Did you know that March is National Sauce Month? Yep, it is. Now I really don’t think that this a tribute to “hitting the sauce” as in boozing it up, but for whatever reason, that’s where my early morning brain first ran to – an old expression if ever I heard one.
Since the Lenten Season has begun, and this is the only day seven of Lent, I thought it might be nice to share a few of my favorite Fish/Seafood Sauce recipes with you. Have I mentioned that the best part of the Lenten Season is that most markets have big, big fresh fish sales. Even if you aren’t Catholic, you can stock up on fish and save a pretty penny in the process. Now is the time I start hording things like Salmon and Cod for later, when the prices jump. Even things like shrimp and crab are reasonably priced. Yeah, I like getting bargains. I’m not a fan of haggling, but I do like to save money when I can. I’m not sure if we eat a lot more fish because it’s Lent or because the prices are too good to resist.
Anyway, here are a few Seafood Sauce Recipes in honor of National Sauce Month.
Creamy Newburg Sauce
2 teaspoons Shallot
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup Dry Sherry
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 Egg Yolks
Finely mince the shallot. Set aside until ready to use.
In a double boiler over simmering water melt the butter. Add the sherry, shallots and paprika. Whisk and cook until the shallots are tender, about 5-10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and egg yolks. Whisk the cream and yolk mixture quickly into the butter mixture and cook just until thickened, whisking constantly.
Remove from the heat as soon as it will coat a spoon and not a second longer. If the sauce cooks too long it will separate and curdle (see tip for repairing a broken sauce below).
Season with a little salt to taste and serve at once over seafood.
TIP: If your sauce does curdle, remove it from the heat and add one ice cube. Whisk briskly until the sauce becomes creamy again. If necessary, repeat with one more ice cube. You may need to return it to the double boiler very briefly to bring it back to temperature, but be very careful. This trick really does work. I wasn’t sure how thick the sauce was supposed to get and I ended up breaking mine and the ice really did bring it back together.
Serving Suggestions: Crab Cakes or Salmon Cakes
Dill Sauce with Crème Fraîche for Fish
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Buttermilk
2 Shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup White Wine
3 tablespoons fresh Dill, chopped and divided
1 cup Crème Fraîche (below)
1 teaspoon Dijon style prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste
To Make Crème Fraîche
Combine heavy cream and buttermilk, mix well in glass jar and cover. Let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened. Stir well and refrigerate. Use within 10 days.
To Make Dill Sauce
Melt the butter on low heat in a small saucepan. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes. The shallots should not brown, otherwise they will turn hard and bitter.
Pour in the wine and add half of the chopped dill. Turn up the heat to medium and boil the liquid until about 1/4 cup remains.
Turn down the heat and stir in the Crème Fraîche and mustard. Warm through and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining dill just before serving.
Serving Suggestion: Grilled Salmon
Seafood Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 tablespoons Horseradish (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Chili Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Whisk all the ingredients together until well mixed.
Chill until ready to serve.
Serving Suggestion: Crab Claws or Shrimp
1 cup of quality Mayonnaise
1/4 cup of diced Cornichons, or small dill pickles
2 tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon of Capers
A few dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon of fresh Lemon Juice
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Place all the ingredients in a food processor, or medium bowl, and mix until fully blended.
Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Serving Suggestions: Fish and Chips or Fish Sandwiches