Tag Archives: wine

Beurre Blanc

Butter is essentially a smooth mixture of fat and water. The secret to making beurre blanc is to preserve its makeup by allowing each addition of butter to melt smoothly into the sauce, as you whisk it, before adding the next piece of butter. Also, never let the sauce come to a boil once the butter is added; that will cause it to separate. Some restaurant cooks add a little heavy cream to the wine reduction before whisking in the butter, to ensure a smooth and stable sauce, this is a new tip for me, as I researched to make this sauce I found that out.

You can serve this sauce with fish, poultry or vegetables.  Try Fork Crushed Purple Potatoes, a recipe shared with us by Edith Paiz from Epi Catering as a side dish for a beautiful meal.

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Yields 1 1/2 cups

This recipe is based on one in Mastering the Art of French Cooking
by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck (Knopf, 1977).

Ingredients:

3 sticks cold unsalted butter (24 tbsp.),
cut into chunks
1⁄4 cup dry white wine
1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. minced shallots
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
Pinch of white pepper
1⁄2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Procedure:

  1. Have butter ready. Bring wine and vinegar to a boil in a saucepan; add shallots, salt, and pepper. Lower heat to a simmer; cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. (There should be about 1 1⁄2 tbsp. liquid left. If reduced too far, add 1 tbsp. water to re moisten).
  2. Remove pan from heat; whisk 2 pieces of butter into the reduction. Set pan over low heat and continue whisking butter into sauce a chunk at a time, allowing each piece to melt into sauce before adding more.
  3. Remove sauce from heat; whisk in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Fish Fillet with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Following up on our collection of fish recipes for lent, we have this amazing recipe we hope you will try.   I do recommend you try the variation as described at the bottom of the recipe. This includes cream and wine….you’ll want to taste it!

Pair this with rice and some asparagus on the side.  You can find our recipe for asparagus with balsamic vinegar here.

I guarantee this will become one of your favorite fish recipes.

Fish Fillet with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Fish Fillet with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Serves 4
Recipe adapted from Karista’s Kitchen

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs seasonal fresh white fish
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, smashed and lightly chopped
2 tablespoons diced shallots
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh thyme
Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Mix together tomatoes, garlic, shallots, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil until lightly coated and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the tomato mixture into a baking dish or foil lined cookie sheet and roast for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are wilted and slightly toasty.  Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Drizzle the fish with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Roast the fish until opaque in the center and flaky.  Fish roasting times vary according to thickness.  Start with 5-8 minutes and then check for doneness.  If it isn’t done, let it continue roasting, checking every couple of minutes.
  5. Once the fish is done, transfer to a platter.  Mix the tomatoes with lemon zest and remaining fresh thyme.  Top the fish with the tomatoes and herbs and serve immediately.

As a variation, and what you see in our photograph:
Transfer the tomato mixture into a small pot and add about 1/2 cup of cream and 1/4 cup white wine.  Add the lemon zest and the remaining thyme. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for a few minutes, just until heated through.  Top fish with this sauce.

Fish Fillet with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Fish Fillet with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Fish Fillet with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Wine & Chocolate: What to pair

Wine and chocolate paired together? They’re natural companions. Both have complex flavors and notes, both have similar components and nuances in common. A wine and chocolate pairing follows the same kind of process as a wine or chocolate tasting, except you taste both together.

Pair lighter chocolates with lighter wines; darker chocolates with full-bodied wines.

Pairings for Dark, Bittersweet and Semisweet chocolate:

•Zinfandel
•Syrah
•Tawny Port
•Armagnac
•Cognac

If you’re looking to pair up Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Sangiovese reds, they need to be well-aged to suitably pair with darker chocolates.

Pairings for Milk Chocolate:

•Merlot
•Riesling
•Sauvignon Blanc
•Dessert wines

More Pairings

Pairing chocolate with fruit is a natural. Some experts prefer chocolate and beer combinations to chocolate and wine. In Europe, bread and chocolate are common companions. Chocolate and coffee are meant to be together, while chocolate and tea are an unlikely match that some experts swear by.

Excerpt from our Chocolate article.

Apple-Plum Chicken with Wine and Honey-Mustard Sauce

I love to combine chicken with fruits in savory dishes, especially apples, pears and berries. This is an easy dish that is full of flavor, the combination of the tender apples and plums with mustard and honey is a real appetite opener… and, your kitchen will smell great.

Apple-Plum Chicken with Wine and Honey-Mustard Sauce

Serves 2

 Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 fuji apples
2 plums
2 tablespoons chopped onion
Salt and pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup white wine

Procedure:

  1. Open up your chicken breast and cut into half.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar, mustard and honey.  Add this marinade to the chicken breasts.  Let stand at least 30 min.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the apples and plums into wedges.
  4. In a medium sized pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the apples and prunes. Sprinkle with brown sugar.Once the sugar has melted and the fruit begins to cook, about 5 min in, add the wine.
  5. Set temperature to low and cover.
  6. In another pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil.  Add the chopped onions and cook until they look tender and start to brown.  Remove chicken from the marinade and add to your pan.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let brown for 4 minutes on each side.  Add the remaining marinade and the apple mixture from the other pan.  Sprinkle with thyme.
  8. Cover and let cook for 10 min.
  9. Serve hot with sauce and fruit on top.

Serving suggestion:
Mashed Potatoes and asparagus and/or green salad.