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Posts Tagged ‘Sauce’

Bearnaise sauce

We rarely do the classic sauces, sometimes they look a bit intimidating. This Béarnaise is easily made and tastes superb, perfect for when only steak & chips will do. It will keep warm in the bowl while you cook your steaks.

Wine suggestion: Béarnaise is a slightly piquant sauce, so you have to make sure the wine you choose isn’t too acidic. Our choice was the Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirah. This is full bodied and richly plum flavoured with peppery tannins and very high levels of anthocyanins (colour and anti-oxidants). Crucially though it has only a medium acidity and so doesn’t fight the sauce. A rare enough grape, but in expert hands, wonderful indeed.

Béarnaise Sauce – serves 2

  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • a large sprig of tarragon, bruised
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200g unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • sea salt

Put the vinegar, black peppercorns, shallot and whole tarragon sprig into a small saucepan with 50ml of water, then bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, then strain and reserve the liquid.

Put a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water.

Put the egg yolks, a cube of butter and a pinch of salt into the bowl. Whisk together, then add half the reserved liquid. Keep whisking until the mixture comes together and starts to thicken, then gradually add all of the butter, one cube at a time. Make sure that the mixture has emulsified (and not separated!) before you add any more butter each time. If it becomes too thick you can add teaspoons of warm water to thin it.

When all the butter has been added, remove the bowl from over the pan. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir in the chopped tarragon. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, white pepper, or more of the reduced liquid if needed. Leave the sauce in the warm bowl (off the heat) and it will keep warm for about 30 minutes but keep stirring occasionally.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Meat Feasts by Si King & Dave Myers, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2015.)

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Steak Diane

Remember this!?!?

We’re not sure if we’ve definitely had it before but remember it on every restaurant menu when we were kids and it has ingredients we’d choose. However, we were probably opting for the Chicken Maryland or something just as classy! It tastes reminiscent of those old fashioned dishes you still get in French restaurants. Bring it back we say – it’s absolutely delicious and you get to flambé, which is always very exciting! We served this with a rib-eye steak cooked rare on the barbecue, but it’s up to you for cut and doneness. Some watercress or other greens work for a side too.

Wine Suggestion: It was a special occasion for us so we raided the our dwindling cellar and chose a classic Bordeaux, the Chateau Haut Bages Averous 2005. Even if this isn’t to hand we’d suggest a Cabernet dominant blend and you’ll be happy.

Sauce Diane – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 120ml brandy
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 150ml cream
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • a good pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Heat a large sauté pan and heat the olive oil and the butter until foaming. Add the shallot and mushroom and cook for a few minutes to soften.

Pour over the brandy, then light the pan with a match and allow the flames to subside. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half.

Stir in the stock, cream, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until thickened to a sauce consistency. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice.

(Original recipe from Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Fishcakes with Tartare Velouté

These are definitely a bit fancier than your average fishcake. Jam-packed with fish, not too much potato, and a stunning sauce. We’ve put a few in the freezer and can’t wait to have them again. The recipe is by Tommy Banks, of The Black Swan in Oldstead, and he suggests serving a poached egg on top. Do as you wish.

Wine Suggestion: We actually had another Jura Chardonnay with this, the Berthet-Bondet, but we’re conscious that these aren’t easy to find. We’d also suggest a sparkling from a cooler climate, especially if it has some autolytic bottle age; or a Chablis, Vermentino or good Albariño.

Luxury fishcakes with tartare velouté – serves 6

FOR THE FISHCAKES:

  • 1 red-skinned potato, about 250g
  • 250g smoked cod or smoked haddock
  • 250g hake
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 100g mixed white and brown crabmeat
  • 2 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
  • poached eggs (optional), lemon wedges & pea shoots, to serve

FOR THE TARTARE VELOUTÉ:

  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 50ml double cream
  • squeeze of lemon
  • large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped

Prick the potato a few times, then bake at 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 for about an hour or until soft.

Scoop the flesh from the potato into a bowl and mash until smooth.

Meanwhile, put the cod or haddock and hake into a large, shallow pan. Add the bay leaves, mustard and milk, and season. Bring to a simmer over a high heat, then cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and leave for 10 minutes.

Put the mash into a large bowl and stir in the egg yolk, butter, a pinch of grated nutmeg, the lemon zest and juice, the cheese, the crab and the scallions. Stir together well, then add 1 tbsp of the poaching milk and some seasoning.

Lift the fish gently from the milk and pour the milk into a jug (throw away the bay leaves). Flake the fish into large pieces and stir gently through the potato mixture. Shape the mixture into 6 fishcakes.

Now put the flour, egg and panko crumbs into 3 separate bowls. Coat each fishcake lightly in flour first, then dip into the egg to cover and finally into the panko crumbs. You want them to be totally covered in the breadcrumbs. You can freeze them now if you like or put into the fridge for cooking later.

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes, then gradually add the reserved poaching liquid, stirring all the time. Keep adding liquid until you have a silky sauce, then stir in the cream and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in some lemon juice, parsley, capers and seasoning. Keep warm.

To cook the fishcakes, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until dark golden and crispy. A metal skewer into the centre helps to check they’re piping hot, particularly if they’ve spent time in the fridge. You can cook them in batches if easier and keep warm in a low oven.

Serve the fishcakes with plenty of sauce, a handful of pea shoots and a lemon wedge. You can also add a poached egg if you would like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Apple sauce

Apple sauce is so simple but we’re still surprised at how many people buy those expensive jars when even us city dwellers can find free cooking apples at this time of year. Make a batch and freeze until you’re serving some roast pork, pork chops, sausages – or when you have to feed a baby.

Bramley Apple Sauce – serves many

  • 450g cooking apples
  • 1-2 dessertspoons of water
  • 50g caster sugar

Peel and core the apples, then cut into chunks and put into a small saucepan with the sugar and water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over a low-medium heat until soft and breaking down. A bit of encouragement with a wooden spoon does no harm. When the apples are soft beat the sauce until smooth and serve warm with pork dishes or freeze until needed.

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