Horseradish Cream Sauce for Fish
Fish can have a strong taste, depending on the kind of fish and how it's prepared, which often necessitates a counter-balance of flavor. Horseradish sauce ("sauce au raifort" in French) is an excellent option.
Horseradish gives a depth of flavor to almost any fish due to its subtle tinge of heat, when added in small quantities. Whether you pair the sauce with a simple fish preparation cooked in butter, fish en papillote or steamed fish, this delicious horseradish sauce will be the highlight of your entrée.
Yields: 1 cup1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sprig tarragon
1 sprig thyme
2 tablespoons leek (white part only), finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice (see tips), freshly squeezed and chilled
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons horseradish mustard
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
Heat the oil, add 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the tarragon, thyme, leeks and shallots. Cook until golden. Add 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and reduce until the liquid has almost evaporated. Remove the sprigs of tarragon and thyme.
Combine the egg yolks and the grapefruit juice in a stainless-steel mixing bowl and using an immersion hand blender (at a low speed), whisk the eggs.
Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place the bowl filled with the whisked eggs on top. Whisk the eggs at full speed using the same hand blender, for about 3-4 minutes. Check the temperature of the eggs; they should feel warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler. Slowly increase the speed of the blender and gradually add the rest of the softened, diced butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add the horseradish mustard and crème fraîche.
Note: It's easy to check the consistency of the sauce: Coat the back of a spoon with the sauce. Run your finger down the back of the spoon. If the line you created with your finger remains, the sauce is ready.
When you're ready to serve, add the shallot mixture to the sauce. The sauce should be creamy and warm.
I served it with cod cooked in butter.
I cut a grapefruit into segments (I warmed them and used them as garnish for the fish) and squeezed the juice from the rest of the fruit. I used grapefruit juice for natural sweetness in the sauce; you could use lemon juice instead.
I buy Maille brand horseradish mustard. You can finf it at Safeway, in specialty stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and in many regular grocery stores.
There's no way you can mess up sauce au raifort if you use a thermometer. Check the temperature of the water in the double boiler; it should register 140°F.
My trick if the sauce breaks (if the eggs have curdled); just let the sauce cool to room temperature, add a little cold water (or more chilled grapefruit juice) and whisk the sauce until smooth while warming it.
If you're not serving the sauce right away, you can transfer it to a thermos insulated bottle until the fish is ready to be served.Published By: on December 30, 2010.