Sauces really do make the difference and they are not all that hard to make. The most iconic sauces are the 5 French Mother Sauces: Béchamel, Veloute, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato. All of these sauces, except the Tomato, traditionally begin by making a roux (equal parts melted butter and flour), then adding a liquid. In the case of Béchamel it is generally a dairy-milk or cream or both. The liquid Veloute uses is chicken, vegetable or fish stock. Espagnole uses brown stock-beef or veal. Hollandaise-clarified butter, egg yolks, acid-like lemon or white wine. And Tomato uses, you guessed it, tomatoes!
JULIA CHILD’S EASY ‘BLENDER’ HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
|This Hollandaise Sauce is fool proof
and only takes about 3 minutes to make.
3 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch pepper (I like to use white pepper so as not to mar the beautiful color of the sauce.)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Place egg yolks, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice in the blender jar. Cut the butter into pieces and place it in a small saucepan. Heat until melted, hot and foamy. Cover the jar of the blender and blend the egg yolk mixture at top speed for 2 seconds. Uncover, still blending at top speed and immediately start pouring the hot melted butter in a very light stream of droplets. Be careful that the contents don’t spew out. Use your hand to cover part of the opening if necessary. By the time 2/3 of the butter has gone in the sauce will be thick and creamy. Do not pour the milky butter residue at bottom of pan. Taste. Blend in more seasonings and lemon juice to taste.
Use immediately. If not using right away set your blender in a bowl of lukewarm water to ‘hold’ the sauce. The sauce changes consistency pretty fast so use right away. You can keep it overnight in the fridge, but it will not have that luxurious creamy hollandaise consistency next day, but still tastes good!
Classically this sauce is used with Eggs Benedict, but there is no law saying you can’t use it over a lovely chicken breast stuffed with lots of spinach.
I wonder why Bernaise was not gifted the title of “Mother Sauce”, but it’s probably because it is so close to Hollandaise she could be considered a sister. This recipe is from Ina Garten-The Barefoot Contessa. I changed the vinegar she recommended to Tarragon vinegar, but I will give you her recipe as she makes it. This recipe is easy to double if cooking for a crowd.
|New Year’s Eve dinner: Tenderloin of Beef with Bernaise,
Hasselback potatoes and roasted asparagus with a little more Bernaise.
1/4 cup Champagne or White wine vinegar (or in my case, Tarragon Vinegar)
1/4 cup good white wine (I used a Savignon Blanc-not too sweet, but lots of flavor.)
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
Freshly ground black pepper (I used white pepper.)
3 extra-large egg yolks
1 pound (equals 1 cup; equals 2 sticks; equals a lot of butter!)
Put the vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1 Tbsp. tarragon leaves, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in small saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons. Cool slightly.
Place the cooled mixture with the egg yolks and 1 tsp. Kosher salt in the jar of a blender and blend for 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly pour the hot butter through the opening in lid. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. tarragon leaves and blend only for a second. If the sauce is too thick add a tbsp. of white wine to thin it out. Keep at room temp until serving. Similar to the Hollandaise, Bernaise does not have a long shelf life so eat it all right away!
This next recipe is not exactly a sauce, but I made it recently to use with a Pork Tenderloin and it was really scrumptious.
SPICED APPLE CHUTNEY
1 1/2 cups Apple Cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tart apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (I used Granny Smiths.)
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup raisins, golden or brown
1/4 cup shallots, diced
5 thick slices fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp. chili pepper flake (more or less to taste)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sweet Hungarian paprika
A few red peppercorns, crushed (Optional. The red peppercorns are sweet and deepen the flavor, but not totally necessary.)
2 whole star anise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Kosher salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. mustard seed.
Whisk vinegar and sugar together in a large saucepan. Add apples, apricots, raisins, shallots, ginger, pepper flakes, and star anise. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in garlic, salt and mustard seed.
Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and liquid is reduced, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Remove ginger pieces and star anise. Transfer chutney to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Serve either at room temperature or slightly warmed. Flavors continue deepen as the chutney sits so make a day ahead of time. It keeps well in the fridge for a week. I love combining sweet and sour (a gastrique) with fruit and spice. You can play with combinations of spices to create a chutney that becomes your favorite, but this one is pretty good!
ALL FOR TODAY…
CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE HALFWAY
THROUGH JANUARY 2020!
NEXT TIME WE’RE GOING BACK TO THE PHILIPPINES FOR ANOTHER FILIPINO TASTE TREAT!
TUNE IN AGAIN SOON…
|Me and my husband, Jerry, enjoying a beautiful
weekend at the historic Arizona Inn in Tucson.
Talk about good eats!!