Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sauce Bèarnaise

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The next recipe in the Library's copy of  The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America is for another sauce, Bèarnaise. The recipe is prefaced by the statement, "This classic sauce on fish or meat always makes a gourmet treat." How neat!

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon chopped shallots, and salt and white pepper to taste. Cook the mixture over high heat until the vinegar is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Cool the liquid slightly and gradually beat in 6 egg yolks. Return the pan to very low heat or transfer to the top of a double boiler. Add gradually 1 pound melted butter and cook the sauce, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until it is thick and glossy. Rub the sauce through a fine sieve and season it with 1 teaspoon each of chopped fresh tarragon and glace de viande (meat extract) and a pinch of cayenne. Serve the sauce warm. Serves 10 to 12.

What to do with 6 leftover egg whites?  I like adding them to an omelette, whipping a few up to give a little extra lightness and body to a pumpkin pie, or using a couple to make coconut macaroons (my favorite recipe is in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, which I follow almost exactly as written, with the exception of adding a heaping 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to the whipped egg whites to add a little bit of body to them).

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