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Meuniere sauce

So my cousin asks me, Maybe I don't know what meuniere sauce, a TRUE meuniere sauce, is supposed to be? Browned butter, lemon juice, herbs/parsley...why, I asked? She said she has had so many around town that are thick, almost like a gravy, and are called meuniere. I said that actually yes, that's the style at Mandina's, which is what prompted the topic in the first place, that's where she had been served the heavier version today. So is this a case of the "red" vs. "white" remoulade sauce, of sorts?

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  1. I was taught to put a good knob of butter in the pan the fish was prepared in melt it and add fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley swirl it around then slide onto the fish or shellfish. I believe this the classic preparation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MamasCooking

      And a few squirts of Lea and Perrin.

      I like to squeeze the lemon directly onto the pan fried trout and serve with extra wedges.

      1. re: TaTee

        Lucky you on getting to eat trout:) I never see any *real* fish here in N California at the stores.

        1. re: MamasCooking

          My husband loves to fish, so I have a freezer full of reds and specs. I like to fish if the weather is cooperative.

    2. As for "true" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuni%C3...

      The "gravy" thickness style is a locally evolved riff, not the "miller's wife" French original.

      1. I don't know of any place serving the (gross to me) thick, gravy style besides Mandina's. Most other places, it's a thin, pan sauce.

        1. this is the second--well third--variation question to come up in three days. I went looking for a cook I know to check on this (I could find him but will double check on this0. He has cooked in NOLa and Baton Rouge and he refers to "Baton Rouge meuniere" which he says starts off as the regular thing but then had s little bit of béchamel added. I think he said he got that at the Baton Rouge COuntry Club but he was required to use it everywhere in BR he cooked since that is what was expectd. I don't recall every having had it at and of the places he cooked and I don't know if he meant béchamel or beurre blanc...those two often become interchangeable in peoples' minds. I'll check with him tomorrow if I can find him.

          We had a nice debate at The Fair Grounds on Sunday over red versus white/yellow remoulade (we were served the white/yellow that day) which of course are different than you'd have gotten in PAris forty or more years ago. And only yesterday a group of us came close to body blows over roux versus no roux in Shrimp Creole. It is amazing how many of the dishes that were cast-in-stone in, say, 1965 have crumbled into dust and mutated.. Like boning fish at the table: when was the last time anyone saw that?

          1 Reply
          1. re: hazelhurst

            A little follow up--but some more is needed. I found my friend and asked him quickly (it being lunch) and he first said they used cream and stock but then corrected himself,. The Country Club version was demi with beurre blanc. This, is put over the deep fried (not sautéed) trout. Some time later, he said, he was cooking at the Camelot Club, which is a typical top-of-bank-building affair. He tried to give them the individual pan-fried trout and make the brown butter with lemon finish but the customers rioted. they had been used to the BRCC method, which had spread to Juban's and other BR restaurants and the decried that "this isn't meuniere" so he went back to the other version. I've never had this even though I have eaten at all those places so cannot tell you anything else. Obviously it lends itself to mass production.

            Hes got a few other "cheater" sauces that I will try to find out more about (e.g. his bulk hollandaise which is MOSTLY egg yolk but adds a whole egg to stabilize.

            The only place I ever get it is Galatoire's. and even then not as often as, say, redfish.

          2. Emulsified meuniere ala Emeril (served with andouille crusted fish):
            In a saucepan, combine the Worcestershire sauce, lemons and bay leaves. Bring the liquid up to a simmer and simmer the liquid until it reduces by 2/3, about 4 minutes. Whisk the cold butter cubes into the sauce, a cube at a time, until all the butter is incorporated. The sauce should be thick and coat the back of a spoon.

            1. Meuniere isn't a sauce; it's a recipe. It means, "in the style of the miller's wife".

              Just coat stuff with flour, saute it with a lot of butter, and it's meuniere.

              3 Replies
              1. re: knucklesandwich

                Really? That will surely lead to raised eyebrows at Galatoire's when I ask for my meuniere recipe on the side...

                1. re: sanglier

                  I've run around with them for years on 'black butter v. Meuniere butter'. Sometimes I can get a cook who knows how to do beurre noir not that it'shard..and other times I get "meuniere butter" as they call it.

                  It is always amusing when someone swoops in and starts saying that Julia Child didn't do "X" this way. Not the point. That's how WE do it. And La Child and the now Olympian James Beard (OH! How He could boil water!) knew this. They did not criticize a goat for not being a lamb.

                  I think it was Alan Richman who teed off on NOLA meuniere where the trout was fried. He caught some flack over that.

                2. re: knucklesandwich

                  That's how they do it in Germany, but not in NOLA, IME.

                3. When I was a line cook in French restaurants we always hit the pan sauces, including meuniere, with a bit of demi glace to tighten them up.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: zackly

                    You put demi-glace on a sauce that was going on FISH???

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Yes, just maybe a tablespoon in two portions. It's very good. I learned that technique from a good chef who apprenticed @ the Plaza Athénée

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        See my earlier post about my friends's "Baton Rouge" version. It appears to be more common than you'd think.