Burro Blanco Sauce ✠

The near-classic French beurre blanc sauce translates literally to white butter sauce. We Americans retain the French name for it probably because its translation is less elegant than its antecedent is thought to be. We do the same with Rat Mouth Flowerland (Boca Raton Florida), Yellow Friendship (Amarillo Texas), and Red Stick Louis XIV Territory (Baton Rouge Louisiana).

But because my recipe for beurre blanc does not contain butter, I felt uneasy in retaining it as the title of my sauce substitute. The name I chose is reminiscent of the original and retains the tradition, but in Spanish*.
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp shallots, minced
  • 1/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter substitute powder, such as Butter Buds®
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ cup water

Boil the wine, vinegar, and shallots in a small pan until reduced to about ¼ cup. Pour into a blender.

Add the remaining ingredients into the blender and buzz at high speed until the mixture firms up to about the consistency of Hollandaise.

Transfer the sauce into the small pan and heat to a simmer. Retain the simmer for about 2 minutes, then serve.

Makes about one cup.

Burbank Beurre Blanc Sauce §

Located just down the street from Burbank’s movie and television studios once stood Piero’s Seafood Restaurant and Wine Shop, with wood-paneled walls, dim lighting, and upholstered booths. In the evenings, candles would be lit and the outside patio was decorated with twinkling icicle lights. It was a romantic venue for couples, but families and business folk would also come to partake of the fine Italian cuisine. It closed in 2001 after nearly 40 years of culinary excellence.

It was there that I had some (unremembered) dish dressed with what I deemed to be an outstanding beurre blanc sauce. Rich and creamy and very tasty and very caloric. The classic beurre blanc is a simple butter-based (lots of butter) emulsified sauce that’s great with fish or seafood. I wondered if I could make something like it without all that butter. I jotted some notes on a scrap of paper for later action.

With that memory as a guide, I developed the recipe below. I think that it is a reasonably good simulation of its lipid-abundant antecedent.

  • 5 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 tsp dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots or scallions (white part)
  • ½ tsp <salt>
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup nonfat half-and-half cream
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp powdered butter flavor
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Boil wine, vinegar, and shallot in a 1-quart saucepan over moderate heat until the liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, white pepper, cream, butter substitute, and corn starch and whip using a hand blender at high speed for about a minute to incorporate the shallots and cream. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly until thickened to about the consistency of a Hollandaise.

Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, season to taste with <salt> and pepper, and pour into a sauceboat. Serve immediately.

Makes about a cup.