Special of the Day: An Amazing Addition to the “Recipes to Remember Collection”

07 Apr Special of the Day: An Amazing Addition to the “Recipes to Remember Collection”

El Gaucho Béarnaise Sauce

El Gaucho Béarnaise Sauce

George-Sydne-food-300x204Some people pick up postcards or touristy t-shirts from places they visit to remember their trip.

As for me, the best brand of memento from a trip is a favorite recipe shared by a chef that can be replicated at home~ an edible souvenir to vicariously relive memorable moments of an amazing adventure.

Such was the scenario with our recent fantastic family weekend away in Seattle during which we were fortunate enough to enjoy an elegant evening out at El Gaucho (within walking distance of our waterfront hotel) our first night in Seattle. The steaks and flaming brochette were delectable, and it was all I could do not to spoon up the rest of the béarnaise sauce right out of its sauce boat and delight in its decadence all on its own.

Waking up the next morning reminiscing about our enjoyable El Gaucho experience, I felt compelled to email Cooper Mills, El Gaucho’s restaurant manager to thank him, hoping he might be so kind as to share the recipe for the béarnaise sauce. As luck would have it, he emailed right back, looping in his executive chef Matt Brandsey, who shortly thereafter graciously sent the recipe right along.

This amazing addition to the Recipes to Remember Collection will always remind me of our fun-filled family weekend away in Seattle to see the Maroon V concert that included catching up with college friends and their fabulous families, visiting my brother Kelly in Ballard, strolling through Pike Place Market, shopping downtown, doing the Great Wheel and the Space Needle, touring our daughters through the University of Washington’s Greek system and the Tri Delta house and stopping in at Dick’s on 45th for a nostalgic last hurrah. I am not sure we could have possibly packed one more pocket of fun into our four day getaway.

Revisiting my Recipes to Remember Collection, I ran across a few other favorites worth sharing along with El Gaucho’s Béarnaise Sauce.  With thanks to Cooper Mills and Executive Chef Matt Brandsey comes this week’s Special of the Day: An Amazing Addition to the Recipes to Remember Collection~ El Gaucho’s Béarnaise Sauce. Enjoy!

El Gaucho’s Béarnaise Sauce

Recipe courtesy of

Matthew Brandsey

Executive Chef

El Gaucho Seattle

It is a classic French sauce made from butter and egg yolks.  They trick is to not add the butter too fast otherwise it will break the sauce (fat will separate from the protein).


1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 egg yolks
1 stick butter, melted
Salt and pepper


Make the béarnaise reduction first. In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, shallots, vinegar and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Blend yolks and bearnaise reduction together. With the blender running, add 1/3 of the butter in a slow steady stream. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in a warm spot to hold the sauce.

Other Recipes to Remember to enjoy!

This luscious lettuce wrap recipe was inspired by Emeril Lagasse’s cooking demonstration at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic my mom and I were lucky enough to attend a few summers ago.

Louisiana Lettuce Wraps

Louisiana Lettuce Wraps

Louisiana Lettuce Wraps

Inspired by Emeril Lagasse

(makes 12 appetizers)

3 cups water

3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

24 large shrimp, thawed, shelled and deveined

4 cups water

2 cups ice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoons liquid crab boil

1 teaspoon salt

Bring 3 cups water, bay leaf, thyme and Cajun seasoning to a boil in a medium pot over medium heat.

Add shrimp and cook just until pink.

Do not overcook.

While shrimp are cooking, prepare ice bath by combining water, ice, lemon juice, crab boil and salt in a large bowl.

Stir to dissolve salt.

When shrimp are cooked, remove to ice bath to cool.

New Orleans-Style Remoulade Sauce

Inspired by Emeril Lagasse

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon green onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon whole grain mustard

¼ teaspoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon ketchup

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Dash of salt

Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks until thick and pale yellow.

Slowly drizzle in oils, beating to emulsify.

Fold in remaining ingredients.

Toss cooked shrimp in remoulade.

Place two shrimp in remoulade in butter lettuce leaf, roll and skewer with a toothpick.

Repeat to make 12 appetizers.

Garnish with additional parsley leaves, if desired.


This heavenly soufflé recipe souvenir hails from the mother-daughter cooking school weekend away my mom and I enjoyed at Ramekins in Sonoma.

Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflés

Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflés

Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Soufflés

Recipe by Pierre Lagourgue

3 tbsp. butter plus butter for coating ramekins

1 cup dry bread crumbs

3 tbsp. cake flour

1 cup milk

10 ounces goat cheese

3 egg yolks

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup egg whites (about 7 large)

Place rack I center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

Butter eight 5-ounce ramekins, making sure to coat them well. Fill each ramekin with the bread crumbs and then turn them over and tap out the excess. Reserve any remaining bread crumbs.

Melt the 3 tbsp. of butter in a stainless steel sauté pan over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 20 seconds, whisking constantly.

Whisk in the milk and cook for about one minute, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a thin pourable pudding.

Crumble 8 ounces of the cheese into a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot milk mixture over the goat cheese and mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.

Using an electric mixer with clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites.

Divide half of the soufflé mixture among the prepared ramekins, then top with the remaining soufflé mixture, dividing it equally.

Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over the top.

Place the ramekins in a large baking pan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This is called a bain Marie or water bath. Bake for 25 minutes or until the soufflés are golden.

Remove from the oven and let stand in the water bath, for 15 minutes. Using a towel to hold the ramekins, run a knife around the inside rim to loosen. Turn out the soufflés onto a baking sheet. The soufflés may be held at room temperature for up to six hours before the final baking.

When ready to serve, bake the soufflés in a 425 degree oven for five to seven minutes, until deep golden brown.

This Pommes Frites recipe comes from a delightful dining adventure at Bistronomic during a Heart of America trip to Chicago with my college friends.

Pommes Frites with Truffle Salt

Pommes Frites with Truffle Salt

Pommes Frites

Recipe from Chef Martial Noguier of Bistronomic in Chicago, Illinois

Use peanut oil.
Temperature should be at 260 degrees for 10 minutes.
Move them every 2 minutes.
After they are cooked at 340 degrees for 5 minutes use a tower to dry them.

Which is to say, for four servings:

(Additional notes by Sydne George)


3 medium-sized Idaho potatoes, washed and peeled

32-ounce bottle peanut oil

Truffle salt (available locally at Wines by Wednesday)


Cut peeled potatoes into uniform ½ thick slices.

Heat two medium saucepans, each with two inches of peanut oil in them.

Bring one pot of oil to 260 degrees and maintain temperature.

Bring the second pot of oil to 340 degrees and maintain temperature.

Cook potato slices in 260 degree oil for 10 minutes, moving them every two minutes with a slotted spoon.

Remove potatoes from 260 degree oil after 10 minutes and transfer to 340 degree oil, cooking for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from oil with slotted spoon and dry on cooling rack.

Toss with truffle salt and serve hot.


Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at https://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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