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Apr 3, 2007 09:52 AM

HOW TO: WHITE WINE SAUCE...???? [moved from General Chowhounding Topics]

I really wanted to make a white wine sauce for some seafood last night and it was awful. The receipe called for misc seasoning but the basics were 1/2 c. white wine (i used a pinot grigio), 2/3 c. cream (it didn't say heavy or light), and 4 tbs chicken stock (i used ckicken broth).

#1- I don't think i cooked the wine down enough.

#2- did substituting light cream and chicken broth do any damage?

When i added the cream- it didn't look like it mixed well, even after i tried to cook it down more... you could see the little dots of cream. what went wrong?

Any future suggestions?...
I normally don't have cream on hand- but i always have milk cornstarch and flour. I've seen receipes done with those instead of cream; do they turn out the same? I'm looking for a light white wine cream sauce.

Some One Help!!

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  1. I think maybe your cream curdled and separated from the sauce because of the heat. Usually if I add cream to a sauce, I'll add it in at the very end, off heat. And it's usually a splash.

    This is how I would do it (personally, I wouldn't add cream, but that's just me...I think it's perfect without!)

    1. Cook whatever meat/seafood you want to cook in a nonstick frying pan with a bit of oil.. This would be an ideal time to also add a few tablespoons of chopped shallots and a teaspoon of minced garlic.
    2. Remove the meat/seafood and keep warm somewhere.
    3. Crank the heat up to medium-high, if it isn't there already. Add 1/2 cup white wine and let reduce until just a few tablespoons are left.
    4. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth. Let reduce about halfway. You should be able to see it thicken on a spoon.
    5. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter until they melt or are incorporated into the sauce. Your sauce should now have some "gloss". Also, add a splash (not too much) of cream here if you'd like.
    6. Stir in some fresh chopped herbs (I like basil with seafood). Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
    7. Add your meat/seafood back to the pan and toss around until coated.

    You can also make the sauce in a separate pan from the meat. Just sautee your shallots and garlic in a bit of oil, then follow steps 3 to the end.

    1. understand that the point of reducing wine, cream or stock is to evaporate the water out of it, so you need to simmer away a significant amount of liquid. queenb's suggestions are spot on.

      milk and flour are for making a roux, which is quite stable for a sauce base, but i find it unpleasantly heavy with seafood.

      1. Cream should not curdle when boiled, but milk will, so I would guess that your light cream might have been the problem. I think QueenB's method is a good one. I would start with shallot and saute for a minute before adding the wine. To make more of a cream sauce, reduce the chicken broth to just a few tablespoons, then add the cream, skip the butter.

        1. Cherokee

          The sauce "broke", shouldn't affect the flavor much but it is esthetically less pleasing. I have made this mistake many times with my wine reduction sauces, the secret I believe is to have the sauce off the heat and reduced in temperature, try adding the chicken stock off heat, then adding the cream, bring back up to a simmer for the final reduction, toss a few pats of butter in if the sauce seems too thin as you approach the final volume to thicken the sauce.

          1. Want French or simple?

            French: Make 2 cups veloute sauce made from concentrated fish stock (see below), mix in 1/2 cup fish stock and 1/2 cup white wine PREVIOUSLY REDUCED TO 2 TBSP. Thicken with 2 egg yolks mixed with 2 tbsp creme fraiche and 2 tbsp cooking juice from mushrooms. Strain into sauce pan, heat to boiling stirring contantly. Add 1/4 lb butter off flame.

            Veloute: mix 1/2 cup cold blond roux with a quart of fish stock. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours, skimming. The blond roux is 1/4 pound butter cooked until clarified and 1 cup flour. Cook gently for at least 15 minutes, but not much more for blonde.

            Simple: reduce the 1/2 cup of wine to 2 tbsp, throw in the cream, misc seasoning, and some fish stock.