Prawns with Champagne Beurre Blanc

 

prawns w beurre2«Beurre Blanc», this divine, french, buttery sauce ranks very high on my best-ever-sauce list. I tasted it in Paris for the first time, many years ago and I remember very well wishing for a spoon, to devour even the last drop on the plate. It compliments any fish or shellfish and has definitely a «wow» factor when served to guests. I created this version with orange juice and champagne instead of white wine to make it more festive and glamorous. Divine. Really.

For the prawns

  • About 20 large prawns, peeled with tail intact
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • a squeeze of lemon

For Beurre Blanc sauce

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cup champagne (or dry white wine)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • ¼ black pepper
  • 250 grams unsalted butter, cut in about 3 cm cubes
  • finely chopped parsley to garnish

Method

In a small pot put the onion and vinegar over high heat. Bring to boil and cook for 3-4 minutes until mixture is reduced and almost all vinegar evaporates. Add the champagne and orange juice. Boil for 12-15 minutes until reduced to about ½ cup. Add cream, mix and take pot off the heat. Start adding the butter, one piece at a time, stirring constantly. When one piece of butter is almost incorporated add the next. Keep stirring and adding butter until all is incorporated and sauce has the consistency of thin mayonnaise. Cover pot and put sauce aside till needed.

Prepare the prawns. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over high heat. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes turning once. Add the brandy and light with a match. Let the flames subside. Squeeze lemon over the prawns.

Spread sauce in a platter, top with prawns. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.

Note: Traditionally Beurre Blanc sauce does not contain cream. However, since this sauce cannot be reheated (the butter will separate), I noticed that adding the cream helps the sauce last longer in room temperature until serving time. The best way to keep it, if you want to cook it in advance, is in a food «thermos». The sauce will keep it’s temperature and consistency.

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