Butter sauces are a good way to make anything look better: silky and milky, they bring a lot of creaminess and texture to the dish, and they usually always rise with a little acidity. Although they are all emulsified sauces and share that fear of being cut when you prepare them, it is worth every turn to start to get them perfect. White fish is one of those products that shine when served with any of these sauces: nothing fits them as well as a meunière sauce or its more sophisticated version, thegrenobloise, while we can hardly separate the hollandaise sauce from white asparagus or poached eggs with smoked salmon.
One of my favorites is the beurre blanc: I find it very aromatic -especially if you use a good dry white wine- and with a more elegant acidity than that provided by lemon or vinegar. It is true that making it requires patience, and good management of failure, since it is susceptible to separation if it gets too hot. The trick is to remove the saucepan – better if you use a metal one – from the fire and with the residual heat add cubes of cold butter, which melt little by little. If it cools too much, it is placed back on the fire for a few seconds to reheat the container and continue stirring outside.
This sauce is originally from Brittany and owes its name to the color that remains when it is finished, white and bright. The story goes that the French cook Clémence Lefeuvre forgot to throw the egg while preparing a Béarnaise sauce and ended up with this elaboration, of much lighter color and more liquid texture: if this was true, we are grateful for this delicious confusion. Seafood is another of those products that do not complain when you cover them with butter: the clams in this recipe are cooked at the beginning, since the sea broth they release will be used, very reduced, to incorporate it into the sauce. Although I have not named them yet, green asparagus is the protagonist of the dish, whole and al dente.
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Stocking. That of maintaining an even rhythm while incorporating the butter
For 2 servings
- 300 g green asparagus
- 200 g clams
- 1/2 glass dry white wine
- 1 shallot
- 100 g cold butter
- Black pepper
- Soft olive oil
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