A dear friend by the name of Ali came for dinner the other night. I rarely get to see her because she now lives in Victoria on the west coast and it was with great pleasure that I prepared a rather special meal for her. I have to give my dad credit for the idea, as I certainly didn't think it up myself, and it is also because of him that I have the basic knowledge necessary to realize this easy and delicious little recipe.
I can't think of any other way I want to spend my time these days besides cooking for other people. Eating what I cook is fun, and when people ask me what kinds of things I like to cook I reply by saying, well, it's whatever I feel like eating. So as a result I am often trying new things and furiously reading various recipes to find the best way to make something. But I get the most pleasure out of sharing what I cook with other people. (Bonus for future or unborn family members!) The only catch to the following recipe is incorporating the butter, but it's not as tricky as it is delicious!
Strawberry Balsamic Reduction Butter Sauce
This makes about 1 C of sauce.
I cooked a 450 g fillet of King salmon at 400 degrees until it was just that bright translucent pink at the thickest part, about 15 minutes. This cooking time will vary depending on the temperature of the fish. I took mine directly out of the fridge so it was cold and therefore took longer. It also depends on the thickness of your fillet. So make sure you check after the first 10 minutes, then the next five and then the next 1 or 2. Don't forget that your fish will continue to cook once you take it out of the oven, so take it out just before it's done. (This takes a bit of practice.)
This is essentially what they call a Beurre Blanc because the butter is incorporated slowly with a reduction of wine or vinegar and acts primarily as an emulsifier. The amount of butter or other ingredients depends largely on personal preference.
1 Large shallot chopped
1 TBS Balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 TBS Lime juice
3/4 C Chopped strawberries
3 TBS Butter
1 - Cut butter into small 1/4 inch pieces and put on a plate in the freezer.
2 - Chop up fine and fry the shallot.
3 - Add vinegar, lime juice and strawberries. Cook this until it becomes thick and bubbles. When you streak the spoon through the sauce the streaks should stay. This is the only tricky part: you want to reduce it just enough, but not so much that too much water evaporates and the sauce is bitter, or not enough and the sauce is too watery.
4 - Add the frozen butter, stirring vigorously until the butter is half melted. Transfer the sauce into a bowl or an insulated mug and continue stirring until the butter is completely incorporated into the sauce. The butter must be frozen so that the water molecules already present in the sauce can slowly surround the fat molecules in the butter. If this happens too fast, or the sauce heats up too much, the sauce will separate as the fat droplets break apart from the water molecules. This is also why the sauce is transferred into a bowl or mug before the butter finishes melting.
Then serve with some summer vegetables such as yellow squash and kale sauteed with a little olive oil, and salt and pepper. And rice is always nice!
Oh yeah, and this chocolate cake, if it moves you.