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Garlic-Butter Sauce for Oysters, Clams & Mussels

Judi Rutz

Yield: Yields about 1-1/2 cups.

You can make the flavored butter ahead of time; wrap it in plastic in a log shape and refrigerate it.


  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 tsp. white-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh delicate herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, chives, or summer savory

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per teaspoon
  • Calories (kcal) : 25
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 20
  • Fat (g): 2.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 20
  • Carbohydrates (g): 0
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


  • In a small nonreactive skillet, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. Add the garlic cloves and cook over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until the garlic is golden and very tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In a food processor, beat the remaining unsalted butter with the garlic mixture until nearly smooth; set aside.
  • In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the wine and vinegar to a rapid boil. Simmer to reduce the mixture by half and then whisk in the cream. Simmer to reduce this mixture to about 1/2 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the garlic butter, 1 Tbs. at a time, to produce a creamy emulsion. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a judicious pinch of cayenne. Keep the sauce warm but avoid overheating, which will cause it to separate. Just before serving, stir in the chopped herbs.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • johnnyboyee | 09/26/2011

    very delicate sauce but most deff the best method for going with this dish!

  • salosalo | 08/08/2010

    very excellent texture, smooth with oysters and cherry stone clams. my friends slurp the juice left on the shell, sooo delicious!!!!

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