This post has a happy ending.
I’m going through a cookbook, a new cookbook, looking for a great recipe. A healthy recipe. It’s not immediately easy:
- First sauce recipe, page 54, béchamel: butter and milk.
- Page 60, mornay sauce: butter and milk and now cream and cheese.
- Page 94, hollandaise sauce: lots of eggs and lots and lots of butter
- Page 98, béarnaise sauce: still lots of eggs and just slightly less butter.
And on it goes. It’s a fact of life: sauces taste good but they have impact on human lifespan. Well, no, actually, because this book goes beyond eggs and butter and cheese. All the classic sauces are here, as they must be, in Sauces, the Revised and Updated Edition, by Michel Roux. In 1996 the first edition of Sauces appeared, complete with excellent photos, wonderful recipes, and instructions and insight that have benefited a generation of cooks. But this new version of Sauces gives you paths rich in flavor but also rewardingly healthy.
The new edition is a complete rewrite. All the classics are here: béchamel, mornay, hollandaise, béarnaise … But there are 20% more recipes, all new photos, refined recipes, and brilliantly laid out step by step instructions. In the past year, I’ve posted recipe ideas from Eggs and Pastry, two wonderful books by Roux. This new version of Sauces follows the format of Eggs and Pastry, a format designed to be friendly, enticing and, of course, successful.
This revised version reflects the trends and expansion of our culinary world. New chapters are devoted to infusions and salsas. A separate chapter is now devoted to chocolate [and other rich creamy sauces]. Yes, it appears that chocolate is not a fad after all!
Sauce cookbooks are a staple for any serious cook and we are fortunate to have several serious tomes available to us. This book by Roux is the best general fit of any current sauce guide: it has the perfect combination of ideas, illustrations, and instructions. This book does not intimidate but it does inspire. And, when you combine Sauces with Eggs and Pastry, you have the foundation for a lifetime of culinary exploration.
Best of all, this edition of Sauces has some new gems that are just unexpected treasures. This recipe, Arugula Sauce with Horseradish, is one of them. Suzen and I call this our Universal Green Sauce. It’s incredibly fresh with a bite from all that arugula whisked with yogurt. A hint of wasabi powder and some lemon juice just accelerate the sparkle on your tongue.
I had some leftover ham and found this to be the perfect accompaniment. Roux says it is perfect for cold meat, for poached salmon or for smoked trout. I’ll go further. Use this as a substitute for mayo or mustard on your burger. Use it for crudités or for artichokes. The distinctive arugula flavor will convert any old friend into a bright new dish.
Arugula Sauce with Horseradish
Yield: 2 cups to serve 8 people
- 2 ounces arugula leaves, stems removed (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 2-3 tablespoons finely grated horseradish (preferably fresh) to taste
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons mil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely crushed
- 2/3 cup strained plain yogurt
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place all the ingredients, except the yogurt and seasoning, into a blender and process for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the yogurt until combined. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. This sauce keeps will in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, needing only a quick whisk through before serving.
Source: Sauces, Revised and Updated Edition by Michel Roux
At Cooking by the Book in New York City, we do culinary outward bound events. Firms come to our kitchen and prepare a meal together, often with kitchen challenges. Their night’s menu has been set in advance, from a quarterly menu featuring fresh seasonal ideas. We are always amazed when so many firms pick the same menu items. We can offer five appetizers, but 90% of the time firms will independently select the one same recipe.
This shrimp cocktail is an example. People are just intrigued by the idea of shrimp and tomatillo, they select it for their teambuilding gig here, and they are never disappointed.
There is something “special” about a shrimp cocktail. It always seems to be a treat. Now, with this recipe, you add some new flavor muscle. Once you’ve tried this recipe, it may just become your standard.
The sauce here is probably one you never had with shrimp before. Spinach? Honey? Rice vinegar? Amazingly good.
Shrimp Tomatillo Cocktail
Yield: serves 6 to 8
For the shrimp:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 lemons, quartered
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
For the sauce:
12 tomatillos, cost and rinsed
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
3 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup horseradish, drained
Prepare the shrimp. Combine 8 cups water, 2 tablespoons salt, the coriander and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the wedges. Boil 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the shrimp, cover and set aside, about 15 minutes. Strain and transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Cover and chill at least one hour.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos in a roasting pan and toss with the canola oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until soft, tossing occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cook the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water, about one minute. Drain, squeeze dry and transfer to a food processor. Add the tomatillo mixture, vinegar, horseradish, cilantro and honey and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill at least one hour. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Serve the sauce and shrimp in shot glasses, if desired.
Source: Food Network Magazine