Have you ever heard of Bienville sauce?
This traditional New Orleans sauce is a staple in the city’s cuisine and is often used in dishes like Oysters Bienville.
But what exactly is it, and what does it taste like?
In this article, we’ll explore the flavors and ingredients that make up this delicious sauce.
From shrimp and mushrooms to a roux with butter and Parmesan cheese, Bienville sauce is a unique blend of flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
So, let’s dive in and discover the taste of Bienville sauce!
What Does Bienville Sauce Taste Like?
Bienville sauce is a rich and creamy sauce that is often described as having a savory and slightly sweet taste. The sauce is made with a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat that is cooked until it turns brown. This gives the sauce a nutty and slightly caramelized flavor.
The sauce also contains shrimp, mushrooms, bell peppers, sherry, and Parmesan cheese. These ingredients add depth and complexity to the sauce, creating a delicious blend of flavors.
The shrimp in the sauce provide a subtle seafood flavor that is not overpowering. The mushrooms add an earthy and meaty taste, while the bell peppers provide a slight sweetness and crunch.
The sherry in the sauce adds a hint of sweetness and acidity, which helps to balance out the richness of the other ingredients. Finally, the Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor that ties everything together.
What Is Bienville Sauce?
Bienville sauce is a classic condiment in Creole cuisine that is named after Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, a French explorer who established the first settlement in what is now Louisiana. This sauce is typically made with butter, cream, and a variety of seasonings, including shrimp, mushrooms, bell peppers, sherry, and Parmesan cheese.
The sauce is often served over seafood dishes, particularly oysters. It is commonly used as a topping for baked oysters in a dish called Oysters Bienville, which is a traditional New Orleans cuisine. The sauce can also be used as a dip for shrimp or other seafood.
The History Of Bienville Sauce
Bienville sauce is a key component of the famous New Orleans dish, Oysters Bienville. The dish was named after Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the French governor of Louisiana and founder of New Orleans. The origins of the sauce itself are not clearly documented, but it is believed to have been created in the late 1800s or early 1900s by chefs in New Orleans.
The sauce was likely influenced by French cuisine, which heavily influenced the food culture in New Orleans. French sauces such as béchamel and velouté were already popular in the city, and Bienville sauce may have been a variation on these classic sauces.
Over time, the recipe for Bienville sauce has evolved and been adapted by different chefs and restaurants in New Orleans. Today, it is a signature dish at many of the city’s renowned restaurants, including Antoine’s and Arnaud’s.
Despite its rich history, Bienville sauce remains a relatively unknown sauce outside of New Orleans cuisine. However, its unique blend of flavors and rich history make it a must-try for anyone visiting the city or looking to explore the diverse flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine.
Ingredients In Bienville Sauce
Bienville sauce is a complex and flavorful sauce that requires several ingredients to achieve its delicious taste. Here are the key ingredients that make up this savory sauce:
– Roux: A mixture of flour and fat that is cooked until it turns brown, giving the sauce a nutty and slightly caramelized flavor.
– Shrimp: Provides a subtle seafood flavor that complements the other ingredients in the sauce.
– Mushrooms: Add an earthy and meaty taste to the sauce.
– Bell peppers: Provide a slight sweetness and crunch, balancing out the rich flavors of the other ingredients.
– Sherry: Adds a hint of sweetness and acidity to the sauce, helping to balance out the richness of the other ingredients.
– Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty and nutty flavor that ties everything together and enhances the overall taste of the sauce.
When combined, these ingredients create a rich and creamy sauce that is full of flavor and perfect for enhancing the taste of seafood dishes.
How To Make Bienville Sauce
To make Bienville sauce, start by making a roux. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan and whisk in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it turns a light brown color.
Next, add 2 cups of heavy cream and 1 cup of chicken stock to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
Add 1 diced medium onion, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1 diced red bell pepper, 1 diced rib of celery, and 1 1/2 cups of chopped mushrooms to the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Finally, add 1/2 pound of shrimp and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of sherry (optional).
The result is a delicious Bienville sauce that can be served over seafood, pasta, or vegetables. Enjoy the rich and complex flavors that this sauce has to offer!
Dishes That Use Bienville Sauce
Bienville sauce is a versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes. One popular dish that uses Bienville sauce is Oysters Bienville, a traditional New Orleans cuisine. The baked oysters are topped with the shrimp sauce made with Bienville sauce, creating a rich and decadent appetizer.
Another dish that uses Bienville sauce is Shrimp Bienville, which features sautéed shrimp in the same savory and creamy sauce. The dish is often served over rice or with toasted bread, allowing the sauce to soak into every bite.
Catfish fillets can also be served with Bienville sauce, as seen in a recipe that involves cooking bacon, onion, and Creole seasoning until the bacon is light brown. Butter and flour are added to create a smooth paste, followed by milk and cheese to make the sauce. The catfish fillets are then served with the Bienville sauce on top.
Pairing Bienville Sauce With Wine
When it comes to pairing wine with Bienville sauce, it’s important to consider the rich and complex flavors of the sauce. A full-bodied white wine such as a Chardonnay or Viognier would pair well with the creamy and savory notes of the sauce. The buttery and oaky flavors of a Chardonnay would complement the nutty undertones of the roux, while the fruity and floral notes of a Viognier would balance out the sweetness of the bell peppers and sherry.
For those who prefer red wine, a Pinot Noir or a light-bodied red blend would be a good choice. The light tannins and fruity flavors of a Pinot Noir would pair well with the delicate seafood flavor of the shrimp, while a red blend with notes of black cherry and spice would complement the earthy taste of the mushrooms.