Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dinner last night

So I made the beurre blanc las night and it worked! The only problem was that I had a sweet white wine and not a dry white wine so it was not as acidic as I would have liked.

I also played around with the pasta extruder, we bought one some months back as an add on to our Kitchenaid stand mixer. So far it has made decent macaroni, but it sucks for flat noodles. I tried the linguine one and the noodles were too brittle and broke up. I am going to stick to the rollers for the flat pasta from now on.

The veggies were braised in balsamic vinegar and some butter. I had peppers, carrots and onions in the pot. They worked perfectly coming out al dente with a nice think and rich balsamic sauce.

I promised a picture, but the evening was nuts and we were all eating by the time I thought to take a picture.

The odds of me making the beurre blanc again are very high, but the calories in it are very, very high. I am going to try and make some of the other classic French sauces over the next month or two, it is something I should have learned long ago and have never done. I have to admit I was inspired to do this after watching Julie and Julia the other night. I will blog on the movie ( and other food movies) later, all I will say now is that it was about what I expected.

Here is the beurre blanc recipe I used:

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 recipe is based on one in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck (Knopf, 1977).
  • 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
  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 remoisten.)
  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. Serve with fish, poultry, or vegetables.
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