Sauce Béchamel is one of the five “mother sauces” of French cuisine. This simple white sauce is used as a base for other sauces such as a Mornay that includes cheese.
1 quart of whole milk or half and half
1/2 cup of organic unbleached or Spelt flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
pepper and nutmeg to taste (optional)
•• Using a sauce pan over a low heat, slowly the melt butter until you see the formation of small bubbles. •• Add salt, pepper and nutmeg (optional) to taste. •• Gradually introduce the flour by mixing slowly with a whisk to create a paste. •• This is called a “roux”, that should not be overcooked or allowed to become brown. •• Remove the roux from the heat and add 1 quart of milk, blending until smooth and without the formation of any lumps. •• Place the sauce pan back over a low heat, mixing the roux slowly and until it becomes firm. •• If you observe that the roux is quickly becoming too firm, remove the pan from the heat, but continue to mix.•• If the roux is becoming too thick, add sparing amounts of milk for desired lightness. •• Your Béchamel is now ready and should present as a beautiful smooth sauce without any lumps. ••
Sel de Mer aux Herbes
Herbed Sea Salt
1 fresh herbal bouquet of rosemary, thyme and sage
course sea salt filled 3/4 to the size of your mortar and pestle
•• Using a marble or stone mortar and pestle, combine fresh rosemary, thyme and a little sage with coarse sea salt. •• Grind the mixture to a fine consistency while taking in the herbal aroma that is released. Remove any stray branches. •• If the fresh herbs have been stored in the refrigerator, use a scissor to snip and trim closely from the branch. •• If you have herbs on hand that have already dried naturally, you can simply crumble with your fingers and add to the sea salt for a finer grind.••
Kiwi Confiture de Madame Paiva
Madame Paiva’s Kiwi Confiture
The kiwifruit used in this recipe were brought back from Portugal by our warm and always welcoming neighbor, Madame Paiva. She presented us with an abundant amount of the unripened fruit, beyond what we could reasonably consume. Luckily, she also included a simple-to-make confiture recipe, adapted from her kitchen.
1 lb kiwifruit in season
3/4 lbs sugar
4 tbsp honey
1/4 wedge of freshly squeezed lemon
1/2 cup water
glass jar with lid to seal
•• Prepare the kiwifruits by peeling off the outer skins and dicing into small segments. •• Combine all the ingredients into an enameled cast iron pot. •• Slowly cook over a medium heat for approximately 45 minutes, carefully observing that the mixture does not begin to caramelize. •• Once the confiture reaches a jelly-like or paste consistency remove the pot from the heat. •• While the confiture is still hot, fill the glass jar to the very top leaving no room for air. •• Create pressure by tightly sealing the lid with the confiture still hot. •• Store at room temperature until you are ready to serve and refrigerate thereafter.••
Hard kiwifruit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 months and should not come into contact with other fruits that produce ethylene gas. When you are ready to begin the ripening process, keep the kiwifruits out of the sunlight and away from heat sources. To speed up the ripening process, expose the kiwifruits to ethylene gas which is naturally produced by apples, bananas and pears. For even faster results, place the kiwifruit in a paper bag along with an apple, banana or pear and store at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.