To make beurre blanc, Chef Dan Fluharty instructs, "you have to pat your head and rub your belly."
The age-old motor-skills coordination game for kids works for we adults learning to be chefs at the California Culinary Academy. For one must do the equivalent to have a chance at getting beurre blanc right.
Beurre blanc requires that after the wine, wine vinegar and shallot reduction, introduction of cold butter followed immediately and continuously by a to-and-fro motion with the sauté pan across the stove burner and a simultaneous round-and-round stirring of the pan's contents with a spatula. That brings about the desired emulsifying of the butter with the flavorful parts of the reduction, and it is the essence of beurre blanc.
The pat-head, rub-belly coordination has become an apt metaphor for the multi-tasking it takes to handle the jobs in a commercial kitchen -- or any kitchen, for that matter.
"You are learning how to cook, how to be cooks ... ," Chef Dan said. "You have to do five or six things at once."
(Photo credit: www.gamerevolution.com)