Friday, December 21, 2007

Bearnaise Sauce

The holidays are about tradition and there is no stronger way to celebrate tradition then with recipes. My mother was classically trained in Paris at the one-and-only Le Cordon Bleu which probably explains the bulk of my recipes and my obsession with everything egg, cheese and cream. Obsessions aside, the meal she makes every Christmas is my favorite and there is a good reason why...Bearnaise.

Every Christmas, my family is treated to peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin with bearnaise. Lucky, I know. She tapes the oven and puts a "DO NOT OPEN" sign on the door to ensure that each year it is cooked for perfection. And it's never overdone. Ever.

So, since it's the holidays and we have all taken a hiatus from any sort of diet, I suggest you try to serve your next piece of fine meat, fish or chicken with this delight. Go ahead, make Julia Child proud.

Bearnaise Sauce

1/4 cup vinegar, wine vinegar is best
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 shallots, minced
1 tb tarragon, fresh and minced
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup butter
2 tb parsley, fresh (or tarragon)
Salt and pepper

Step 1: Boil the vinegar, white wine, shallots and herbs, add salt and pepper, over moderate heat until there are 3 tablespoons of sauce remaining, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2: Beat the egg yolks. Mix with wine and vinegar mixture, beat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes max. Do not let the sauce boil.

Step 3: Melt 1/2 cup of butter. Then add the melted butter to the mixture and beat. Add parsley or tarragon and beat while cooking over low heat for 5 minutes max in step 3.

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