Monday, 13 May 2013

Sorrel Sauce for Chicken, Fish or Eggs

Here's more sorrel, in a very simple but classic sauce. It goes together very quickly; you can prepare all the sauce ingredients while the chicken, fish or eggs cook. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes, pasta or even toast (the eggs in particular), and enjoy the light lemony taste of spring. 

4 servings  
30 minutes prep time, including cooking the chicken etc.

Cook the Chicken, Fish or Eggs:
4 medium (700 grams or 1 1/2 pounds) skinless boneless chicken breasts
OR 4 fillets (700 grams or 1 1/2 pounds) whitefish fillets
OR 8 large eggs
a little mild vegetable oil if needed

Simply broil or pan-fry the chicken or fish fillets, using a bit of oil to keep them from sticking as needed. Fish should be cooked within 10 minutes, and chicken within 20 minutes; turn when half done. When they are done, remove them to a hot serving plate, and keep them warm until the sauce is poured over.

If you wish to serve eggs instead, poach them to your liking. Follow the directions here, or drop them into a pot of just-bubbling water to which a tablespoon of vinegar has been added, and poach for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on how firm you want them.

Make the Sauce:
2 shallots
OR a handful of shallot, chive or wild leek greens
2 cups loosely packed sorrel leaves
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or other fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh black pepper to taste

Peel the shallots, if using, and chop them roughly. Otherwish wash and trim the shallot, chive or wild leek greens, and chop them roughly. Wash the sorrel and drain it well, and break off any tough stems (most of them). Put the shallots or other allium greens into a food processor with the sorrel, and process until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Mix the arrowroot or cornstarch into the buttermilk until completely lump free, and set this aside. 

Melt the butter in a skillet - if you have cooked the fish or chicken in it, and there is some fat left in it you can use that instead or as part of your cooking fat - and when it begins to sizzle add the contents of the food processor. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 or 3 minutes, until the sorrel changes colour to a faded khaki green. Season it with the salt and a few good grinds of pepper while it cooks.

At this point, slowly mix in the buttermilk, stirring well as you add it. Once it is all in, continue to cook and stir until the whole mixture is hot and bubbly, and thickens slightly, about 1 or 2 minutes. The whole time to cook the sauce shouldn't be more than 3 or 4 minutes. Pour it over the hot, cooked chicken, fish or eggs and serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Palak Alu (Saag Aloo).

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