For the last few years, my husband and I have chosen to cook at home for occasions such as Valentine’s Day and our anniversary. It’s a choice to save money, but is also motivated by the fact that we’re getting pretty good at fixing a great meal ourselves. It often seems to us that at home we can match or surpass the quality of the food we would get in a nice restaurant, and the really nice restaurants whose quality we can’t (yet) equal just put too big of a hole in our pocket. And let’s face it, a bottle of wine with dinner at home is much cheaper than a pricey glass or two with that restaurant meal. Besides, my philosophy of wine with food is that when the glass is empty, the meal is over.
This Valentine’s day at Café Garcia, my husband was the executive chef and I was the pastry chef for our meal. For the entrée, my husband came up with a white wine cashew cream sauce to complement the broiled sea bass and sautéed scallops, accompanied by asparagus and a blend of brown and wild rice. The meal was excellent, and the sauce had a very nice depth of flavor from the wine and earthiness of the turmeric.
If you have the cashew cream already made, the sauce is a very simple thing to put together. It’s super versatile and can be drizzled over or mixed into whatever you desire. It’s open to interpretation as well, so you can change it up with different spices or herbs if you want. The idea is that it replaces the use of heavy dairy cream in making a sauce, and does it very well.
White Wine Cashew Cream Sauce
1 cup cashew cream
1/2 cup white wine
1 chicken bullion cube, crushed, or 1 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Organic Chicken base
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peel the skin off garlic clove, cut off woody stem end, and mince finely. Then sprinkle a couple of generous pinches of salt over the garlic, and using the side of a wide knife (a chef’s knife works well), smash the salt into the garlic, creating a paste.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the white wine, chicken bullion, turmeric and garlic paste. Warm over medium heat until ingredients are well-combined and fragrant, just before the mixture starts to simmer.
Put cashew cream into a medium bowl. Pour white wine mixture into cashew cream, a little at a time to temper the cream, and whisk together until incorporated. Add salt.
Place sauce in a blender and blend on high until smooth. If sauce needs warmed before serving, it can be heated over very low heat on the stove or in the microwave. If warming on the stove, watch carefully as the cream may separate if over-heated.
Use as a finishing sauce on your favorite entrée.
Makes a little over 1 cup