warm (trust me — you’ll want more).

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