Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Sauce

Vegetable Bearnaise

condiments, Sauce, Dinner, Sides, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Vegetable Bearnaise.JPG

 

When you talk sauce, I'm a true Dane. I love sauce, and lots of it. But if you go the classic French sauce way, you have to use large amount of butter or other fats. I learned to perfect the traditional sauce bearnaise made in a blender or made sous vide. And even though they taste delicious, and a little goes a long way, it would be nice to have a sauce bearnaise where you can indulge in the tasty sauce, without eating a whole stick of butter with your steak. Vegetable bearnaise is the answer. With only 6 tablespoons of butter in a big bowl of sauce, that serves 6-8 sauce lovers, this is definitely on the healthier side, compared with the original bearnaise.

You can add pretty much any vegetables you like, just bear in mind that more carrots will give you a sweeter bearnaise. and generally the color of the vegetables will influence the color of the sauce. 

If you like a spicier bearnaise add a dash of cayenne or chilies to the mix. And for a garlic bearnaise add 1 cloves of garlic the last 5 minutes of the simmering. 

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

Reduction:

  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, save some leaves for finishing the sauce
  • 4 small or 2 medium shallots, minced
  • ½ cup (1 dl) white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 dl) dry white wine
  • 6 whole black peppers (for the reduction)

Vegetable base:

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • ½ medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 2-3 celery stalks, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • ½ medium cauliflower, in florets
  • ½ cube chicken bouillon 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon

Finishing touches:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, salted and cold
  • 2-4 tablespoons reduction, to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves only, coarsely chopped 
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

Reduction:

In a small saucepan, combine sprigs of the tarragon, shallots, vinegar pepper and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain the liquid and set it aside to cool. You can make larger amounts and freeze it in smaller portions in an ice cube tray.

Vegetable base:

Place the ingredients for the vegetable base in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil, turn down the heat and let the vegetable simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. 

Put vegetable base, butter and reduction into a blender*. Season the sauce with salt and more reduction. Mix in the tarragon just before serving.

Enjoy!

*Be careful when blending hot liquids, it can make the lid pop off, and you may risk getting serious burns on you skin. You can remove the small cap on you blender lid and cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. You need to hold on to the lid and towel. This will let the steam from the hot soup escape and avoid the lid from popping off. You can also get blenders like the Vitamix, where you can blend hot liquids, without any hassle.

Béarnaise Sauce - Sous Vide

Dinner, Sauce, sous videTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
 Béarnaise Sauce - Sous Vide

Béarnaise Sauce - Sous Vide

Bearnaise is one of the most famous sauces ever. And basically it is just butter, butter and a little egg yolk and acidity. But it's mostly butter. Normally bearnaise made from scratch is kinda nerve wracking. You want a warm sauce, but you do not want it to separate, which it has a tendency to do. Another thing, you want to be able to serve the sauce along side your perfectly cooked and still hot steak. So it tends to always be a stressful endeavor to get everything ready at once. This recipe, will help you tremendously. By sous vide'ing the sauce components, you can cook up your steak and sides, at the same time. So just before you slice and serve the steak, you quickly blend the sauce and season it, and everything will hit the dinner table at once. 

Disclaimer: This sauce is made with raw eggs. I recommend using pasteurized eggs. This would minimize the risk of getting Salmonella food poisoning. You can find pasteurized eggs in some supermarkets here in California, on safeeggs.com you can see where to find them in your neighborhood.  In Denmark you'll find it right next to regular eggs. For tips and information on how to handle eggs, check out FDA’s website. The Danish version of FDA,  Fødevarestyrelsen also has advisory on eggs. 

Serves 6-8 normal people or 4 Danes 😉.

Ingredients:

Reduction:

  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, save some leaves for finishing the sauce
  • 4 small or 2 medium shallots, minced
  • ½ cup (1 dl) white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 dl) dry white wine
  • 6 whole black peppers (for the reduction)

Sauce:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 300 g butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons reduction
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • tarragon leaves, finely chopped

Directions:

Reduction:

In a small saucepan, combine sprigs of the tarragon, shallots, vinegar pepper and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain the liquid and set it aside to cool. You can make larger amounts and freeze it in smaller portions in an ice cube tray.

Sauce:

Preheat water bath for 131℉ (55℃). (You can go as high as 140℉ (60℃) if you want to, keeping in mind not to exceed 149℉ (65℃) where the eggs coagulate.

Place reduction, butter and egg yolks in a heat resistant plastic bag, do not seal.
Place the bag in the water bath for 30 minutes.
Pour the heated mixture into a blender, and blend until you have a thick sauce. I use a immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper and tarragon, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cranberry - Orange Sauce

Christmas, condiments, Dinner, Holiday, Sauce, Thanksgiving, veganTove Balle-Pedersen1 Comment
 Cranberry - Orange Sauce

Cranberry - Orange Sauce

 

I'm cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner this year, making my first turkey. Even though I have never roasted at turkey before, I do sometimes make cranberry sauce for the traditional Danish Christmas dinner. This is my favorite recipe:

Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 200 ml water
  • 125 g sugar
  • 340-350 g fresh or frozen cranberries

Directions:

Heat orange juice, orange zest, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

Stir in cranberries and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until sauce has  slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes, and most of the berries have bust.

Let cool completely before serving.

Enjoy!

White Cream Sauce with Tarragon

Fish & seafood, SauceTove Balle-PedersenComment
 White Cream Sauce with Tarragon 

White Cream Sauce with Tarragon 

This tarragon sauce is my favorite sauce to serve with baked salmon, often I serve it with rice and fennel salad. It might be a pale plate of food, but it is packed with flavors, and truly a meal worthy of a King or Queen.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 knorr fish stock cube
  • ¼ cup (½ dl) white wine
  • 1 cup (2½ dl) heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons tarragon 
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the wine, cream, tarragon and fish stock, and bring it to a boil. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.

Serve the sauce with baked salmon or another fish.

Enjoy!

Creamed Cabbage

Dinner, Sauce, Sides, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Creamed Cabbage

Creamed Cabbage

Creamed cabbage is for the mostly served with Danish meatballs. The creamy white sauce is not made with cream, but with the water from boiling the cabbage and some milk. This make this side a lot lighter than if using cream. Taste-wise I don't think you miss much, well I have never had it with cream, so what do I know???

Even though the creamed cabbage is a very simple dish, the way you eat it is different depending on traditions and geography inside Denmark. My dad (from Jutland) sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. My mom (from Copenhagen) sprinkled cracked black pepper on top, while I sprinkle nutmeg on top. 

So my Danish friends and others what do you favor on top of the creamed cabbage??

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 large green cabbage 

Sauce:

  • 25 g butter 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1 dl) water (from boiling the cabbage)
  • about ½ cup (about 1 dl)  milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Remove outer leaves of cabbage, and cut cabbage into quarters and remove the hard core.  Slice the cabbage across the quarters width-wise. To get uniform slices I use a mandolin.

Boil the cabbage in salted water until tender 5-8 minutes. Drain the water from the cabbage, saving some of the water for the sauce.

Sauce:

Melt butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the flour and a sprinkle of salt, stirring constantly, until all the flour is incorporated with the butter. You don't want it to get a golden.  Whisk in a little at a time of the hot water (from the boiling of the cabbage), making sure to not to have any lumps left, then whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens and gets a bit shiny, 2 to 3 minutes. Add more milk if the sauce is too thick. You want a thick sauce, because it will get some water from the drained cabbage. 

Add the cabbage and season the creamed cabbage with salt and pepper.

Serve the creamed cabbage immediately.

Enjoy!