Crazy how a tiny little woman like Meryl Streep can nail a tall, boisterous woman like Julia Child so perfectly. The little glimpse into Julia's life is endearing in every way. I love how much she loves life. Paris. Butter. Cooking. Brie. Eating. She loves it all! It's infectious. If I didn't already feel the same way, I'd be a food-lovin' convert.
I have to identify with the food blogger aspect. The urgency to not leave people...readers (if there is actually anybody out there) hanging. The need to complete what she started with her Julia project. The glory that is a perfectly golden roast chicken. And maybe my favorite Julie-scene, bringing the best-ever chocolate cake to the table and diving in with an appreciative husband. With reckless abandon.
Julia (excitedly): I got the chef at Chez la Mère Michel to give me the recipe for beurre blanc.
Dorothy (in a cute, whimsical Dort sort of way): Beurre blanc. What's beurre blanc?
Julia: Butter in a white wine vinegar reduction.
Dorothy (chewing and nodding): Mmmm...
Julia: You whisk them together... and the acid in the vinegar works on the milk solids in the butter so that the butter, instead of melting, becomes this creamy, light, frothy... with, with a kind of, a fantastic... subtle kind of...
Paul (suave): Tangy. It has a tanginess.
Julia (knowing wonder): Tanginess...
Julia (in splendor): Well, that's... that's who I married. Anyway, you serve it on fish and it is splendid. I'm going to make it for you.
And well, if you know me at all, you know my affection for French sauces. Especially French butter sauces. Ummm... Hollandaise. Béarnaise. And much like those sauces, I don't make Beurre Blanc often. I actually think I've only made it two or three times in the last 5 years. It's another one of those that I made alot while working in restaurants. But not much at home. I'm gonna go ahead and say that's a good thing. It's so much better to bathe in the creamy, rich, tangy glory sporadically.
Keeps it special, ya know?
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Keywords: sauce butter wine vinegar French
Ingredients (~1 cup)
- 2½ Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 2½ Tbs. dry white wine (or vermouth or lemon juice)
- 1 Tbs. minced shallots
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. pepper (black or white)
- 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) butter
- 8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 16 pieces
- lemon juice
Place all of the ingredients for the reduction into a 6-cup medium-weight saucepan and bring to a boil until reduced to a syrupy consistency (~1½ tablespoons should remain). This won't take long once it starts boiling.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately beat in 2 pieces of the chilled butter. As it softens and creams in the liquid, beat in another piece. Set the saucepan over very low heat and, beating constantly, continue to add the butter, one piece at a time, once the previous piece is almost entirely absorbed.
The sauce should be thick and ivory-colored, about the consistency of a light hollandaise.
Immediately remove from heat as soon as all the butter has been added. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.
I love Beurre Blanc best served over fish (like the White Bass seared in Brown Butter with Haricot Verts pictured), but it's also wonderful over veggies, veal, or chicken.
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Next month we'll be watching (the original) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (hosted at WellDined). Plus, we're getting an early start on January's flick, The Hunger Games which I will be hosting in conjunction with Cook the Books (that's why it's an exciting 2-month special edition!). So, if you're a fan...or want to be...pick up the book and start reading and then watch the film and do a post inspired by both. I hope you join us!
p.s...there are still a few food 'n flix hosting slots open in the second half of 2013. If you're interested, shoot me an email with your movie choice and the month you prefer (click HERE to see open spots and previously viewed flicks), and I will add you to the schedule.