Hi, ladies. Welcome to day 5 of 30 Days of Creativity.
Have you seen Ratatouille yet? We saw it last Sunday afternoon. It's a sweet and beautiful movie. I hope you can go see it. You don't need to take a kid. :)
My mom gave me a sound education in French cooking. I am so thankful for it. Too often, I am not in love with cooking, because it becomes an unloving rush to plop something edible on the table.
But when I can take my time, like my mom taught me, and assemble my ingredients, and shoo everyone out of the kitchen (she didn't shoo me out, but I have to shoo people out because I can't concentrate), and stand over the stove and taste and touch and smell, then cooking magically becomes one of my very favorite creative endeavours.
I thought today we'd make a roux. I guess most of you can already make a roux. If you can't, it's a good thing to learn. A roux is the basis for thousands of different sauces, is very simple to learn, and will make you feel good. It's just a blend of butter and flour. When you add liquid it becomes thickened and smooth, and you get your sauce.
(It goes without saying that "butter" means "butter" in a roux. No margarine!)
Here is a recipe from my friend Trace P. She is a wonderful cook. This is a roux-based chicken casserole. If you did not know what a roux was, you would not even know you were making a roux-based sauce, but you are making a roux when you melt the butter and flour and add the cream and broth.
If you do not mess this up, it is delicious. :D
(This is not diet food.)
1 lb. egg noodles
1 cup parmesan cheese, divided
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups (15 oz. can) chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken, roughly shredded
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Boil the noodles 2 minutes less than the package directions.
- Drain and toss with 3/4 cup of the parmesan and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large sauce pan and add the flour, stirring constantly.
- Cook 2-3 minutes on low heat.
- Gradually stir in the cream and broth, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
- Add the chicken and cook 1 more minute.
- Beat 1/4 cup of the heated sauce into the egg yolks*, then return the egg mixture to the chicken mixture.
- Stir briskly for 1 minute, remove from heat, and add salt to taste.
- Pour over the noodles.
- Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup parmesan and bake 20-30 minutes.
*Don't skip this bit. It's called tempering the eggs. If you add the egg mixture directly to the chicken without first adding the 1/4 c. sauce to the eggs, the eggs will scramble. Yuck.