Churchmouse Altarmousefinal copyThis sauce is a great accompaniment to sautéed scallops, red snapper and stuffed squid (recipe appearing October 2, 2015).

I devised this last weekend and received several compliments.

You can buy truffle paste online here and here in the US and here in the UK. An 80g jar will last for three or four weeks provided you refrigerate it after opening. A little goes a long way. The only things it doesn’t go well with are pork and lamb.

British readers can buy one of the seasonings, Old Bay, here.

Notes:

1/ For best results, start the stock several hours ahead of time for a more intense flavour.

2/ Start the sauce with 2 tbsp each of flour and butter. If you need the 3rd tbsp, mix or rub the two together well to make a beurre manié which can be incorporated into the sauce without making it lumpy.

Churchmouse’s seafood truffle sauce

(prep time: 15 minutes; serves 6 to 8)

Ingredients:

Stock —

Shells and heads of six jumbo prawns (7″ — 18 cm — in length, head to tail); raw prawns are preferable

Water to cover

Salt

Sauce —

1 pint (approx. 1/2 l) stock

2 – 3 level tbsp flour

2 – 3 level tbsp butter

3 – 4 level tsp truffle paste

1 tsp garlic paste or 1 clove crushed garlic

Salt, cayenne pepper and Old Bay to season

Method:

1/ Remove the shells and heads from the prawns. Place everything in a saucepan that can hold  1 1/2 – 2 pints (.70 l to 1 l).

2/ Fill saucepan with water to just cover the shells and heads.

3/ Cook over medium to medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by 1″ (3 cm). This takes around 45 minutes.

4/ Salt the stock well. It should be flavoursome enough to enjoy on its own.

5/ Turn the heat off and let the stock sit for five hours. Leave the shells and heads in the pot.

6/ After five hours, strain the stock into a measuring jug. You should have nearly a pint (approx. 1/2 l) of liquid. Discard the shells and heads.

7/ Place 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp flour in the saucepan to make a roux. Stir and mix over medium heat until the flour is cooked. The roux will be slightly brown and bubbly when it’s done.

8/ Season the roux with garlic, salt, cayenne and Old Bay and stir well.

9/ Slowly, add the stock little by little. Stir continuously until the sauce is smooth.

10/ Leave the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom. This takes approximately 5 minutes. The sauce should not be too thick nor should it be too runny; it should have body and look like something you would find in a restaurant. If it is too thin, add the 3rd tbsp of butter and flour in the form of beurre manié (see Note 2 above). Stir well and let the sauce cook for a few minutes more.

11/ When the sauce is ready you can take it off the heat and cover it to warm up later. Alternatively, turn the heat down very low and add the truffle paste by the teaspoon, stirring well after each addition. Start with 3 tsp and taste. The sauce should not have an overpowering truffle taste but one that is half truffle, half prawn. If you need more, add the 4th tsp of truffle paste.

12/ Depending on what you are serving, spoon the sauce onto the plate or over the fish or seafood. For scallops and red snapper, I spoon the sauce on the plate then place the protein on top. When I’m serving stuffed squid, I pour the sauce over it for more colour.

13/ Any leftover sauce can be stored in a container (with lid) and refrigerated. Let it warm up to room temperature before reheating. After reheating, taste it before deciding to add another tsp of truffle paste.

(Graphics credit: Dr Gregory Jackson of Ichabod)

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