Avgolemono is a sauce made with egg and lemon. It is added to soups or casseroles in order to provide body and flavour at the same time. It can miraculously transform a particularly thin soup disguise its flats. Primarily it is added to fish soups, chicken soups and tripe soup, or casseroles like lamb fricassee, lamb with fresh green peas, pork with celery, stuffed courgettes, dolmathes, most of the globe artichoke dishes, etc.
There are various ways of making avgolemono, some adding cornflour to make it thicker, some adding tablespoon of milk to make it whiter.
once you add the avgolemono never let the dish boil.
The easiest and most common method
juice of 1-2 lemons
Beat the eggs with a tablespoon of cold water for 2-3 minutes with a fork, add the lemon juice and beat it together for about 1 minute. Start intruding, slowly, tablespoons of the hot (but not boiling) sauce from the casserole or soup that the avgolemono is intended for, beating at the same time. Once 4-5 tablespoons have been added we assume that the avgolemono has acquired a mild warmth, and we can add it to the saucepan. It should be poured in very slowly, while stirring with a wooden spoon at the same time.
If it is a casserole with fragile contents like artichokes, pour the avgolemono sauce slowly all over and immediately rotate the saucepan and keep the sauce moving for 1-2 minutes. This should always be done away from heat. Return the saucepan on very gentle heat for few seconds, in order to thicken a egg a little. Keep stirring or rotating in the meantime.
A safer version
Separate the eggs and use only the egg yolks. Beat the egg yolk with a tablespoon of water for 1-2 minutes, add the lemon and continue as in the previous basic method. It is in this method that sometimes it is advisable to add an extra yolk if there is a considerable amount of food that the sauce has to cover. This does not become light and fluffy as the previous one does. It is thicker and creamier.
A complicated version
Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until they stay in soft peaks. Add the egg yolks and beat to gether for 2 minutes until well amalgamated. Add the lemon juice, beat together a little and start adding tablespoons of the hot sauce or soup as describe in the first method. This method results in the lightest and fluffier appearance and it is preferred for soups as it makes them look frothy. Beating the egg whits first safeguards them also against the heat.