Get Saucy Series: Excellent Egg Sauces

Scrambled eggs may be the simplest of dishes to make, but that belies the alchemy the egg possesses when whisked into a frenzy with fat to create an emulsion. That’s the versatility of the egg. Here eggs converge with butter or oil to make two of the world’s greatest sauces: mayonnaise and hollandaise.

Mayonnaise

Although mayonnaise is simple in theory and made of just two ingredients (egg and oil), it requires attention and finesse. Egg yolks are the ultimate liaisons as they contain several emulsifiers — among them cholesterol and lecithin — which bind fat and liquids. But they can be temperamental, requiring exacting temperatures and amounts.

The egg yolks need to be at room temperature, as does the oil. The processor or blender needs to be clean and dry, and the oil needs to be added very slowly, carefully and in the right proportions. Rush this process and you will end up with a curdled, unappealing mixture. Done right and you will be rewarded with a creamy, rich sauce far better than the mayonnaise you’ll find in a jar. You will also have a blank slate receptive to any number of ingredients and flavors; a launching pad for an endless number of sauces and spreads.

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce has been shoved aside for more fashionable gutsy sauces made of herbs, garlic and peppers — sauces with a fraction of the fat, requiring a fraction of the skill. But this may be the very reason that dishes employing the rich sauce, such as eggs Benedict and eggs Sardou, are timeless favorites. If you like either of these dishes, it’s worth it to make your own hollandaise sauce. Using the food processor makes it easy and practically foolproof.

 

5 Egg Sauce Variations


A Lighter Mayonnaise

Recipe by Jill Melton, MS, RD

The normal ratio of oil to egg yolks is ¾ to 1 cup oil per egg yolk. Cutting back on the oil and incorporating water at the end makes a lighter mayo that’s still creamy. Omit water and replace it with ¼ cup oil for a traditional full-fat version. Avoid using a strong-flavored olive oil; it will be overbearing in the mayonnaise.

Ingredients

2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1.2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 1/4cups vegetable oil or mild olive oil
1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. Place yolks, mustard, salt and vinegar in bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until the yolks are blended and light yellow.
  2. Add ¼ cup oil a drop at a time until mixture is emulsified and thick. Add remaining oil in a thin stream until mayo is thick and blended.
  3. Add water in a thin stream until incorporated into mayonnaise.

Nutrition Information

Makes 1 cup; Serves 16 (Serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Calories 156; Total fat 17g; Sat. fat 3g; Chol . 23mg; Sodium 61mg; Carb . 0g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 3mg; Phosphorous 8mg


Red Curry Mayonnaise

Recipe by Jill Melton, MS, RD

Try this on a turkey sandwich with fig preserves and Swiss cheese.

Ingredients

1/4 cup Lighter Mayonnaise (recipe above)
1/2 teaspoon jarred red curry paste

Directions

  1. Combine mayonnaise and curry paste. Stir well.
  2. Chill.

Nutrition Information

Serves 4. (Serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Calories 156; Total fat 17g; Sat. fat 3g; Chol . 23mg; Sodium 63mg; Carb . 0g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 5mg; Phosphorous 9mg


Avocado Mayonnaise Spread

Recipe by Jill Melton, MS, RD

Ripe avocado, cilantro and parsley are pureed with mayonnaise for a green sauce perfect for sandwiches.

Ingredients

1/2 avocado
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Lighter Mayonnaise (recipe above)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pinch salt

Directions

  1. Place avocado, parsley and cilantro in bowl of food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt. Process until smooth.

Nutrition Information

Serves 8 (Serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Calories 42; Total fat 5g; Sat. fat 1g; Chol . 6mg; Sodium 18mg; Carb . 0g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 11mg; Phosphorous 3mg


Blender Hollandaise Sauce

Recipe by Jill Melton, MS, RD

Traditionally, hollandaise sauce is made by beating butter into heated egg yolks. With the food processor, warm melted butter is whirled into the egg yolks, making it substantially easier and virtually foolproof.

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted and warm

Directions

  1. Place egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in bowl of food processor. Process until combined.
  2. With the machine running, add warm butter in a very thin stream until sauce is thick and creamy.

Nutrition Information

Serves 12. (Serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Calories 82; Total fat 9g; Sat. fat 5g; Chol . 66mg; Sodium 52mg; Carb . 0g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 1g; Potassium 8mg; Phosphorous 19mg


Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise

Recipe by Jill Melton, MS, RD

Roasting your own red bell peppers is great, but red peppers from a jar are fine. If you’re inclined to dip your fries into mayonnaise, this is a great alternative. The sweetness of the peppers perfectly pairs with salty fries. This is also a good dip for artichoke leaves and as a spread on sandwiches. If you’re a fan of smoky flavors, add a half teaspoon smoked paprika.

Ingredients

2 roasted bell peppers, fresh or jarred
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Lighter Mayonnaise (recipe above)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Puree peppers, garlic and salt in a food processor until smooth. This will make about ¾ cup pepper puree.*
  2. Combine 4 tablespoons pepper puree with mayonnaise, and brown sugar and paprika, if using.
  3. Stir well. Chill.

Cooking Note

  • Use the remaining pepper puree for soups, sauces or to make more red pepper mayonnaise.

Nutrition Information

Serves 8. (Serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Calories 82; Total fat 9g; Sat. fat 1g; Chol . 12mg; Sodium 55mg; Carb . 1g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g; Potassium 23mg; Phosphorous 7mg

Jill Melton
Jill Melton, MS, RD, is editor and founder of Edible Nashville Magazine.