Friday, May 20, 2011


Set amongst the fine-dining of New York City, No Reservations is a story about the classic Type A, uptight, professional chef whose world gets turned upside down when she meets the right guy and inherits full custody of her niece upon her sister's death.

Catherine Zeta Jones plays Kate, one of New York City's hottest chefs whose star is on  the rise, that is until she inherits her sister's daughter Zoe after a fatal car accident. Kate must now deal with balancing life as a single mom and a superstar chef, while learning that life sometimes requires improvising recipes.

With the help of her protoge Nick, played by Aaron Eckhart, Kate learns to loosen up her kitchen and her life and allow for flavors she never knew she was missing.

Kate's claim to fame in the film is her truffle sauce. Although we're never privy to the actual recipe, our Yumologists have found one from Avalon Wine that we think will hold up to Kate's:

Avalon Wine Truffle Sauce

1 leek (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped
1 3/4 cups finely chopped shallot (10 oz)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups dry white wine
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/4 oz black truffles, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups heavy cream (can use less or substitute a lighter milk depending upon diet)
1/4 teaspoon black or white truffle oil, or to taste

  • Wash chopped leek in a bowl of cold water, then lift out and drain (do not pat dry).
  • Steam leek, shallot, and garlic in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  • Add wine, thyme, and truffles and boil, uncovered, until most of liquid is evaporated, about 12 minutes.
  • Add stock and boil until reduced to about 2 cups, about 25 minutes.
  • Stir in cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 2 3/4 cups, about 40 minutes.
  • Pour mixture through a fine sieve into another saucepan, pressing on and discarding solids.
  • Whisk in truffle oil and season with salt and pepper.
Notes: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat over low heat, stirring. Freeze any remaining sauce for another use. Makes about 2 cups. Takes an hour and a half to slice and dice, cook it down and strain it. You could add a few tablespoons Marsala wine to the white wine in this recipe. A cup of veal demi-glaze could be substituted for a cup of the white wine.

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