Lemon Butter Sauce
Lemon butter sauce is a good alternative for those who want flavor without the calories of cream sauces. By taking the richness of butter and combining it with lemon, the flavor is tart but not overly so. This makes this type of sauce very versatile, as well as simple. Partnering well with chicken and seafood, it has a place in many different recipes.
As the most basic lemon butter sauce is a simple combination of lemon and butter to taste, it is extremely simple to make. Melt the butter and combine the lemon and use immediately. If you make large batches, you can refrigerate the leftover lemon butter sauce and warm before serving.
For those who want something extra to their lemon butter sauce, there are many ingredients that partner well with both butter and lemon. You can use one or a combination of any of the following ingredients to create different variants of the sauce.
Lemon butter sauce is very versatile, although it is most commonly used with fish and other seafood. It does not make a good long term marinade, as the butter will harden, especially when the ration of lemon to butter is low. However, it is not uncommon for lemon butter sauce to be used as a short term marinade.
Lemon butter sauce shines when used as a dipping sauce or a topping for fish and shrimp. When used with fish, it is often paired with garlic or basil, as these herbs allow the flavor of the fish to come through without being overwhelmed. Mild peppers also tend to be used with fish for this same reason. For shrimp, hot spices, garlic and a wide range of herbs are commonly used, as shrimp can be accented with stronger flavors in dipping sauces.
Due to the high citric content of lemons, lemon butter sauce can be stored and reused. However, lemon butter sauce can only be reheated several times before the butter will separate. While this is an aesthetics issue rather than a health issue, it is often suggested that the sauce is disposed of once the butter has begun to separate.
It is important that lemon butter sauce be refrigerated or frozen if it will not be used immediately. Despite the high citric content, many of the herbs, as well as the butter itself, is prone to decomposing if left on the counter. It should not be allowed to stand on the counter for very long.