Saturday, July 31, 2010


I've got a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, and a cheesy, crunchy, creamy, garlicky pasta-bake in the oven.

Today I picked up a sad, wilted bunch of rainbow chard and a cauliflower with a rotten brown spot out of the take-home-or-throw-away box at work.  I roasted the cauliflower with some garlic (also from the box!), and sauteed finely chopped chard with bacon and butter.  I cooked some spiral pasta and made a balsamella (bechamel) sauce.  I put it all together in a baking dish with stacks of grated parmigiano cheese and crunchy panko breadcrumbs on top.  Now it's in the oven emitting rays of deliciousness throughout my apartment.

Making balsamella is easy-peasy.  I do it the way my mum showed me when I was little - melt 60g butter, add 60g plain flour, stir and cook until the flour doesn't taste "floury" anymore, sploosh in milk until it's the consistency you want it, and keep whisking all the while to ensure your sauce isn't lumpy.  My mother uses an actual whisk but I use a fork.  It's a bit lumpy, but I don't mind.  I stirred in some salt, some black pepper, and some nutmeg too.

I'd have taken pictures to show you, but the batteries in my camera are dead.  Next time!

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