Cascading Kitchen Notes
This recipe, without calling it such, makes a roux. It is essentially flour fried in butter. When thinned with milk, cream or stock it becomes the base for many sauces. Roux in French is "reddish brown" or "beurre roux" or browned butter. In its most simple form it is equal parts flour and a fat cooked over low heat:
In a large, heavy frying pan melt together:
- 1/2 cube of butter
- 3 Tbs olive oil
Be careful not to use high heat or you’ll burn the butter.
Once it has melted and warmed add:
- 1/2 cup flour
Use a wire whip to break up and separate the flour lumps. Stir constantly.
The flour needs to cook in the butter and oil without burning. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes.
Turnips, Carrots & Greens Béchamel Casserole
Prepare the "Roots"
Cut the carrots and turnips into approximately 1/2" chunks.
- 1 lb carrots,
- 1 bunch of turnips (1 lb)
Steam for 5 minutes. Turn out into a bowl to cool.
Prepare the Greens
Cut greens (up to 2 bunches of any kind) in chiffonade style, removing stem where appropriate and drop directly into the water in the same pot you steamed the veggies. (remove the steam basket of course)
Cook for 3 minutes and then pull them out to cool in a bowl.
Prepare the Sauce in a large sauté pan:
- Melt 1 cube of butter
- 1 med. size onion-diced
Gently cook the onion over med-low heat until very tender. Do not brown the onion. Be patient, this could take 15 min.
Once the onions are cooked add:
- 3 cloves garlic-minced
- ¼ tsp dried thyme or ½ tsp fresh thyme
Cook another 5 minutes to mellow the flavor over low, being careful not to burn the garlic.
In a separate bowl measure out:
- ¼ cup white flour
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (more if you’re a fan of nutmeg)
- 1/8 tsp. chipotle pepper if you like a little spice in your béchamel
Once the onion and garlic are soft and smell sweet add the dry ingredients listed above.
Cook on medium heat and stir for about 5 minutes until the flour mixture starts to look golden but NOT dark brown.
Stirring constantly with a wire whisk slowly add:
- 2 cups of whole milk
Cook until the white sauce (béchamel) thickens-stirring constantly.
- 2 cups of grated cheese (Use Fontina for something very special, or use what you have on hand.)
Once the cheese has melted fold all of the prepared veggies into the sauce.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350° for 45 minutes until bubbly.
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Option: For a special treat you can add buttered bread crumbs on top before baking. Cover with foil the first 30 min.