McCormick & Schmick’s Northwest Berry Sauce
Yield: 2 cups
1 1⁄2 cups frozen, mixed berries
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄4 cup white wine
1⁄4 cup white vinegar
1 large chopped shallot (or 2 tablespoons chopped onion)
4 to 5 whole black peppercorns
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 pound very cold butter, cut into 1⁄2 inch cubes
Place the berries in a sauce pan with 1⁄4 cup water and simmer on low heat until berries are mush and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
While the berries are cooking, place the white wine, the vinegar, the shallots, peppercorns and heavy cream into another sauce pan. Reduce the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency of corn syrup. Strain out the shallots and peppercorns. Strain the berry mixture into wine mixture and discard the berry solids. Remove the mixture form heat and whisk, adding the butter 2 to 3 cubes at a time.
Epicurean Traveler’s low fat version:
We used blueberries (didn’t have mixed berries), but used blood orange vinegar instead of white vinegar (for another fruit flavor). We left out the cream and butter as too artery clogging. Both mixture were cooked together, reduced, then pressed through a chinois. The resulting berry sauce was both delicious and non-fat.
We often pair salmon with Pinot Noir, but in this instance we paired it with Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Pinot Gris, which served as an ideal accompaniment.
Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris, $15:
This is as close to an Alsatian style Pinot Gris as I’ve ever come across in the New World, and it’s glorious. For the technically minded, it’s a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and a tiny drop of Muscat (all fermented and aged sur lees in stainless), and a drop of Auxerrois (fermented in one-year-old French oak). For those of you only concerned with flavor, you’ll be well rewarded with this superbly balanced, aromatic Pinot Gris. It displays bright honeydew and Bosc pear fruit, with minerality on the mid-palate and a subtle herbal note that’s typical of the variety. It’s silky, with crisp acidity and a lingering spicy finish. A great value and a tonic to those who are tired of fat Chardonnays and thin Pinot Grigios.