Tuesday, May 4, 2010

215. White Butter Sauce with Cream (Beurre Nantais) (p. 882)

While rummaging through our freezer a while ago, I came across a stash of lobster and shrimp ravioli. How could we possibly have left these little frozen gems in cold storage for months and months without eating them? Well, we just couldn't figure out what kind of sauce to serve with them. A tomato-based sauce didn't seem like a good match. That's where this recipe came in.

The Book says that this sauce is traditionally served with fish, so it seemed like it would be a good match for the seafood ravioli.

To make this sauce, I brought some white wine, white wine vinegar and finely chopped shallot to a simmer and reduced it quite a bit. Then I added some cream and simmered it some more to thicken it. Then I added a stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, a bit at time. Once the butter was all melted, I poured the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the shallot solids. Finally, I finished the sauce with a little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

The Book describes this sauce as "velvetized," and the term is apt (even if it isn't really a word). It doesn't get much smoother, richer or more sumptuous than this sauce, all without being heavy like an alfredo sauce. And this was the perfect match for the seafood ravioli. A little bit went a long way, but it did leave us wanting more. When the ravioli was all gone, we couldn't keep ourselves from sopping up whatever sauce was left with some bread.

I'll definitely make this sauce again. The Book says that, in addition to fish, it also works well with vegetables or a steak.

Date Cooked: April 2, 2010
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: A-