Beurre Blanc

After thinking for a few days on what I wanted to make involving butter I settled on a sauce – a butter based sauce.  I haven’t made too many in my day so I figured it’d be a challenge and good practice.  Who better to consult for this task but Ms. Julia Child? So I read her chapter on Hot Butter Sauces and settled on beurre blanc – a classic sauce that pairs well with so many foods from fish to vegetables.  I thought it seemed like a delicious, yet simple enough recipe to tackle for my very first blog post. The plan went like this: steam some asparagus, make a nice creamy butter sauce, dive in.  I guess I should have known better – so often things that are seemingly simple end up being anything but.

Let’s begin with the ingredients – yes there is more to it than just butter – but not much… In a small saucepan,  I used a 1 1/2 quart sized pan, join the following ingredients:
2 1/2 Tb white-wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tb dry vermouth – I love using vermouth instead of white wine while cooking – I think it gives a wonderfully rich flavor , however, you can use wine or lemon juice here
2 1/2 Tb finely minced shallots
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 white pepper
2 Tb butter
Bring this to a boil and let it reduce a bit until about 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrupy liquid remains.Now for adding the butter (lots of butter.) Have the 8 ounces (2 sticks) of butter cut up into 16 pieces ready to add. Wire whisk in hand.

The trick to a beautiful beurre blanc is to make sure the butter does not turn oily – like melted butter.  You want the sauce to be luxuriously think, warm and creamy.  On my first, unsuccessful, attempt I used room temperature butter and kept the pan over high heat while adding the pieces and once I got through about half the butter it turned into hot, clear, liquidy butter. Not what I wanted.

So I scratched the first attempt and went at the second, successful, attempt a little differently.  Instead of room temperature butter I used chilled butter and I removed the pan from the heat before I started adding the butter piece by piece.  Constantly beating the sauce with the wisk add 3 pieces of butter off the heat and then for the remaining pieces return the pan to a very low heat.  The sauce remained thick and creamy and gave off the most amazingly rich aroma.  Once I added all 16 pieces the sauce looked divine, I was quite pleased with myself, and it was ready to taste.  I ended up adding a squeeze of lemon and a touch more salt for good measure.

Upon completion I beamed at my shiny, velvety sauce – a tasty culinary classic, however, I couldn’t help but wonder how often one could eat this before keeling over in cardiac arrest.  With that much butter involved I’m not sure I’ll be indulging on a regular basis but I did feel a little better pairing it with steamed asparagus.


About amyreneesam

food lover. loud laugher. wine-o.
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4 Responses to Beurre Blanc

  1. Frances says:

    So excited to try this Amy! LOVE the platter. xx

  2. anna zus says:

    Awesome blog! Added to the RSS feed! Keep up the good work!

  3. Denise says:

    Loved your blog. I’m really looking forward to learning all of your adventures with food.

  4. Neema says:

    this looks soooo yummy! and this is an awesome way to share all your kitchen talent-excited to see more!!!!

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