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jdanton

Sauce Raifort

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I saw a dish on the menu at Per Se the other day, that I wanted to try and replicate at (I stalk their menu--I don't dine there very often). Anyway, the dish was a grilled Spanish mackerel with sauce raifort.

I managed to grill the mackerel just fine, but I wasn't thrilled with my sauce.

Most of the decent recipes I found were in French, which was not an issue, but not being a mother sauce, they were inconsistent. I started out by making a basic bechamel, and infusing some freshly grated horseradish (which had itself been soaking in white wine vinegar). I blended, strained and reduced.

The sauce wasn't a disaster or anything (it tasted fine), but the punch from the horseradish was less than I would have liked with the mackerel.

Any ideas on how to increased the punchiness of the sauce? I used a lot of horseradish--I didn't measure, but ~1 cup in 2 cups of bechamel.

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Well, I've never made this type of sauce before. But I wouldn't cook the horseradish...when it is time I would just grate it in. Or, do it like you did but grate some fresh horseradish in there at the end. The more you cook it the less pungent it is going to be...most common preps. that have horseradish in it have uncooked horseradish (think cocktail sauce, etc).

Also, to be honest, I can't imagine that Per Se did a "classic" sauce like you did. The idea of per se using a bechemel sauce for anything is laughable. More than likely they did one of their re-inventions of it, and made a different style horseradish sauce for the mackerel.

Good Luck.

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Horseradish sauce sounds good to me, and I've never seen a recipe for it before. So I checked a couple of my cookbooks, and found two recipes in The Cook's Book. The first is simply a Bearnaise variation with an addition of horseradish. The other involves soaking breadcrumbs in milk, squeezing out the excess, and adding them to a mixture of freshly grated horseradish, vinegar and mustard. That mixture is then folded into lightly whipped cream. If you want the exact proportions, PM me and I can send them along.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I think you might want to try something a bit tangy with fish, particularly a more oily fish like spanish mackerel. Crême fraîche or sour cream with grated horseradish + salt and pepper and maybe even a few drops of lemon juice. If you want your sauce to taste more like horseradish, just add more of it. If you want a hot sauce, you should now that Crême fraîche can be brought to fairly high temperature without breaking, something you can't do with sour cream unless you add starch or use a similar trick.

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Could the vinegar you soaked the horseradish in be the culprit?

I've read that horseradish "heat" comes from an enzyme reaction that begins when the cells are crushed. Vinegar stops this reaction. So, soak your grated horseradish in vinegar immediately after grating to preserve a mild flavor. Or, let it sit for a few minutes before adding the vinegar to let it get more pungent.

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Could the vinegar you soaked the horseradish in be the culprit?

I've read that horseradish "heat" comes from an enzyme reaction that begins when the cells are crushed.  Vinegar stops this reaction.  So, soak your grated horseradish in vinegar immediately after grating to preserve a mild flavor.  Or, let it sit for a few minutes before adding the vinegar to let it get more pungent.

I have to agree with Bridgestone here. The references I have for this sauce is that the horseradish is added directly to the bechemel, then the result is strained through a tamis, then added to a cream/egg liaison.

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Could the vinegar you soaked the horseradish in be the culprit?

I've read that horseradish "heat" comes from an enzyme reaction that begins when the cells are crushed.  Vinegar stops this reaction.  So, soak your grated horseradish in vinegar immediately after grating to preserve a mild flavor.  Or, let it sit for a few minutes before adding the vinegar to let it get more pungent.

I have to agree with Bridgestone here. The references I have for this sauce is that the horseradish is added directly to the bechemel, then the result is strained through a tamis, then added to a cream/egg liaison.

Thanks--this was exactly what I was looking for..

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