This is a classic sauce for shad and pike. The regions of Nantes and Anjou have a long-standing culinary disagreement as to where the sauce originated. HIstory says that a chef Clémence from Nantes one day forgot to add eggs to the béarnaise sauce that would accompany the shad he was going to serve to his master, the Marquis de Goulaine. Later, when he opened his restaurant near Nantes, he kept the eggless butter sauce on the menu, and it was here that Mère MIchel learned its secrets, taking it to her famous restaurant on rue Rennequin in Paris.
Beurre blanc - an indispensable sauce
For Chef Anne Desjardins of L'Eau à la Bouche in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, this sauce is an essential that can be the basis for many variations.
It's wonderful with grilled, baked or steamed fish. Simply add:
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) fish stock during the reduction stage
- or herbs
- crushed tomato
- northern shrimp (at the last minute)
- or replace the vinegar with lemon juice to give it a change of character.
Use your imagination!
- cook the shallot in the vinegar or white wine in a saucepan until very soft and the liquid has reduced to one-third - cook over low heat, otherwise the liquid will evaporate too quickly;
- remove the pan from the heat; add the butter all at once and whisk briskly until emulsified and creamy;
- season with salt and pepper; add a little vinegar and other ingredients if desired; pour over the fish or serve on the side.
- This emulsion can be stabilized with a teaspoon of heavy cream (35%). Here, the vinegar is replaced by white Muscadet wine.
- If you have to wait to serve it, leave it over a pan of warm water.
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