Today, I’m talking sauce! Ask anyone who has known me for a while and they will tell you I love to make sauce. Sauce seems to elevate a meal and make it feel special. It adds another layer of flavor and texture that engages the taste buds and keeps the recipe entertaining bite after bite.
A sauce can be as simple or as complex as you like. It can be intense with flavor or subtly infused. Sauce is all about dressing up a dish and making it shine.
Beurre Blanc is a classic French butter-based sauce. Translated it literally means “white butter”. It’s considered an emulsion sauce and requires the butter to be chilled before using in order to keep the sauce from breaking. Now that I’ve mentioned this, don’t let the possibility of the sauce “breaking” deter you.
Cooking (and sauce making) requires prep, patience and practice. If you’ve never made this sauce before, just take your time. I promise, before long you will be a sauce making pro.
A basic Beurre Blanc requires white wine, white wine vinegar, shallots and cold butter. This Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc only requires Meyer lemon juice, shallots, cold butter and lemon zest. That’s it! A little salt to taste and your sauce is done.
I prefer Meyer lemon versus conventional lemon in this sauce. Meyer lemons have a sweeter flavor and are less acidic than regular lemons which creates a subtle and balanced citrus flavor in the sauce. For additional lemon flavor I add a teaspoon of lemon zest to the finished sauce.
I’ve paired this sauce with pan seared salmon. I think these two were made for each other. The creamy butter sauce laced with lemon combined with the unique flavor of the salmon makes for a delicious and beautiful dish. This sauce is also exquisite drizzled over pan seared or grilled scallops and I’ve also been known to ladle this silky sauce on grilled oysters.
Truly a beautiful sauce that will make you fall in love with seafood all over again.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
Some chefs leave the shallots in the sauce which is also fine. This, I call the "rustic" version. It also adds a bit more texture to the sauce.
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced (about a tablespoon)
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (about a stick and a half)
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
- Salt to taste
- Chopped fresh chive for garnish
In a nonreactive saute pan over medium low heat, add the lemon juice and shallots Simmer until half the liquid has been reduced; it will feel almost dry or what is referred to as "au sec".
Take the pan off the heat and whisk in several pieces of diced butter (about a 1/4 of the butter). When it's nicely incorporated whisk in a few more pieces butter (another 1/4 of the butter). The sauce should begin to feel smooth.
Place the pan back over medium low heat and whisk in the remaining butter until the sauce is smooth.
Take the sauce off the heat and gently stir in the lemon zest and season to taste with salt.
Strain the sauce into a container and ladle over pan seared, roasted or grilled salmon.
Garnish with chopped fresh chive or little tender sprigs of fresh thyme.