When I took a "French Sauces" course at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, I remember entering the school's kitchen and seeing mountains of butter and pitchers of cream waiting at each prep station. I was had been looking forward to learning the technical basics of the classic French mother sauces, but after seeing the reality of these decadent accompaniments, I started to wonder, "at what cost?" I always knew that the sauces had rich bases, but after taking that class, I realized that they're basically all butter and cream. And while these recipes form the canon of French sauces, they're in need of a change. Although the construction of these sauces is impressive, it isn't hard to make something taste good when it's made with two of the richest ingredients out there. No offense to the French intended, of course.
This is my vegan, gluten-free take on the classic sauce béarnaise, that procures no guilt or artery clogging.
Coconut cream (refrigerated and using just the cream), 4 tablespoons
*Avocado mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons
White wine, 1 tablespoon
Tarragon, small handful
Finely dice shallots and tarragon.
Lightly sauté shallots in coconut oil.
Place a glass mixing bowl in a saucepan filled with an inch of hot water to heat au-bain-marie.
Add the shallots, coconut cream and avocado mayonnaise into bowl and slowly raise the heat.
Once the water begins to boil, remove the bowl from the water and continue whisking.
Add wine, lemon, tarragon, S+P and continue whisking until smooth.
*Sauce can be served warm or cold with fish, meat, as a vegetable dip or with grilled vegetables, soups or purées.
Tarragon Health Benefits (2)
*If you can't find avocado mayonnaise, you can make it by puréeing a ripe avocado with 2 tablespoons of a neutral oil (I prefer coconut oil) with a dash of mustard and wine vinegar, S+P.