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Nouveau Beurre Blanc

Winter 2017
F201701021.jpg
food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

A good beurre blanc is rich and creamy with the consistency of pouring custard. The secret of success? Use very cold butter, add it gradually and whisk like crazy. And, contrary to what some serious cookbooks instruct, beurre blanc can be prepped up to an hour ahead if you keep it warm, not hot. We like the texture the shallots give the sauce, but if you prefer a super-smooth beurre blanc, simply sieve it before adding the flavourings. See some of the many ways to flavor a beurre blanc or its kissing cousin, beurre rouge, after this recipe.

1 cup (250 mL) chilled unsalted butter
¼ cup (60 mL) white sparkling wine
¼ cup (60 mL) white wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) very finely minced shallot
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Flavourings of your choice, if desired

1. Cut butter into 32 even-sized pieces. Arrange pieces in a single layer, not touching each other, on a large plate. Put plate in fridge to chill further.

2. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine sparkling wine, vinegar and shallot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Boil until volume has reduced to about 2 tbsp (30 mL), about 8 minutes, swirling saucepan occasionally toward end of cooking time.

3. Reduce heat to low. Using a hand whisk, whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, making sure each piece of butter is incorporated and sauce is creamy before adding next piece.

4. Increase heat to high. Cook, whisking constantly, just until sauce simmers and bubbles appear around edge. (This final simmer “sets” the emulsion that makes beurre blanc creamy.)

5. Immediately remove saucepan from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If serving immediately, whisk in flavourings of your choice.

6. To make ahead, set a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Pour beurre blanc into bowl and set aside (off the heat) for up to 1 hour, whisking occasionally. Whisk in flavourings just before serving.

 

Makes about 1 cup (250 mL)


NOUVEAU BEURRE ROUGE
Follow recipe for Nouveau Beurre Blanc, omitting vinegar and replacing white sparkling wine with ½ cup (125 mL) red sparkling wine. Just before serving, whisk in 1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste, along with flavourings of your choice.

 

Makes about 1 cup (250 mL)


FLAVOURING OPTIONS
Whisk 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped parsley and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla into beurre blanc to serve with seared scallops or steamed lobster or shrimp.

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped dill and ½ tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest into beurre blanc to serve with grilled or fried fish, or crab cakes.

Whisk 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped chives or mint into beurre blanc to serve with baked potatoes, steamed asparagus, green beans or carrots.

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) each grainy mustard and finely chopped tarragon into beurre blanc to serve with grilled chicken.

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped rosemary or thyme into beurre rouge to serve with roast rack of lamb or prime rib or grilled steak.

 

F201701021.jpg
food and drink

Nouveau Beurre Blanc

Winter 2017

BY: Julia Aitken

A good beurre blanc is rich and creamy with the consistency of pouring custard. The secret of success? Use very cold butter, add it gradually and whisk like crazy. And, contrary to what some serious cookbooks instruct, beurre blanc can be prepped up to an hour ahead if you keep it warm, not hot. We like the texture the shallots give the sauce, but if you prefer a super-smooth beurre blanc, simply sieve it before adding the flavourings. See some of the many ways to flavor a beurre blanc or its kissing cousin, beurre rouge, after this recipe.

1 cup (250 mL) chilled unsalted butter
¼ cup (60 mL) white sparkling wine
¼ cup (60 mL) white wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) very finely minced shallot
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Flavourings of your choice, if desired

1. Cut butter into 32 even-sized pieces. Arrange pieces in a single layer, not touching each other, on a large plate. Put plate in fridge to chill further.

2. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine sparkling wine, vinegar and shallot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Boil until volume has reduced to about 2 tbsp (30 mL), about 8 minutes, swirling saucepan occasionally toward end of cooking time.

3. Reduce heat to low. Using a hand whisk, whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, making sure each piece of butter is incorporated and sauce is creamy before adding next piece.

4. Increase heat to high. Cook, whisking constantly, just until sauce simmers and bubbles appear around edge. (This final simmer “sets” the emulsion that makes beurre blanc creamy.)

5. Immediately remove saucepan from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If serving immediately, whisk in flavourings of your choice.

6. To make ahead, set a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Pour beurre blanc into bowl and set aside (off the heat) for up to 1 hour, whisking occasionally. Whisk in flavourings just before serving.

 

Makes about 1 cup (250 mL)


NOUVEAU BEURRE ROUGE
Follow recipe for Nouveau Beurre Blanc, omitting vinegar and replacing white sparkling wine with ½ cup (125 mL) red sparkling wine. Just before serving, whisk in 1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste, along with flavourings of your choice.

 

Makes about 1 cup (250 mL)


FLAVOURING OPTIONS
Whisk 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped parsley and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla into beurre blanc to serve with seared scallops or steamed lobster or shrimp.

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped dill and ½ tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest into beurre blanc to serve with grilled or fried fish, or crab cakes.

Whisk 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped chives or mint into beurre blanc to serve with baked potatoes, steamed asparagus, green beans or carrots.

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) each grainy mustard and finely chopped tarragon into beurre blanc to serve with grilled chicken.

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped rosemary or thyme into beurre rouge to serve with roast rack of lamb or prime rib or grilled steak.

 

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