From the one star french chef Patrick Asfaux
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It is said that as she was cooking a poached pike with Bearnaise sauce for the Master of the house, she started her reduction as usual and accidentally started to whisk in the butter. Unfortunately, she only realized when it was too late that she forgot the egg yolks : the dish had already been served! She stayed prostrated in her kitchen until the result came. Her master not only did not spot the difference but complimented her on the quality of her sauce.
Few years later, Clemence opened her own restaurant, near Nantes in a small village named "la Chebuette".
There, she trained numerous cooks. One of them became famous : la Mere Michel" who opened one of the most renown fish restaurant in Paris which made its reputation serving Clemence's poached pike with beurre blanc.
There are two recipes for beurre blanc, the first one so called classic one and the other one called "a la Nantaise" (from Nantes):
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 15 cl white wine vinegar
- 15 cl fish stock
- 3g cracked pepper
- 125g of salted butter cut in small dices
2) Allow to reduce by half.
3) In the mean time, put your dices of butter in the freezer (or at least in the fridge) for 5 minutes. The butter has to be as cold as possible to ensure that the sauce does not split at the end.
4) When the reduction is ready, take your pot off the heat and whisk in all the butter in one go. At the end, the consistency of the sauce must be creamy. Season well with salt and pepper.
Some will strain the sauce before serving some would not. The choice is yours. Do not re-heat the sauce after wards, it would split.
If, you add a tablespoon of creme fraiche to your beurre blanc at the end, you will obtain a more stable sauce (it can be re-heated to a certain point, not to the boil thou!) and a beurre blanc called "a la Nantaise"