Home » in the kitchen » Holidays Sauce.. our miraculous journey into low-fat delicacies

Holidays Sauce.. our miraculous journey into low-fat delicacies

“Let’s make Hollandaise Sauce!” I said to my Love, “I’ll make a whole recipe and we’ll eat it all- it will be our splurge.”

I remember my mom making Hollandaise Sauce to go on broccoli and absolutely falling in love with its tart, lemony, buttery deliciousness. It’s a sauce that I personally believe could make a good soup…. if you aren’t opposed to the idea of eating enough butter and egg yolks to give an elephant cardiac arrest. I was in the mood to make something fancy to go with our stew and the asparagus which had been in the fridge, waiting for me to think of something to make with it. My mind settled on Hollandaise.

But, you know all about our crooked little stove with its three miniature burners, and two of the burners were already taken up with other dishes for the same dinner and I knew I didn’t have the space I needed to make the sauce work decently. I looked at the next recipe in my “Joy of Cooking” cookbook which was for “Blender Hollandaise Sauce” that didn’t need a stove at all. Intriguing. We have a new blender that has seen it’s share of use already making smoothies for breakfasts. The recipe started out, “Is not as flavorful or brightly colored as ‘real’ Hollandaise….”  and they lost me. I *love* the intensity of flavor in a good Hollandaise, and I think that if I made this recipe – without them having made that introductory statement – and found it to be a little blander, I would survive without too much grumbling, but to put the work into a sauce *knowing* it was going to be a little lifeless- I couldn’t bring myself to it.

Next recipe: Mock Hollandaise, which a clever lady named, ‘Holidays Sauce’. Again, intriguing. This recipe was for a lower fat version of the original that promised to be flavorful, but less likely to kill you on the spot, AND it only required One Burner. We *might* be able to make this work.


The recipe calls for:

1 cup cultured sour cream

2 egg yolks

the juice of one lemon

a pinch of salt

 At first I was a little unsure of the merits of using sour cream instead of the traditional melted butter, I mean, how much lower fat could it be? Quite a bit, actually. Don’t get me wrong, this still probably isn’t going to be something we eat every day, but you really do save yourself by using sour cream. I did some brief research, and one tablespoon of butter has 100 calories, more or less, while the sour cream has 30 calories in every tablespoon. Wow- I had no idea! Also, this version uses two egg yolks instead of the original three. *I later decided that when making this sauce again I would add the third just because I didn’t think it was ‘eggy’ enough.*

The sour cream goes into a small pot (hold that thought, you really need a double-boiler, but I don’t have one, so I used two small pots that are graduated sizes, so the one fit comfortably into the other… oh so clever! If you happen to have a double boiler, you are going to put these ingredients in the *top* pot.) with the two egg yolks, and the juice of one lemon. I just happened to have one lemon in the crisper and was able to use – for the first time – my retro juicer. I love it. I found the pretty old thing in an antique store many years ago and stuck it away in my hope chest for such a day as this. It worked like a dream.

Everything goes in the pot and then the pot goes in the other pot which has hot water in it (I feel like we should now have an appearance by Dr. Seuss with all this ‘pot, pot, hot’ going on). Not boiling water, just hot enough to slowly cook the egg yolk and thicken the sauce. It gets whisked all the while.


True, it isn’t the brilliant yellow I am used to, but you have to admit that it is a lovely shade. I whisked it for about five minutes until it was noticeably thicker. You shouldn’t let the water boil, says “Joy of Cooking”, just let it remain very hot, I found *that* degree to be when the bottom and sides are covered with little bubbles, and the bubbles begin to dance around and get antsy.


 *apologies for the poor picture quality*

We ate the sauce with steamed asparagus, and it was very good. It had all the lemony tartness of a regular Hollandaise with none of the regular fattening guilt. This is not to say, although, that I was completely rid of my craving for Hollandaise, or that I am not going to try to make some of the real stuff someday when I have more than one burner on my little stove.

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." Julia Child

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