Monday, 21 April 2008

Getting Saucy!

It's been a while since I blogged, chiefly because my parents visited and I wanted to spend time with them. However, now we're back in business! Still going with the plan-ahead weekly menus and I have to tell you, it really does make life easier, not having to hear that daily whinge of "what's for dinner?" with no definite answer to give. It makes the weekly food shopping easier, if I don't have to 'guess-timate' what food we might eat during the course of the week. It certainly saves money, plus it avoids the guilt of impulse-buying food that might get thrown away because it goes off before we get around to eating it.

Tonight we started with a simple platter of ham and mozzarella with French bread and basil oil, which I make by whizzing a bit of pesto (from a jar) with some olive oil. This is one of those really easy first courses that is always well-received but which takes (relatively speaking) no work at all. You could, depending on your constituency, add a few olives to the plate. As the only keen olive-eater in the house, though, I don't bother and just snaffle a few while I'm cooking.

Afterwards, we left the bread on the table as an accompaniment to our main course of Broccoli Cheese, to mop up every last scrap of the tasty sauce. I've mentioned the all-in-one method of sauce-making before, but it deserves a repeat entry; discovering it revolutionised the way I cook and for that I thank Saint Delia. And for the top of the broccoli (or cauliflower, for that matter) cheese, please consider using a 50/50 mixture of grated cheese and fresh breadcrumbs. Such a lovely crunch.

Basic All-in-One White Sauce

40g butter
40g cornflour
1 pint milk
1 tsp mustard (if you're making a cheese sauce)


grated cheese or chopped fresh parsley (for cheese sauce or parsley sauce respectively)
grated nutmeg (if it's to be a plain white sauce)

Bung everything into a pan and bring it to the boil, whisking all the time. Simmer briefly, to thicken the sauce and cook out any floury taste remaining, then flavour if necessary (with grated cheese, chopped parsley or whatever). Bada-bing, bada-boom!

Go forth and make sauce...

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