Brown butter cream sauce

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This is one of my all-time favorite sauces. It’s quick and easy, requires very few ingredients, and is amazingly tasty. I usually make it to accompany fish, but it’s also fantastic with poultry or even on roasted or steamed veggies. My fridge is always full of crème fraîche, and this sauce can also be made with whipping cream, although it will be slightly less thick.

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This sauce is pretty classic here in France. I remember one of my very first meals when I was an au pair was a grilled turkey breast accompanied by this very simple, rich and decadent sauce. The turkey breasts were cooked in a pan full of butter, and once done they were taken out, more butter was added to the pan, then some cream, a pinch of salt and the sauce was ready. I was amazed that something so simple could add so much to a dish. I also remember countless lunches at my step-grandmother’s house involving a simple pan-fried or roasted fish and this same, perfect sauce. If you want a fancier version, you can add some reduced white wine, shallots or herbs. The addition of brown butter makes this decadent sauce even more sinful and adds the perfect amount of depth. This is sauce at its simplest, and I think you’ll love it.

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Brown butter cream sauce

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 T butter
1/4 C dry white wine (optional)
1/4 C crème fraîche
Pinch of salt
Fresh dill (optional, for fish)
Fresh parsley or chervil (optional, for poultry)

Cook your protein in a skillet until cooked through, then remove, leaving any browned bits in the pan. Add the butter directly to the skillet (unless you’re using the white wine, in which case add the wine to deglaze the pan first and add the brown butter, cooked in a separate pan, once the wine is reduced by half) and cook over medium heat until it begins to brown and smell nutty. Add the cream to the pan and turn heat to low. Stir gently to incorporate and leave the sauce over low heat until it thickens. Add fresh herbs if using, and serve immediately.

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