Champagne Sauce

30 09 2011

By popular request, here is the recipe for both recent champagne sauces we posted (one with duck breast and one with butternur squash gnocchi) and the  one we  discussed on the recent NPR radio interview .

Chanterelle Mushroom Champagne Sauce

  • 2 Tbs. shallot, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 8 ounces of champagne
  • 1 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 ounce fresh champagne grapes
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper

Reconstitute the dried mushrooms with hot water then finely chop. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Soften the shallots in the butter, about 3 minutes. Add the champagne and mushrooms and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the cream and the grapes and reduce by about a third, until the sauce has thickened; season with the salt and pepper.

For a basic champagne sauce omit the mushrooms and grapes. For the sage version we used on the butternut squash gnocchi, omit the mushrooms and grapes and add ¼ cup apple jack brandy along with the champagne, and 2 tsp. of finely minced sage leaf along with the shallot.


Fall Flavors

27 09 2011

One of the great fall flavors I remember is lobster. Visiting Maine in the fall after the other tourists have left gives you the feel of a wilderness getting ready to rest. The leaves have changed and a jacket is definitely required after sundown. The air is damp and heavy with a mix of salt and earthy pine. You walk the streets after dark feeling the isolation, a feeling that everyone is out somewhere else having fun and you are here-alone. Then a noise grabs you and a light beckons. Soon you are out on a wharf surrounded by music, lights heat and steamed lobster; sweet and succulent. When my good friends at the fish market had a lobster sale-really ridiculously cheap this fall flavor was on the menu. This pan seared lobster was served with some incredible butternut squash gnocchi and a sage champagne sauce.

A Taste of Fall

19 09 2011

Here’s a recipe that speaks of fall: Pan-seared duck breast with chanterelle mushroom champagne sauce over sauteed spinach and pan fried new potatoes. The fall brings the harvest of grapes, and the champagne sauce here contains some champagne grapes (usually available at markets that carry seasonal fruits). A perfect marriage of the delicacies of the season.

Fresh Fettucelle with Lemon Butter Champagne Sauce

30 12 2010

Here’s a pasta dish that works great with just about any protein you want to toss in. We cut the fresh pasta a little narrower than typical fettuccine, hence the fettucelle designation. Cooked simply in  a pan with olive oil, spices, lemon zest. capers and sun dried tomatoes it was topped of with a lemon butter champagne sauce and some fresh grated cheese (and a little steak thrown in for good measure). An easy, fresh holiday meal  in less than 30 minutes.

Pasta sheet before cutting