A few nights ago, I attempted a bechamel sauce for the second time and (gasp) didn’t destroy it! I used a different recipe than the one I used the first go-around. Though the recipes were very similar, there were a few slight differences between the two:
|Recipe 1||Recipe 2|
|1. Melt butter over medium-low heat||1. Melt butter over medium heat|
|2. Whisk in flour to creat a roux||2. Whisk in flour to create a roux|
|3. Add warm milk to roux and stir||3. Add cold milk to roux and stir|
|4. Stir frequently over medium-low heat for 5 minutes||4. Stir frequently over medium heat until thick and bubbly|
Once I had the “thick, bubbly” consistency the recipe called for, I added a boatload of mozzarella and turned the bechamel into a cream sauce that I poured over a bed of spaghetti, turkey kielbasa, and peas. Hooray for a decent meal!
Now that I know I can pull off a bechamel sauce, I’ve realized the doors that are open for me. When I couldn’t even make a simple white sauce, I felt limited by anything that involved sauces in general. I can only imagine what would become possible if I learned the other cooking “basics” that have always eluded my skills. I’ve done some reading and come up with a master list of the things I MUST learn about cooking before I continue down my experimental path of culinary destruction:
Of course, the list of things I can (eventually) learn is endless. But from what I understand, being able to do these things is a sure sign that a cook is ready to move on to things more complex. Two days ago, I had never even heard of “blanching.” Now, it’s a goal. A milestone.
Naturally, I am not entirely free of blonde moments in the kitchen this week. Just tonight, I chopped a jalapeno and, with the juices still on my hands, I licked my fingers and burnt the shiznit out of my lips. Rather than heading to the sink to wash my hands, I whined about it and proceeded to rub an itch in my eye. Nobody’s perfect, I guess…