Sauce Essentials: Lemon/Butter Sauce

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

This is and extremely easy sauce to put together, and works well with most types of fish and seafood. I would go so far as to say it is a standard in the industry. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves several
prep time 10 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Stove Top


  •   3/4 c
    crisp white wine, (sauvignon blanc, or chardonnay)
  •   1 medium
    shallot, finely diced, about 2 tablespoons
  •   1 medium
    lemon, quartered, and then cut the quarters in half
  •   1/4 c
    heavy or whipping cream
  •   8 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted, cut into cubes, and kept cold optional items
  •   1 clove
    garlic, minced
  •   1/2 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground
  •   1 Tbsp
    fresh parsley, finely chopped

How To Make

  • 1
  • 2
    Gather your ingredients.
  • 3
    Place the wine, shallot, and the lemon into a saucepan over medium heat.
  • 4
    Chefs Note: If you are using the optional garlic, and/or white pepper, add them now.
  • 5
    Allow the mixture to brightly simmer, until the liquid is reduced by three quarters, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 6
    Chef's Note: Concerning lemon pith. The pith is the inner layer of a lemon, under the yellow surface. Some lemons have a lot more pith than others. You should select a lemon with the least amount of pith.
  • 7
    Chef’s Note: While the sauce is simmering, do not press against the lemons; let them release their juice naturally. If you press against the lemons it will make the sauce bitter.
  • 8
    Remove from the heat, and strain out the solids.
  • 9
    Return the liquid to the saucepan, and reduce the heat to low.
  • 10
    Add the butter, two cubes at a time, until the sauce begins to thicken, and the butter is incorporated into the liquid.
  • 11
    Whisk in the cream, and then season to taste, if necessary.
  • 12
    Chef’s Note: If you are using the parsley, whisk it in with the cream.
  • 13
    Keep warm, until ready to serve.
  • 14
    Chef’s Tip: I find, depending on the lemon I use, that it sometimes need a bit more lemon flavor, so I might add some additional lemon juice.
  • 15
  • 16
    Serve with just about any type of fish or seafood, drizzle on top, or place some on a plate, and place the seafood on top. Enjoy.
  • 17
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking

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