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Vanilla veloute (to go with seabass)

January 24, 2012


In the Chef world, a well known combination this one, almost a classic some would say. Others turn their nose up at it or maybe haven’t heard about it but none the less, well worthy of a post in my opinion.. many things out there are the basis of a love/hate relationship, marmite and brussel sprouts being instant ones that comes to mind! Perhaps this belongs there too but in my book a lovely touch of luxury to seabass 🙂

Anyway, on with the recipe, it’s simple in execution and very delicate and refined in flavour so don’t go thinking vanilla ice cream strength, or a heady vanilla perfume cos it’s not like that.. subtlety is the key with this one, why not see for yourself. I hope you enjoy!

Recipe – makes 750ml/10 x main course portions

  • 10 banana shallots, peeled and sliced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 750ml dry white wine
  • 750ml fish stock, preferably home made, my recipe to follow..
  • 1 fresh vanilla pod, split in 2, scrape the seeds, keep the husk
  • 750ml cream
  • fine salt


  • Place shallots, garlic and white wine in a pan. (No need to sweat them in oil first)
  • Bring to boil and reduce the wine until just 2 tablespoons left
  • Add fish stock and reduce by 1/3 – 1/2. Taste as you reduce so you get a feel for the strength of flavour to the finished sauce. It should be reasonably strong of fish stock before adding the cream
  • Add the cream and bring to boil
  • Add the 1/2 the vanilla seeds and turn down to a simmer.
  • Add salt to taste. the vanilla strength at this point should be present but subtle. You can always add the other half if you feel it needs more
  • Simmer for just 10 mins, then strain through a fine strainer into a clean container. Discard the strained shallots etc and place the sauce in the fridge after an hour if not using straight away
  • To re heat and serve the sauce, I like to froth it up using a bamix to produce a cappuccino effect then serve with the fish as demonstrated in this picture from a previous post of mine but this is not essential


Chef’s tip

  • The sauce will keep well in the fridge for 5 days
  • Vanilla is added to the boiling cream, rather than cold as there is an enzyme present in dairy milk that reduces the strength of the vanilla flavour if added to a cold preparation first, but when added to a hot preparation, the enzyme is killed in the heating process so you get more flavour for your money or can use less vanilla if that makes sense.
  • The base of the sauce including the reduced fish stock stage can be frozen. Then when needed to use, remove from freezer, defrost, then add cream and continue from there.
  • The empty vanilla husk can be used for various things, they can be added to castor sugar to infuse to make vanilla sugar for desserts. They can be added to milk to make a creme anglaise or an ice cream. They can be dried out as a garnish to a dish. (not edible tho, just aesthetic)


Happy cooking all!

"herdy gurdy.. herdy gurdy..!"






From → Recipes

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  1. Fish stock « Chef-eye's Blog

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