Recipe of The Week
Saumon et Asperges au Beurre Blanc. Pan Seared Salmon and Asparagus with Creamy Butter Sauce.
By The Well Seasoned Traveler
Chef Clémence Lefeuvre invented beurre blanc, like many things are, apparently by accident, sometime around the beginning of the 20th century. She served this sauce at her restaurant "La Buvette de la Marine" in the hamlet of La Chebuette in the village of Saint-Julien-de-Concelles on the banks of the Loire River a few kilometers upstream from Nantes. Legend holds that she intended to prepare a béarnaise sauce to go with pike but forgot to add the tarragon and egg yolks. Some sources claim that this invention occurred while she worked as a cook for the Marquis de Goulaine at the famous Château de Goulaine in the family for over a thousand years. Although not one of the mother sauces of France, it is very much appreciated for its versatility in absorbing flavors.
In this recipe, we pan sear salmon in butter, in which we also sauté asparagus and cover them with the sauce, for a simple and tasty meal.
INGREDIENTS (get your ingredients here)
1 4oz salmon steak (middle cut about 2 to 3 fingers wide)
4oz stick unsalted butter cut in ½ inch cubes
2 shallots finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
½ lb. asparagus bottom ¼ cut off and blanched
1 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1tablespoon herbes de Provence
¼ cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Drop ¼ of the wine in a small pot and over low heat boil the herbes de Provence until the liquid has all but evaporated. Drop in the butter 1 cube at a time and whisk constantly until they melt and reach an emulsion. Add the minced shallots and the garlic, keep whisking until it reaches a homogeneous consistency. Use the vinegar to control the thickness. At the end of the process salt and pepper and add a little cream to stabilize the sauce and avoid separation. Keep warm, if it goes under 80 degrees Fahrenheit the butterfat will solidify, if it goes over 136 degrees the sauce will separate and curdle.
Heat a frying pan and melt 1oz of butter. Sauté the salmon until the bottom is blackened. Remove from butter and sauté the blanched asparagus. Assemble asparagus on a plate, cover with the butter sauce and place the salmon on top, sprinkle salt and crack fresh pepper on top.