Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc sauce for Salmon, a smoky twist to the classic beurre blanc lemon sauce using a simple Lapsang Souchong teabag.
Any time Saint Andrew's night on 30 November or Burn's night on 25 January approaches, my Scottish blood rushes. I have a sudden urge to play the bagpipes and the hunt is on to find good Scottish fare at our local French market. This time I'm going savoury for with an easy yet sophisticated Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc Sauce for Salmon.
Adding a Smoky Twist to a Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce
It's an Auld Alliance marriage made in heaven; it's where saucy France hugs Scottish salmon on a plate. Good fresh organic salmon fillets are gently pan fried and served with a rich French sauce.
However, instead of the classic beurre blanc lemon sauce, I've replaced it with a glossy, subtle smoky sauce that doesn't overpower the salmon but adds that je ne sais quoi with a simple Lapsang Souchong teabag.
A version of this was originally posted in July 2011 for this herb-hugging John Dory recipe.
Since I published the recipe, I've altered the sauce so that there's now less liquid with the wine and cream but more butter to make the sauce glossier, creamier and richer - rather like how I wish to be this year!
Healthy Roast Potatoes Side-dish
Serve this with lightly sautéd leeks in olive oil and healthy roast potatoes in olive oil and thyme. Simply chop up washed, unpeeled potatoes (e.g. Charlotte) into cubes and place in a non-stick roasting tin dribbled with a little olive oil, freshly chopped thyme and season with fleur de sel salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 210°C/190°C fan/410°F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes, turning them twice during cooking.
Normally I'd throw in a few garlic cloves still in their skins (en chemise), but for this dish it's best to leave it out so not to overpower the salmon.
Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc Sauce - for Salmon
Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc for Salmon
- 50 g (2oz) shallots finely chopped
- 200 ml (7fl oz) dry white wine
- 100 ml (4fl oz) cream (30% fat) crème fleurette
- 1 sachet Lapsang Souchong tea
- 150 g (5.5oz) unsalted butter chilled, diced
- pinch salt (fleur de sel) & freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- 6 fresh salmon fillets (@ 150 g each)
- Gently fry the shallots in some of the butter for 5 minutes until translucent but not browned.
- Add the white wine and boil for 10 minutes until reduced by over half so that it looks a bit syrupy. Lower the heat and add the cream, stirring until well combined. Take off the heat and add the Lapsang Souchong teabag. Leave to infuse, covered, for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the teabag (and shallots using a sieve if you like the sauce smooth, otherwise this step is not necessary). Return to a gentle heat and whisk in the cold diced butter gradually until the sauce is combined and glossy.
- Season the sauce to taste and keep on a very low heat until ready to serve. Alternatively, set aside to cool covered until ready to serve later and reheat very gently.
- Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan, sear the salmon fillets in a little olive oil for about 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness), and keep warm in the preheated oven (190°C Fan/Gas 6) for a further 5 minutes.
Thank you for the recipe for the rich French sauce to accompany Scottish salmon. Sometimes salmon by itself can be quite dry.
Thanks, Thomasina. I often buy salmon just to make the sauce. It's so good - and discovered it freezes very well too.
We love salmon, Jill, and this sounds like such a yummy dish. I just found that I could buy a type of what we call heavy cream at Trader Joe's that has a much higher butterfat content than what is found at the regular grocery, so I might try that to use in this recipe (must admit, I had to look up crème fleurette, but I love the way you keep me learning!!). Just loving the idea of infusing the tea in the beurre blanc! Genius. Will let you know when we try it.
Oops - I'm not American and so a bit confused with your differences but yes, Crème fleurette is the cream we use in France to make whipped cream but also use it for sauces, chocolate ganache... as long as it has 30% fat - so glad you've found good cream.
Please do tell me what you think of the flavours. Sure Victor and you will love it!
Had to come back and leave a solid 5-star rating for this delicious recipe, Jill! As V mentioned to you on FB, I made it for us for Christmas dinner and we both loved it so much! The only wild salmon we could buy at our local market was a Coho salmon from Alaska, but this beurre blanc really enhanced it beautifully. I will be trying it again, this time with a steelhead trout that we can often easily get as well (which is very similar to salmon in taste and appearance). I made your asparagus clafoutis (without the parmesan sauce) as an accompaniment and it made an elegant Christmas treat for us! Thank you for the lovely recipes!
That's the most delicious compliment ever, Betty. Thanks for getting back in touch - we love this too as it can take simple salmon to another level and it's so French! I'm honoured that you made it for Christmas dinner. Sounds fabulous with trout too. With most sumptuous wishes!
What a lovely combination, Jill! I've never used tea in cooking (except for Scottish Tea Bread, of course). I'm curious to know how this would taste. Looks lovely, regardless and those potatoes are just GORGEOUS! My fave! What are you doing for Burns Night? We're actually going to a supper on the 26th! My first time. 🙂
Thanks, Christina. You'd love it. It's a subtle smoky taste which, funnily enough, brings out the salmon flavours. No official Burn's Night here like in California this year! BUT my first Burn's Night (other than at school) was at University with Antoine at the top table - he was asked to address the lassies in his Frenchie accent, "Aye fond keess and zen we severrrre" I fell in love! Thought you'd like the tatties, btw!