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Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc

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Serves 6

Yields about 3/4 cup

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 110

Beurre blanc is a classic French butter sauce, here enlivened with the addition of fresh dill. It's delicious over any kind of sear-roasted or salt-baked fish. The key to keeping the sauce emulsified is to use cold butter and whisk it in a bit at a time.

  • 1 cup dry white wine (like Chardonnay)
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the wine and shallot in a 3-quart saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the wine almost evaporates and looks glazy, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter a couple of cubes at a time until melted and the sauce is thick and creamy; briefly return the pan to low heat if the butter is slow to melt.

Off the heat, stir in the dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Season to taste with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 170; Fat (g): fat g 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 10; Protein (g): protein g 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 2; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 100; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 40; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I tried the salt crusting cooking method in the April/May issue on a red snapper. Since I didn't use one of the recommended fish in the article, I won't review the salt crusting recipe. (If you don't follow the directions, don't pan the recipe!) I thought that the fish was overly salty. I want to try it again with one of the fish they advised using. But, this sauce saved the dish. I didn't have any shallots on-hand, but the white part of some green onions worked nicely. The green part went into the cavity of the fish. This one will make regular appearances when I serve baked/broiled fish. I'd like to try it on crab cakes, and possibly steamed broccoli or asparagus, too.

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