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2012 Ten Speed Press eBook Edition


Copyright 2007, 2012 by James Peterson
Photographs copyright 2007 by James Peterson
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the
Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
www.crownpublishing.com
www.tenspeed.com
Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are registered trademarks
of Random House, Inc.
This work, with a new introduction, is comprised of material from Cooking
by James Peterson, originally published in hardcover in the United States by
Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of
Random House, Inc., Berkeley, in 2007.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Peterson, James.
Cooking / James Peterson.
p.cm.
1. Cookery I. Title
TX652.P455 2007
641.5dc22
2007021065
eISBN 978-1-60774-401-6
Design by Nancy Austin
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
V3.1

ii

Beurre Blanc
This basic beurre blanc can be flavored with herbs, spices, mushrooms, or other
ingredients in the same way you flavor white sauces thickened with cream, flour, or
egg yolks.
Makes 1 cup, or enough for 6 to 8 main-course servings
2 shallots, minced
1/2

cup dry white wine

1/2

cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons heavy cream


1/2

cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Salt
White pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the shallots, wine, and vinegar over medium heat. Simmer
until only 2 to 3 tablespoons remain. Add the cream, simmer for 1 minute more, and add
the butter all at once.
Raise the heat to high and whisk constantly until all the butter has melted. If the sauce
starts to look oily or waxlikebeurre blanc is never very thickadd a tablespoon or two of
water or cream to keep it from breaking. Season with salt and white pepper.

Variations
Beurre blanc can be flavored with saffron threads (soaked in 1 tablespoon of water for
30 minutes) and other spices, herbs, chopped reconstituted dried mushrooms, truffles,
lobster roe, caviar, sea urchin roe, tomatoes, and almost any ingredient that is used to flavor
a white sauce. It can also be lightened by whisking in some broth or other flavorful liquid
shortly before serving. The initial reduction of shallots, wine, and vinegar can be replaced
with fish broth, shellfish steaming liquid, garlic, ginger, meat broth, reduced tomato coulis,
dashi, or soy sauce. Flavored or infused olive oil can also be whisked into the sauce and will
stay emulsified by the butter. After infusing, the added ingredients can be strained out or
left in for color and texture.

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H ow to M a k e B eurre b l a n c

1. Combine white wine and wine vinegar, along with


minced shallots, in a saucepan. Boil down the wine
until only a couple of tablespoons of liquid are left.

2. Add a small amount of heavy cream.

3. Whisk in chunks of cold butter.

4. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Monter au Beurre
Monter au beurre is a classic technique for finishing a sauce with butter. The
discovery that beurre blanc was an easy sauce to make, and that a pure emulsion
of butter allowed flavors to shine through in a unique way, led chefs to experiment
with whisking butter into sauce bases that were analogous to the wine, vinegar,

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MONTER AU BEURRE, continued


and shallot base used for beurre blanc. Classic sauces, originally based on beef or
veal broth thickened with roux, were instead based on concentrated unthickened
broth and given a silky consistency by the addition of butter at the end. When
high-butterfat butter is used, such as European-style butters, butter also acts as a
thickener.

Lightened Beurre Blanc


If cold butter is whisked into too large a proportion of hot liquid, it will separate
after a few minutes and end up as oil floating on top. For this reason, the obvious
method of using more liquid as the base for a beurre blanc doesnt work. A better
way to lighten a beurre blancbeurre blanc can be kept in a pan of warm water
for up to a couple of hours before servingis to combine it with a flavorful liquid,
such as vegetable broth or fish broth, just before serving. The result is a buttery
brothlike sauce with less richness than a traditional beurre blanc but with the same
satisfying butteriness.
This lightened version is excellent with pieces of sauted or poached fish, scallops, lobster tails, or assorted seafood.
Makes enough for 8 main-course servings
Beurre Blanc
1 cup vegetable broth, fish broth, or shellfish steaming liquid from
mussels or cockles

Make the beurre blanc as directed. Shortly before serving, bring the broth to a simmer and
remove from the heat. Whisk the hot broth into the sauce, and immediately ladle the sauce
over or around seafood in warmed soup plates.

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J
AMESPETERSON
SKI
TCHEN EDUCATI
ON
Bu
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ewh
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ko
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