Wine and Food Pairing ¦ Learn how to match wine and Food.
This is not going to be a crash course in cooking. What I will be suggesting is a mere trick, which should come handy so you could, in the kitchen, whip up something simple yet extraordinary and impress people with no inordinate amount of effort involved.
One very important aspect of impressive dishes is the sauce. The French has perfected this and gave us perhaps a hundred or so sauces. And this is now where you should pay attention. All the easy cooking basics – which many would probably know how to do – fried salmon, boiled or grilled meat; and even those that ended in disasters such burnt steaks, overcooked chicken – they could assume an entirely new and elegant form or resuscitated back to food respectability – if thoroughly smothered in an impeccable sauce. Wouldn’t it be impressive and fancy to present a pan seared salmon in Madeira sauce?
So here is a versatile recipe: White Wine Sauce. It could be tweaked to assume two or more sauces, depending on the wine or additional ingredient. You would have to ask the sommelier at your favorite wine shop, which would be the best for this endeavor.
There are two stage to the process. First, is what the French call veloute. This is quite easy. You need equal parts of butter and flour, then just add white stock. The principle here is that the veloute will act as the base for the sauce. The dynamics in which this is prepared will determine the end product. For instance, when you mix the melted butter with the flour, it becomes the roux. And cooking time for this would affect the color and, hence, the type of sauce achieved.
White Wine Sauce
60 g butter
60 g flour
1 Liter stock
Procedure: Melt butter over low heat. Gradually add the flour and cook. (This is now the roux. For the White Wine Sauce you will need the “blond roux”, which entail cooking the mixture until it resembles pale blond coloring). You will then gradually beat the stock into the mixture. You need to simmer veloute for at least an hour.
125 mL white wine
1 Liter veloute
125 mL heavy cream
30 g butter
Salt and Pepper
Procedure: Heat and reduce the wine by half. Then add the veloute and simmer until your desired consistency. Stir in the cream, add the butter, and season.
If you sweat in some onions prior to making the sauce and threw in a dash of paprika, this becomes the Hungarian Sauce. If you sauté mushrooms prior to adding white wine, then you have a Mushroom Sauce. Or, if you combine white wine with tarragon vinegar and some shallots and chervil, you would have the Venetian Sauce. As you keep doing this sauce and increase in the degree of confidence, you could even add other ingredients for your own fancy variations.