Essential Ingredients: artichokes (asparagus is good with hollandaise too...), butter, lemon, eggs.
Procedure: Whisk eggs over a double boiler on medium low heat. (The water should be at a smiling boil). Whisk constantly until you see the eggs get frothy and starting to thicken slightly - about twice as thick.
Add chunks of hard cold butter gradually, whisking constantly.
Whisk constantly until it is smooth and thick. Lift the inner pot up above the heat from time to time to prevent the eggs from scrambling. (Yes, yes, the photograph is slightly out of focus on the hollandaise - it is to show the bubbling water below.)
Add lemon and continue to whisk. Especially watch for scrambling on the sides of the inner pot.
Taste and add more lemon juice if required.
It's thick enough when the sauce is very very slow to fall from a dipped spoon or spatula. (scroll up and down for more photos)
Hollandaise sauce goes wonderfully with artichokes, grilled pork, baked potato, chives and parsley.
Hollandaise is also fabulous on eggs with spinach and ham (or bacon) or eggs with radish greens.