Beurre Blanc, Your Culinary MacGyver,
Beurre Blanc is French for "White Butter". It is a delicate, smooth and richly textured sauce that is eminently useful for fish, chicken or beef.
A Beurre Blanc can be prepared in a variety of ways, it is most simply prepared with these ingredients, chopped shallots, the juice of two or three freshly squeezed lemons, softened butter, and a good flavored white wine. Using a white wine that you like is important, if you don't like the taste of the wine your sauce will taste horrid and we must avoid such a calamity at all costs.
It is important to mind the proportion of butter to wine, as it's the fat in the butter that holds your sauce together. You can put in as many shallots or lemons as you like though. You should plan on using a half pound of butter per one quart of white wine. Lightly saute your chopped shallots in a bit of the butter until the aroma of lightly cooked onions wafts up to you. Add the lemon juice and wine, stirring lightly until your mixture simmers, the chopped shallots gently rolling in the wine. Break out your wisk, stir in the softened butter a little bit at a time. The wine and butter should emulsify taking on a soft glossy texture with a yellowish-white color similar to the butter you've used. When you put a spoon to your sauce, it should gently coat the back of your spoon (a state known as nappe) and when you taste the sauce, it's flavor will taste of the butter and the lemon, backed up strongly by the wine with a soft finish by the shallots and another wash of butter.
Voila, you have completed one of the cornerstones of culinary magic. Are you in the weeds and need to make sure that sauce holds together? You can wisk in a little warm water to revive a broken sauce or fold in a little cornstarch slurry at the end and your sauce will hold better than superglue on a coffeecup handle.
What about the MacGyver part? Well, if you have this technique down cold you now have a variety of culinary sauce options at your fingertips. Suppose you are making Shrimp Scampi? You can substitute the shallots for garlic and toss your shrimp and pasta in the sauce. Did you burn that chicken breast casserole? This would not be a problem as you could replace some of the white wine with that little bit of leftover bourbon from last night's party and now you have Blackened Chicken with Bourbon Sauce. You are the culinary elite my friend, enjoy the men and women who will now flock to your door to savor the culinary miracles that you shall now foster from your humble kitchenette!!