Monday, December 22, 2014

Bechamel to the Rescue.

This weekend was pretty bananas. On Friday, I planned a work pot luck and white elephant party. Usually what happens is if I let the monkeys on their own, we would end up with a table full of chips and salsa.  So everything was assigned. I assigned myself mac and cheese and a chicken pot pie. Also looming in the back of my mind was that I had to make a side for a family dinner that was a non-green vegetable.  The days leading up to it I did get a little stressed. 
We had work holiday parties on Friday and then a Kings game Saturday afternoon and then the family dinner that Saturday night.  It was a lot. But I managed to squeak out three solid dishes. No recipe with the exception of the pie crust.  Suck it life, I don't need extra time!  The winner this time was a roux. I made three different sauces three different dishes. 

Chicken Pot Pie
I had some practice with this one. This time around, I used a rosemary salt. I also didn't brine the chicken. I rubbed it down with salt and pepper and placed them on a bed of old thyme I had in my fridge.  It turned out pretty fucking good. The sauce I made was a veloute. I used was with the chicken broth I used to cook down the vegetables. I also used a splash of half and half and whole milk.

Mac and Cheese
The baguette I planned on using for the topping decided to grow mold so I needed a plan B.  I also needed to get the macaroni.  So did a 6am trip to Smart and Final that Friday morning. Instead of buying fresh bread  used mothafucking Cheetos. The sauce  was a bechamel that turned into a mornay, a whole milk and half and half mixture infused with garlic, onion, and thyme. 

Butternut and Acorn Squash Gratin
Non-green vegetable sides is pretty hard. It stressed me out trying to think of a non-green vegetable.  Beets came to mind but people seem to either love them or hate em. I looked up recipes for squashes and then gratins.  There wasn't one exact recipe that I absolutely loved so I had to improv. I used a mandolin to slice the squashes thin and uniform.  From there, I made milk and half an half bechamel infused with sage, shallot, garlic and thyme.  I layered that shit like a lasagna. I had left over cheddar and pecorino romano. Saved some for the top. Cooked that shit before we left for the game.  Then turnt up the over to 500 and brunted the top.  It was fucking perfect. 

Now I'm planning a xmas eve eve party form tomorrow. Guh, so much to do!  But no bechamel needed for this menu.

PS.  Eizelle Eats Out Europe Edition! 

I'm heading to Berlin and Prague! Let me know if you have any suggestions.  

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