Jul 14, 2011

Creole Meunière Sauce

In honor of Bastille Day, we got to thinking about the wonderful inspiration French cooking has lent to our cuisine here in New Orleans. Two French sauces in particular can be seen in restaurant and home-cooked dishes in abundance throughout the city: Meunière and Bordelaise. Of course, the sauces that are served here are no longer the same as the traditional French versions - New Orleanians, over the years, have added their own twist to these traditional recipes. And, while we still love the original French recipes, as New Orleanians, we feel compelled to share our recipes and let you be the judge. Today, we're craving Meunière sauce, so we'll focus on that below, but not to worry, we'll share our recipe for Bordelaise sauce tomorrow (why not keep the party going - our French counterparts would, right?).

In French, meunière means "miller's wife," and refers to a style of cooking where a protein (usually fish) is seasoned, lighted dredged in flour and sauteed simply in butter. Thus, to cook a la meunière is to cook it by first coating it in flour. A Meunière sauce is the simplest in preparation; it traditionally consists of butter, chopped parsley and lemon. In New Orleans, we add a bit more flavor and body to the sauce by adding Worcestershire and hot sauce, as well as heavy cream.

Below is our chefs' version of Meuniere sauce, aptly titled Creole Meunière. We use it on many of our signature dishes, including Palace Cafe's Crabmeat Cheesecake as well as Catfish Pecan. We're including the full recipe for Catfish Pecan Meunière below, should you feel the urge to celebrate Bastille Day New Orleans-style by making this delicious dish!

PS - we love the foodie French flag photo above. Visit the Sydney Food Festival's site to see more!

Creole Meunière Sauce

1 lemon, peeled and cut into quarters
½ C Worcestershire sauce
½ C Crystal Hot Sauce
¼ C heavy whipping cream
2 C butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Combine lemon, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in a heavy saucepot. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is thick and syrupy, whisking constantly.
Whisk in the whipping cream and reduce the heat to low.
Add the butter one piece at a time, mixing until the butter has been completely incorporated after each addition.
Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.
Season with kosher salt and white pepper.
Strain through a fine strainer into a sauce pot and keep warm.

Catfish Pecan Meunière

For Spiced Pecans
3 C pecan halves or pieces
2 T Butter, softened
2 T Sugar
2 T Creole Seasoning
2 T Worcestershire Sauce

For Catfish
3 eggs
1 C milk
1 C AP flour
6 5-7oz catfish filets
Creole seasoning to taste
Vegetable oil for sauteeing

FOR THE PECANS: Combine the pecans with the butter, sugar, Creole seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and mix until the pecans are evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

FOR THE CATFISH: Beat the eggs and milk in a mixing bowl. Combine half the spiced pecans with the flour in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Spread the pecan flour evenly on a flat surface. Trim the catfish fillets and season on both sides with Creole seasoning. Dip fillets in the egg wash, then press them into the pecan flour to coat well. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or sauté pan until hot but not smoking. Add the catfish fillets and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until light brown on the bottom. Turn the fillets with a spatula, taking care not to break the pecan crust, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes longer or until brown.

TO SERVE: Place the catfish fillets on serving plates and top with Creole Meunière sauce and remaining spiced pecans.


Gizmo56 said...

"...not to worry, we'll share our recipe for Bordelaise sauce tomorrow..."

Tis a pity that the above promise was not kept.

Otherwise, this is a nice blog and I am happy to see the various recipes included here.

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An insider's view on New Orleans food from the kitchens of Dickie Brennan's Restaurants.