Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beurre Blanc ...inspired by Julie & Julia {food 'n flix}

So I'm pretty sure that there's not many people... "food people"... out there who haven't seen Julie & Julia.  I watched it pretty much immediately when it came out.  I bought it when it was released on DVD.  And every once in a while, I sit down to watch it.  Or at least parts of it.  My favorite parts happen to be the Julia parts.

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.
The Julie part.  Meh.  I mean, I like Amy Adams...but I just don't see her as Julie Powell.  She so sweet and mousy.  Julie is known for being foul-mouthed and... well... less nice?  Less meek?  Something.  I mean, Julie is who she is.  But Adams is not who she is.  Feel me?  Anyhoo.

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.
So.  Picking a recipe inspired by this flick was pretty simple.  I mean...hard...but simple.  Let me set the scene.  Julia's sister Dorothy had just come to visit Julia and Paul in Paris.  After picking her up from the station, they go to a restaurant.  They're eating Brie (while ooohing and aaahhing about how it's the BEST cheese ever) and drinking red wine.  Julia and Dort are chatting excitedly like sisters who were close and hadn't seen each other in a while...

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...

Paul: Yes.

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?

Beurre Blanc

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Keywords: sauce butter wine vinegar French

Ingredients (~1 cup)
    reduction
    • 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
    to finish
    • 8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 16 pieces
    • salt
    • pepper
    • lemon juice
    Instructions
    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.

    note:
    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.

    ever-so-slightly adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
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    Food‘nFlix Food 'n Flix is being hosted by Leslie from La Cocina de Leslie this month with her pick, Julie & Julia. Today is the deadline...I'm sliding in just under the wire this month.

     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.




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    Sauce Bearnaise + my FAVORITE meal

    50 Women Game-Changers in Food #50: Julie Powell - "Home at Last" Chicken

    Salmon en Papillote #CookforJulia

    Julia Childs French Bread: Batards

    Cake Batter Martini . . . inspired by Because I Said So {food n flix}

    Noodle Soup . . . inspired by The Ramen Girl {food n flix}