Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brown butter cream sauce (recipe).

I love making roux based sauces; they are so versatile, and they come together pretty quickly. Making sauces this way is one of the first kitchen tricks that my mom taught me when I was a child. It is a very common technique in French and Cajun cooking, and it is not nearly as difficult as many people believe.

A roux is simply a mixture of flour and fat that is used to thicken sauces. This technique can be used to make rich gravies, creamy cheese sauces (great on broccoli, or in mac & cheese), and simple white sauces (bechamels). To change the thickness of the resulting sauce, simply adjust the ratio of roux to liquid that is used; Here is a good guide on the proportions to use in order to get the desired consistency.

This version is creamy and just a little bit cheesy, so it was the perfect addition to our ravioli. The browned butter imparted a lovely, slightly nutty, flavor to the sauce that balanced the sharpness of the romano cheese that I used.

2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1 cup cream
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tbs romano or parmesan cheese
salt to taste

The brown roux; Adding the flavors; The thickened sauce


1) Over medium heat, lightly brown the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour, and allow to brown for approximately one minute more. 

2) Add the garlic, pepper, and oregano (you can see that I added salt at this stage too, but it's better to wait until the end - after you've added the cheese - so that you can salt to taste).

3) Add the cream and stir thoroughly, making sure to get rid of all lumps. I like to use a rubber spatula to get into the corners of the pan, and a whisk to ensure complete incorporation.

4) Bring mixture to a boil, and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should start to thicken at this point. Remove from heat.

5) Stir in the cheese. Add salt if desired. Toss with pasta. 

Scrumptious! Ravioli with cream sauce, tomatoes and Italian parsley.

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