This recipe requires you to clarify the butter and use a double boiler arrangement to cook the sauce. Don't forget: add the butter slowly and whisk, whisk, whisk!
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
75 grams unsalted butter, melted and clarified3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons water
juice of ½ lemon
salt and white pepper
Melt the butter over very low heat without stirring and skim off the solids floating on top.
Fill a pan about half way with water and bring it to just below boiling. Place the egg yolks in a Pyrex bowl that fits just inside the pan. Whisk in the three tablespoons of water and place bowl in the pan of simmering water. Continually whisk until egg yolks thicken and lighten (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and very gradually pour in the clarified butter continually whisking. Whisk in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Best served immediately or warm a few seconds in the microwave. If the sauce is too thick you can whisk in a little hot water.
70 grams butter
75 grams plain flour
1 litre hot chicken stock
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes over a low heat without allowing the roux to brown. Add the hot stock and mix wll. return to the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes until thick. Strain through a fine sieve , cover and refrigerate until needed.
Beurre Nantais - Nantes-Style White Butter Sauce
Preparation: 20 minutes
5-6 Grey Shallots
30cl good Muscadet-sur-Lie
300 grams Salted Butter
1 heaped dessert-spoon fresh Double Cream
Salt and White Pepper
Cut the butter into pieces on a plate and set aside at warm room temperature. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Place in a saucepan with the white wine and reduce over low heat to the equivalent of approx. 2 spoonfuls. Remove from the heat and gradually add the butter, whipping the sauce until it resembles a smooth cream. Season with salt and pepper, add the fresh cream, and pour into a slightly-warmed sauce boat. If the sauce is not to be served immediately, keep warm in a bain-marie, whisking occasionally.
100 grams Butter
1 Onion, Finely chopped
100 grams plain flour
1 litre full cream milk
Pinch of nutmeg
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the flour to
make a roux and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes over low heat without allowing the roux to brown.
Remove from the heat and add the milk gradually, stirring after each addition until smooth. Return to the heat, add the nutmeg and bouquet garni and cook for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and lay a buttered piece of baking paper on the surface to prevent a skin forming.
The idea is to have all three parts ready at the same time. When the wine has simmered down about right,
the butter should just be coming to the simmer, and the blender with eggs should be ready, so:
Place the shallots, pepper, white wine, chervil and tarragon in a saucepan and let it reduce on low heat until there is about 2-3 tablespoons remaining.
At the same time gently melt your butter in a separate saucepan and allow it to simmer, being careful to remove the whey.
In the food-processor, mix the egg yolks and the vinegar. Providing your timing is about right you should now be able to combine all the ingredients to make the sauce. Turn on your food processor and dribble in the melted butter, very slowly to begin with. When all the butter is added, add the wine reduction, letting it blend for a few seconds at a low speed. Now is the time to add the fresh herbs, but first I always filter the sauce, it removes and lumps. Having added the fresh herbs, place the mixture in a clean bowl and refrigerate it for around 2 hours. There is nothing better on a Saignant filet of venison, beef, horse topped with an artichoke heart and smothered in Bearnaise sauce. On lobster, eggs – amazing, as for asparagus, it would not be the same without it.
This recipe is a MUST as it will serve as a basis for many other combinations, also nothing illustrates the interweaving of simple art and complex science in cookery better than home-made mayonnaise. One of the classic sauces of our cuisine as mayonnaise is nothing more than tiny droplets of oil suspended in a matrix of egg yolk and water, with a dash of lemon and a pinch of mustard to add flavour and structural stability.
3 egg yolks – must be fresh, very fresh, otherwise the sauce has a propensity to split.
⅓ litre Olive Oil – high quality
1 teaspoon hot mustard powder
1 teaspoon vinegar
Sea-salt and freshly ground pepper
The most important element you have to watch out for is that all of the ingredients have the same temperature. In order to succeed you must leave the eggs and bottle of oil standing on your work surface for one hour whilst you prepare in a small bowl the mixture of one teaspoon of mustard, one teaspoon of vinegar, fine sea-salt and freshly ground pepper. One hour later, add the egg yolks and water to the mustard mixture. Whisk in the oil, pouring it slowly. Once the mayonnaise is done, do not keep in the refrigerator.
Aioli: Crush fresh garlic cloves with some sea-salt in a mortar and pestle then stir in your mayonnaise and serve the sauce with roasted new potatoes, steamed asparagus, blanched green beans or chilled meats.
Sauce Verte:The light, summery flavour of green mayonnaise makes it a refreshing dip and spread.
200 grams baby spinach leaves
2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
¼ cup watercress leaves (stems removed)
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley (stems removed)
1 Tablespoon Chervil (stems removed)
1 Tablespoon Chives
1 Tablespoon tarragon leaves (or more to taste) (stems removed)
2 cups of Mayonnaise you made earlier
Throw all the spinach and herbs into a saucepan of boiling water, cook for ONE minute then empty the
contents into a colander and rinse in COLD water. This stops the cooking process. Allow time for them to drain then transfer them to a blender/food processor, pulse the blender until the mixture is
finely chopped. Now pour then mayonnaise, you made earlier, into a glass bowl then carefully stir in the mixture from the blender. Keep stirring until everything is well blended, then refrigerate
until ready to use. Compliments cold meats, roasted chicken and smoked turkey.
Rouille: This is a classic garlic mayonnaise with cayenne pepper and the word describes the red colour of the sauce. The saffron adds to the distinctive Provençal flavour and adds subtle depth to the sauce.
6 minced Garlic cloves
1 tablespoon white wine, warmed slightly (anything leftover or cheap will suffice)
1 teaspoon Saffron Threads
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Pastis or Ricard
Juice of ½ a Lemon
2 cups of Mayonnaise you made earlier
First soak the small pieces of stale bread in the mixture of White Wine, Ricard, Lemon juice and sea-salt. Then remove the excess liquid and whisk the bread into the mayonnaise together with the Cayenne Pepper, Minced Garlic and Saffron Threads.
This thick rustic sauce is an accompaniment to our bouillabaisse, other seafood stews and fish soups.
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
30 ml White Wine Vinegar
90 ml Olive Oil
½ cup chopped Basil leaves
1 teaspoon Sugar
Mix the garlic, mustard ,vinegar, sugar and basil together. Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking continuously to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper.
Nothing adds flavour and richness to a soup or dish better than a really good stock. Making your own is a simple process and will reward you with better tasting meals.
IngredientsBones from a raw or cooked chicken carcass including skin
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
6 black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
3 fresh parsley stalks
1 sprig fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the chicken carcass into a stockpot, cover with 2½ litres water and bring to the boil. Using a large metal spoon, skim off any white scum from the surface.
2. Add the vegetables, herbs and garlic to the stockpot. Return to the boil: reduce the heat to
a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 2½ hours, skimming occasionally
3. Strain the stock through a colander lined with wet muslin into a large, heatproof bowl. Discard all the debris. Reduce the stock for a stronger flavour, if desired. Strain into a large bowl and allow to cool.
Rough Puff Pastry
1. Sift the flour into a mound on the pastry board and make a well. Put in the butter and salt and work
them together with the fingertips of one hand, gradually drawing the flour into the centre with the other hand.
2. When the cubes of butter have become small pieces and the dough is grainy, gradually add the iced water and mix until it is all incorporated, but don't overwork the dough. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes
3. Flour the work surface and gently roll out the pastry into rectangle remembering to roll in one direction only keeping the edges straight and even, until it is 3 times the width, 20 x 50 cm. Do not overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect. Fold it into three, ends to middle, then give it a quarter-turn. Roll the block of pastry into a 20 x 50cm rectangle as before, and fold it into three again. These are the first 2 turns. Wrap the block in cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
4. Repeat step three, giving the chilled pastry another 2 turns, rolling and folding as before. This makes a total of 4 turns, and the pastry is now ready. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Pâte Sablée (Sandy Pastry)
Mince pies & Tarts
This is my version of the Breton classic crust for tarts. The Pâté Sablée is rich and crumbly, (Sablée is the French word for sandy).
If the pastry feels too firm when you're ready to roll it
out, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes. If, on the other hand, the pastry becomes soft and sticky while rolling, don't hesitate to re-chill it until it becomes easier to work with.
Better to re-chill than to add too much flour, which will damage the delicate, crisp texture of the pastry.
125 grams unsalted butter, softened
70 grams confectioners' sugar or icing sugar
2 Egg yolks
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
250 grams all purpose flour
A pinch of sea-salt, ground very fine
5cl of full cream milk
1. Mix the eggs yolks with the sugar and milk, then add to the butter/flour that has been mixed in the mixer fitted with the flat paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; mix in vanilla and salt, then mix on medium-low speed until just combined and crumbly, about 15 seconds (do not over mix). Pat the pastry into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month.
2 – Multi-portion tarts. Unwrap pastry, then lightly flour large sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and place dough in centre. Roll out pastry and line loose-bottomed tart tin, prick the base and fill with mincemeat. Freeze tart for 30 minutes before cooking.
3a – Individual pies (solid tops). Unwrap pastry; lightly flour large sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and place pastry in centre. Roll out the pastry to a 2mm thickness and use 6cm and 4.5cm pastry cutters to cut out 48 discs of each size. Line mini tartlet tins with the larger discs, prick the bases and fill with mincemeat.
3b - Lightly brush the borders of the smaller discs with cold water and place them on top of the filled mince pies. Press the edges gently to ensure that the lids are sealed to the pastry cases. Leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3c - Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake the pies for about 10 minutes until pale golden brown. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and return to the oven for 1 minute to glaze. Immediately unmold the pies before they cool in the tin, and place on a wire rack. Serve warm, with a glass of sherry or a cup of coffee.
4a – Individual pies (star tops). Unwrap pastry; lightly flour large sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and place pastry in centre. Roll out the pastry to a 2mm thickness and use 6cm pastry cutters to cut out discs. Use the trimmings to cut out the star shapes. Prick the bases and fill with mincemeat.
4b – Place the star shape on top (moistened with a little milk) – makes the stars stick to the mincemeat. Then brush with milk and sprinkle lightly with castor sugar.
4c - Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
5 – Fresh fruit tarts. As 2a above then place chilled tart shell on baking tray; press 12-inch square of foil inside tart shell and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights.
6 - For 4 ONLY - adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and other rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC/Gas Mark 5). Bake on lower rack 30 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering edges of foil and pulling up and out. Transfer baking tray sheet with tart shell to upper rack and continue to bake until shell is golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.
Use the tart shell for fresh fruit tarts and pies that do not require baking as the shell is already cooked.