The wee little John/Julia experiment continued this evening, with beurre au citron, a member of the "Hot Butter Sauces" family. To make beurre au citron, you reduce 1/4-cup of lemon juice, slowly whisk in a stick of cold butter one tablespoon at a time, and then beat in a bit of hot fish or vegetable stock at the end.
I had thought that sort of a lemon-butter sauce might go nicely over a nice slab of salmon, perhaps some pork cutlets, or maybe even some grilled tuna steaks. But we didn't have any of those things. I had a can of clams and some leftover asparagus that had been kicking around in the fridge for a few days. But I reckoned I could sautée the asparagus with an onion and some canned mushrooms, the clam juice could fill the "fish stock" role at the end of the beurre au citron recipe, we could serve the whole kit and kaboodle over some pasta, and we could call it dinner. And that way, I'd have given beurre au citron a whirl, and we could figure out what to do with it on another night, once we knew what we had.
It turns out that beurre au citron doesn't really need much more than an old can o'clams to be delicious.
Yeah, it was yummy. I mean, I expected it to be good, but it was really delicious. The sauce was creamy and tart, the sautéed veggies mixed in nicely, the flavors were light and complex, and ... frankly, the whole thing was just ridiculously good. And easy.
Oh yes, we're going to do beurre au citron again. Oh yes we will.
And if you're wondering, yes, Katie the Beagle does find clams with beurre au citron to be an acceptable post-dinner treat.