Q. I’ve heard that you can make hollandaise sauce in a blender, and that it comes out just as well as making in the traditional way, and maybe even better. Is this right? How is it done?
A. I used to make hollandaise that way all the time, a result of my reading Richard and Rima Collin’s landmark The New Orleans Cookbook. Many years later, I found an even more astute practitioner: Julia Child, who in her first Mastering the Art Of French Cooking shocked the world by saying that hollandaise made that way is at least as good as hollandaise made by hand.
Blender hollandaise is much less prone to problems. It also is not quite as good as hand-made hollandaise, but the margin of error wipes out that advantage.
Start with three egg yolks, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. Put that all into a blender and run it just until everything is mixed thoroughly. Then melt two sticks of salted butter in a saucepan until it bubbles. Run the blender on medium speed while adding the butter in a very slow drizzle. After half the butter is in, add a tablespoon of water to the blender container, heat the butter again, then add the remaining butter, as slowly as before. On my first attempt, I got a nice fluffy hollandaise. Which is a wonderful thing to have at hand. You can set the blender container in a pan of warm water to hold it for awhile.