Lesson 1: How to make a basic butter sauce

Submitted by: Kristine Trulock
by Karen Fernau
The Arizona Republic

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners

Ingredients

Beurre blanc is so versatile, adding a buttery flavor to just about any dish. Here's how to make the basic sauce:

*white wine vinegar-1/4 cup
*fresh white wine-1/4 cup
*minced shallots-1 tablespoon
*salt- 1/4 teaspoon
*freshly ground pepper- 1/8 teaspoon


• Continue boiling until the sauce is reduced by half. The larger the saucepan, the quicker the ingredients will reduce. Tipping the pan makes it easier to tell when the sauce is properly reduced.

• While reducing the sauce, cut 1 1/4 cups or 12 ounces of chilled butter into small squares. Once the sauce is reduced, add half the butter squares and beat with a metal whisk until the mixture forms a creamy paste.

•Reduce heat to low and continue beating in one piece of butter at a time, adding a new piece just as soon as the previous piece is nearly incorporated. The sauce should now be about 1 1/4 cups and have the consistency of light hollandaise. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon.

•Beurre blanc can be served with the shallots, or for a creamier sauce, strain out the shallots before serving.

Method

•Bring 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup fresh white wine, 1 tablespoon minced shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper to a boil in a deep saucepan.

• Continue boiling until the sauce is reduced by half. The larger the saucepan, the quicker the ingredients will reduce. Tipping the pan makes it easier to tell when the sauce is properly reduced.

• While reducing the sauce, cut 1 1/4 cups or 12 ounces of chilled butter into small squares. Once the sauce is reduced, add half the butter squares and beat with a metal whisk until the mixture forms a creamy paste.

•Reduce heat to low and continue beating in one piece of butter at a time, adding a new piece just as soon as the previous piece is nearly incorporated. The sauce should now be about 1 1/4 cups and have the consistency of light hollandaise. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon.

•Beurre blanc can be served with the shallots, or for a creamier sauce, strain out the shallots before serving.

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