Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sauce Veloute and MtAoFC

look, no lumps in my sauce!

I also bought the classic Julia Child cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking (MtAoFC). It unexpectedly got pressed into service for lunch when I was wondering what sauce I could serve with pasta, since we did not have any tomatoes on hand. Following Julia's instructions to the letter, the end-result was jaw-droppingly good for something so dead easy and fast (it takes all of 5 minutes). I have listed the recipe below for W's benefit, in case she is wondering what to cook for dinner (if you are wondering why I am up so late, I was rushing out those darned minutes!)

Simple Sauce Bechamel / Sauce Veloute, makes 2 cups

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk and 1/4 tsp salt heated to boil in small saucepan OR 2 cups boiling chicken / fish / clam stock (I used a mixture of scallop concentrate diluted with hot water, and some milk).
1 cup = 240ml

In a saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Blend in the flour, and cook slowly, stirring until the butter and flour froth together for 2 min without colouring. This is now a white roux.

Remove roux from heat. As soon as it has stopped bubbling, pour in all the hot liquid at once. Immediately beat vigourously with a wire whip to blend liquid and roux. Set saucepan over moderately high heat and stir with wire whip until sauce comes to boil. Boil for 1 min, stirring.

Remove from heat and beat in salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over chicken, fish, pastas, or use as a base for another recipe (a sauce bechamel is the base that is used for mac & cheese).

Note: Liquid to be poured into the roux must be very hot i.e. near boiling point. This will prevent lumps from forming. Variations of this highly versatile sauce - suggestions are to add cheese; onions; or fresh / dried herbs.

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