This is The Goddess’s first posting from rainy South Florida, and what better meal than red snapper and shrimp with a great sauce? (Did I mention, it’s all about the sauce? I did…oh, okay!) I had forgotten how often it rains here, but that did not dampen our dinner, the first one together in our little furnished apartment…it’s like we’re newlyweds again! This was a relatively easy dinner to put together in a kitchen that could be a broom closet! The Goddess sounds like she’s flat-out bitching, but truly she’s not. She’s looking at this as a challenge, and there will need to be some adaptation with space and techniques; simply having a place to set a plate down proved challenging! But, alas, me thinks she’s up to the challenge…she’s here with The Spicy Honey and all is right with the world.
Okay, back to the dinner at hand. During the first round of shopping, the red snapper looked good, so that was the fish and they had some rather nice looking shrimp, so why not use those as a bit of a garnish? KayJay, The Eldest One’s love, wanted to know how to make a beurre blanc, so that’s what this posting is really all about. The classic beurre blanc is one of the Mother Sauces of the emulsion type, similar to a Hollandaise. This isn’t a Hollandaise, as it doesn’t contain eggs and uses much less butter. It isn’t quite the classic beurre blanc sauce either, as there is heavy cream and way less butter. By all means, add the extra butter, if you wish. It’s butter; it’s delicious, so walk on the wild side. We really enjoyed it as is and didn’t feel we needed any additional butter, but that’s your call.
Citrus-Cilantro Beurre Blanc
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
- 2 shallots, minced or 2 teaspoons dry shallots
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Grated zest of 1/2 lime (or lemon or orange)
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces*
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh cilantro (or tarragon, thyme, basil, etc.)
- Kosher salt to taste
- White pepper or cayenne to taste
In a sauce pan, whisk together the wine, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and shallots until combined. Over medium-high heat, reduce the mixture by about half. Whisk in the heavy cream and lime zest, lower the heat and gently reduce by half. (This can be made up to 2 hours ahead; stop at this point.) You will have about 3/4 cup, at this point.
Over the lowest heat possible, whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time until the mixture thickens slightly. This needs to be done just prior to serving, as if you reheat the sauce it may break and separate. (You may use an immersion blender to purée the sauce while slowly adding the butter a few cubes at a time until all of the butter is incorporated.)
Whisk in the cilantro (or herb of choice); season to taste with kosher salt and white pepper, and serve immediately. You may keep the mixture warm in a thermos for a very short while.
*You may add up to 1 cup of butter, but the mixture will be very thick, which is wonderful, but I don’t feel it really needs the extra butter, but that’s up to you.
Citrus-Cilantro Beurre Blanc Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
This meal is really all about the sauce. The fish is just a reason to eat this sauce…my Goddess, it’s a butter sauce! What’s not to love? The fish was simply seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Then, a dash of salt and pepper and some Garlic Explosion sprinkled on. The whole thing was rolled in a 1:1 mixture of very fine cornmeal and rice flour. Set it aside, while you quickly pan-fry the shrimp, about 2 minutes per side; you want them just slightly under cooked. Set them aside and cook the fish. The snapper was simply pan-fried in equal amounts of butter and vegetable oil, until the coating was crisp and the fish was just done, about 4-5 minutes per side. Rice flour gives fried things a nice crisp finish and the crispness seems to hold reasonably well.
There were quickly sautéed sugar snap peas with fresh mint, seasoned rice, the fish and THE sauce! Cilantro was the herb of choice tonight; KayJay loves cilantro. However, you can certainly change that up to whatever herb you like…do use fresh herbs, if at all possible. This sauce is terrific on fish or seafood, but it is also excellent on chicken, veal, or anything your little heart desires.
The Belgian & Bleu Salad with Strawberries and Mustard-Tarragon Dressing is a KayJay invention; she’s clever like that. The salads basic green is Belgian endive. Sadly Belgian endive are not used so frequently in this country, but we really should use them more. Maybe this will be just what you need to get on the Belgian endive bandwagon. You can also grill or pan-fry them, too. This salad has wonderful crunch, holds up well and is just pretty terrific.
So that’s our first South Florida dinner at home. Home, as I mentioned, is a small, furnished apartment, about the size of our first apartment. So everything old is new again! But, as they say, home is where the heart is…and The Spicy Honey…so I’m happy to be home!