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Old 03-18-2006, 08:14 AM   #1
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White Sauce

Hello everyone; Itís been a long time since Iíve posted here and to tell you the truth I forgot all about this great forum and the people that helped me with a stuffing recipe. It was an amazing hit with everyone at the barn dance/pork roast.
All the thanks go to everyone here for their suggestions and I know I should have said thank you well before this. I apologize and Iíll try not to forget again. Sorry.
That being said Iím back for some more advice if I may.
What Iíve been trying to figure out is how to make a white/cream sauce for mussels; hopefully using some of the broth that the mussels were cooked in as part of the sauce. Everything Iíve tried so far ends up having a bit of a sourer taste or itís so bland that it tastes of nothing. I canít seem to find the right combination.
Hereís what I use to steam the mussels in, chopped onion, chopped celery (stock and leaves), chopped garlic, the tops from green onion, salt, pepper and cayenne; all simmered in butter until onions become transparent and the celery is starting to soften. Add dry white wine and white vinegar about 2/3 wine to 1/3 vinegar.
The amounts change depending on how many musselsí I have to steam. I usually have about an inch of stock in the bottom of the pot before the mussels go in; end up with 3 to 4 times that after they are cooked.
The mussels taste great on their own and I would like to use the sauce to either pour over the shelled mussel or use it as a dipping sauce.
So if someone had any ideas it would be most appreciated; if you want to give me crap for only showing up when I want something Iíll also understand.
Iím only a weekend worrier when it comes to cooking and Iím pretty sure my wife wants to kill me when I assault our kitchen. ďI promise dear Iíll clean everything up when Iím done.Ē LOL
Thanks
Dan.

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Old 03-18-2006, 02:21 PM   #2
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Off hand, I would say that the vinegar and maybe not enough salt are the two main culprits. I would omit the vinegar from that recipe completely, and replace it with fresh lemon juice, but not at the ratio you have specified. For every dozen or so mussels, I would add the juice of maybe 1/2 a small lemon only. The recipe that you provided has too much acid, and of the wrong kind. Regarding the liquid, you're probably starting off with too much initially. You only need enough liquid for about 1/2" depth in the pan for steaming. Saute your aromatics first, then add the mussels and deglaze with 1/2 white wine and 1/2 clam broth (if you have it). If you don't have clam broth, then just use all white wine. Once the mussels are done, remove them from the pan. At this point, you can either swirl in butter off the heat (this will give you a version of the sauce used for pasta al vongole) or you can add heavy cream and reduce that until thickened. Make sure that you don't boil the cream and it doesn't burn. It should be at just a light simmer.
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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You know I never even thought about the vinegar as being the cause of the sour taste because you canít taste it in the mussels themselves. I just started playing with the idea of this sauce and the vinegar was never an issue because we would just eat the musselsí right out of their shells. Make sense now that you say it; the stock has quite a bit of vinegar.
We made some last night and added a lot more salt and pepper which helped a lot but it still had the sour taste.
Iíll try your suggestions the next time we have them and Iíll loose the vinegar all together.
Thanks.
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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Another possibility might be to make the white sauce with shrimp or fish stock as a source of more flavor. But I think you are on the right track to drop the vinegar and and season it more.
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:47 PM   #5
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Iv'e never heard of vinegar in a white sauce I sometimes add a little bit of lemon juice to taste that makes more sense for seafood.
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