Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pasta Bechemel

Pasta Bechemel
Originally uploaded by g_food.
To Long breaks, New beginings, Less Dishwashing and Emeril - I have conquered my Waterloo!

Hi folks! Its been a long time since I posted anything. I was a regular reader and commentor during this time. But somehow, posting effort. So I thought it would be better to wait until I was ready.

Whats been happening in the meantime? Tons and tons of cooking and exploring new territory. In fact I conquered one of my cooking Waterloo's -- white sauce. Thanks to Emeril for providing the inspiration and THE trick to get good Bechamel sauce everytime.

It began as a simple evening meal (which I also wanted to eat for a light-ish lunch). So I boiled some pasta and made some sauce. Excited by the success (!) I completely forgot about the vegetables. Routed around in the fridge for veggies (peppers, mushroons, zuchinni and garlic)......oh no! I would need another pot to saute them!

Inspiration in the form of an oven. I decided to roast the veggie in the oven and now I am not sure whether I will ever saute them again. So here's how it goes.


Red bell pepper--------------half, long slices
Mushrooms ------------------ 1 big portabella, long slices
Zuchinni ------------------------half, long slices.
Garlic ----------------------------3-4 cloves
And anything else you fancy. I tried this with red onions and that worked great too.

Lay out some foil on a baking tray. Put in the veggies, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Hold the foil like a sack and give a few shakes to distribute everything evenly. Then unfold the foil flat on the baking tray, put veggies in one layer. Pre-heated oven 400F, 10 minutes (sometimes 15). Thats it.


Milk+cream --------------- half cup (in any ratio that you want, can be 1:0)
AP Flour -------------------2-3 big spoons
Olive oil--------------------half tsp
Bay leaf -------------------1

1. Set the milk-cream mixture on low heat on one burner with the bay leaf in it.

2. On another burner, put the olive oil and the AP flour, and keep stirring the flour. Now according to Emeril, the time you do this varies with the kind of sauce you want. A 'blond' Bechamel roux will need 2 sips of wine/beer/water to get done (while the duration is a bottle of beer for a gumbo).

3. Now grab a WHISK -- nothing else will do. Steadily pour the warm milk-cream mixture into the flour, whisking continuously. Once fully incorporated you have ---------Bechamel!!!!

Put together:
Mix the sause with cooked pasta and your oven broiled veggies. Season carefully since you already seasoned the veggies. Some fresh basil and you are good to go.

FAQ: So WTF was it so hard for G to do all these years?
Ans: After many many trials with this method, I think there are 2 keys tips. First, the temperature of the milk-cream should be similar to that of the flour. If not............LUMPS! Secondly, only a WHISK can be used to make this. Believe me, a wide variety of kitchen instruments were tried and none worked. This was the first time that I had an actual, legit excuse to buy one more kitchen thingie!

Btw, the creation was so good that I was able to circumvent my natural tendency to "Indianify" -- no cumin, dry red chillies, green chilliesm Maggie hot and sweet etc.

My exploration has now taken me into Oriental territory. Inspired by Barbara of Tigers and Strawberries (as well as by the bottle of MSG that I smuggled in from India), I have been trying out Chinese dishes.

Oh and btw, MSG..........not so bad. Latest research says so, NYT said so and Mom (scientist) said so.


Coffee said...

Hi G.... good to see you back :)
Welcome to the land of chinkies!!!! :) Nice one there. :)

Hope to see more from you. :)

FH said...

Thank God you didn't Indianify!!:)))

Looks great and as Italian food should be.
I have seen sauce made with Rasam pd!!;P
Glad you are back:)