|CLASSIC WHITE BUTTER SAUCE|
| It was a wonderful discovery when I read this “holding technique” in Norman Van Aken’s book. He tells us that, while the usual method of making beurre blanc dictates that it can be held only for the shortest time, in restaurants they add and reduce a small amount of cream, which stabilizes the sauce enough that it can be (carefully) held in a double boiler throughout the evening’s restaurant service time. If you wish to make the “classic” sauce, omit the cream, and plan to serve it almost immediately - otherwise, use his trick and you can make it ahead.
You have no idea how many wonderful presentations you can make with this sauce. I serve it in little sauce cups next to chilled, glazed poached trout. It is a wonderful accent to any number of dishes (hot or cold) - and it's a real French classic!
|MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS
| 6 tablespoons, white wine
3 tablespoons, white wine vinegar
1/4 cup, finely chopped shallots
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon, freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup, heavy cream (optional - see introductory note)
1 pound, cold, unsalted butter - broken or cut into small bits
salt and pepper to taste
about 1 teaspoon, lemon juice
OPTIONAL: If adding the cream, when the shallot mixture has reduced to about 3 tablespoons, add the cream and continue boiling until the mixture is reduced by half. [If not using cream, just skip this step, and proceed as directed below.]
Whisk in the pieces of butter - one by one - adding a new piece just as the one before it has melted into the sauce. When all the butter has been incorporated, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Keep the sauce warm in a double boiler with the insert placed over (but not in) very warm (but not simmering or boiling) water.