To make the best food pairings you have to think of taste, flavour and texture.
Hollandaise Sauce is obviously soft in texture, also creamy. It tastes citrusy (sour), creamy, fatty (buttery), rich.
Knowing this, allows you to find pairings that either compliment it or contrast it.
You want to balance out your dish, and since the sauce is creamy, have something crispy in the dish. Asparagus is known to be crispy so it goes well with the sauce.
Bitter tasting foods are also known to contrast fatty tasting foods as well as sour tasting foods. This works great because Hollandaise sauce is both fatty and sour.
- some good examples of bitter foods are dark green vegetables
- brussel sprouts
Umami tastes also contrast well with sour tastes, and may compliment fatty foods.
- some good examples of umami tastes are seafoods
- crab or lobster
Spice Ideas to add to the mix:
(think of bitter spices to contrast with sour and fatty, and perhaps even cooling spices to liven up the fatty tastes)
(pungent spices can even contrast and compliment the fattiness of the sauce)
- some good examples of spice & herbs pairings
- thyme - bitter
- oregano - bitter
- Garlic - pungent
- mustard - pungent
- onion - pungent
Remember, don’t just make a salmon and hollandaise recipe, it may taste good, but it isn’t balanced. Salmon is creamy when cooked, with a soft texture just like the sauce. You will need something with a crunch. Try adding a crispy vegetable to it, like fennel root, or asparagus, and top it off with a sprinkle of thyme.I’ve mentioned Gordon Ramsay’s Hollandaise Sauce before in my Gordon Ramsay’s Crab Benedict, but I want you to use this sauce with various dishes. Be creative.
Even though Chef Ramsay makes it look simple enough there are a couple components to this recipe and one is to make the tarragon reduction for the hollandaise sauce. Serves 2
1) Tarragon Reduction Ingredients:
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
5 tarragon sprigs
1 cup white wine vinegar
In a small saucepan combine the ingredients and cook on med/high heat until it’s reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Set aside (any unused portion can be kept and refrigerated for later use).
Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon tarragon reduction
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium size saucepan boil some water. Use a heat-proof glass bowl place on top of the saucepan and add in your eggs and tarragon reduction, whisk to combine. Remove from heat and while you are continuously whisking gradually add in the butter and return to heat for a minute or two. Remove again, then whisk in your seasoning and lemon juice. Pour into a ramekin and set aside. Yum Yum!