Michel Guérard’s Nouvelle Tomato Béarnaise Sauce

Delicious as these emulsion sauces are, calorie-conscious readers often ask whether there is a way of making them with less saturated fat.

Michel Guérard was the first great chef to address the area of healthy eating, with low-calorie gourmet food at his hotel attached to the health spa at Eugénie-les-Bains in South-west France, and this is his diet version of béarnaise sauce.

Ingredients

  • 60 g/ 2 oz shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • about 6 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml/ fl oz chicken stock
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp chopped chervil
  • salt

Method

Put the chopped shallots in a small saucepan with the chopped tarragon, crushed peppercorns and white wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce, stirring, to a moist purée. Sieve to remove the pepper and return to the pan.

Blanch, peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes to produce 200 g/ 7 oz of pulp. Boil this down in a second pan until the liquid has almost evaporated.

Add the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of water to the shallot reduction and whisk over a moderate heat until you have the consistency of a creamy mousse, with each stroke of the whisk leaving its trace on the bottom of the pan.

Remove from the heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil in a thin stream, whisking in. Then slowly add the chicken stock, whisking all the time. Stir in the cooked tomato pulp, tomato purée, chopped chervil and season with a little salt to taste.

Keep warm and serve with all kinds of grilled meat, chicken and fish.

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