Monday, 8 March 2010

The 21st Century Housewife's© Easy White Wine Sauce

For some reason I had never made my own white wine sauce until a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I was intimidated by the idea of it, but for some reason I thought it must be really complicated. Then I tried out my own version and I can promise you, it’s really not difficult at all.

I started out with the usual butter and flour roux, and then just added stock, white wine and some cream to make it special. Since then I’ve been using this sauce really regularly. It goes beautifully with chicken, pasta and fish - particularly salmon. It’s also good poured over vegetables, and it’s easy to make it vegetarian - just use vegetable instead of chicken stock.

Use good white wine for this sauce - it doesn’t have to be expensive, just tasty. You can use whatever herbs suit the dish. When I made the dinner in the photograph I flavoured the white wine sauce with just a pinch of oregano and garnished it with parsley, but you could use dill, tarragon or just about anything you fancy. Or let the simplicity of the sauce shine through by just leaving it plain. The stock has seasonings in it anyway.

For a really special treat, you can substitute champagne for white wine to make a champagne sauce. It tastes amazing, and as you only need 1/2 cup, there will be plenty left to drink!

This amount of sauce should serve about four to six, or dress four to six servings of meat, fish, vegetables or pasta.

2 generous tablespoons butter
2 generous tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup white wine
about 1/4 cup light (single) cream or half and half

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and allow the mixture (which is called a roux) to cook for about a minute. Gradually whisk in the stock, allowing the sauce to thicken between each addition. Whisk in the white wine.

The sauce should be fairly thick at this point, so gradually add the cream, a bit at a time (you may not need it all or you may need a little more) until you get the sauce to a nice, pourable consistency. If you want to add any herbs or flavourings, now is the time to do so. (I always go carefully, and only add a bit at a time because this sauce tastes so lovely it only needs the barest minimum of enhancement.)

That’s it, the sauce is ready to serve! Pour over fish, chicken, vegetables or stir into pasta and enjoy.

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