I am making sole in puff pastry for my New Year's Eve party. I have never made the tarragon cream sauce that I'd like to serve with it. I'd made Beurre Blanc in a cooking class, but that was under supervision and right before serving. This recipe is different and calls for lemons, juice, tarragon, parsley, white wine, shallots, garlic, cream, butter and seasoning. How far in advance can I make the sauce? Can I make it the night before and refirgerate it? Then reheat it in a double boiler? If not, how far into the recipe can I go, leave off the heat, then warm and add the butter right before serving? I want to enjoy my company during hors d'oervres.
Beurre Blanc in advance?
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I would boil water in a pot, turn it off, then put your beurre blanc in it (as in a double boiler). This should keep it warm for a while, you can always turn the heat up again.
Normally, after my reduction is done, I add a little bit of cream, let it reduce a bit, then add my butter cubes, keeps for the whole service.
Yes: bain marie = double boiler.
A simmer is too hot for a beurre blanc, IMO. It needs to be in a gentle heat. The water is there to buffer it. Don't let the phrase double boiler mislead you to thinking that the water always needs to be bubbling.
First, since it has cream in it, your "tarragon cream" sauce is a beurre Nantaise variant, NOT a buerre blanc. The good news is that the cream makes Nantais fairly sturdy, so it should hold up fairly well for up to a few hours in a bain marie/double boiler, or just about all day in a thermos.
Second, everyone who's telling you how to use a bain marie for holding the sauce is right that the water shouldn't be boiling. A low simmer (say 200F) is fine (I hope you didn't throw out your thermometer during the remodel). However, one thing everyone else did not say is that the top part of your bain marie/double-boiler -- the part which holds the sauce -- should be above the surface of the water without actually touching it.
How do you go about making one? Put a couple of inches of hot water in a pot, and set a bowl on top so that the bowl sits on the rim of the pot without touching the water. Choose the bowl size so the sauce won't go much higher than halfway up the sides. Choose the pot size so the bowl will fit securely. Set the pot on the stove, on the lowest possible flame; and/or use a "flame tamer" if you have one. Fill the bowl with your sauce, and cover it with a plate so it won't lose too much heat from the top. Very detail oriented cooks cut a piece of parchment to fit and press it down so it touches the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. However, most people don't go that far, instead stirring the sauce occasionally (every 20 minutes or so).
If anything goes wrong, a broken Nantais can be reconstituted by whisking a little more HOT cream into it.
All of that said, go to BB&B and use your last 20% coupon of the old year to buy another darn thermos.
Happy New Year!
Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/31/12 at 9:25am
Thanks to you all. I will let you know how it works out.Yes, BDL, I think I will take your advice and buy that thermos. I never know what to use my 20% off coupon for anyway. At this stage of my life, I'm trying to de-access instead of adding to my junk. That's why I got rid of the coffee thermos I used to have, but used about once a year. The interesting thing about giving dinner parties now is that almost none of my friends cook anymore. BTW, I made one stuffed sole in the puff pastry last night and it was yummy! Now to make the sauce and hold it in a double boiler, w/o the water touching (Something about double boilers my Ballah Bustah mother taught me).
Healthy and happy new year to you all. Thanks so much for all the help;. Yes, I finally made the sauce last night. I held it in a double boiler for about three hours, stirring it every so often. Perfect! The stuffed sole in pufff pastry was gorgeous and the sauce was a nice accompaniment.The dinner party was a hit. However, I probably won't make the sauce again (after all that) because it's too fattening--it's a killer! I think my arteries clogged w/ each tablespoon of butter I added--that was before I even tasted it--and it was soo time consuming. Now that's why people go to a restaurant. I told my guests about this webiste and how wonderful you all have been. Thanks again.