Bechamel Sauce Recipes

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Thai Curry Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe Recipe

A few months ago, I met with my friend Steve from the Milk Pail Market in Mountain view. He's better known to locals as the cheese expert. On that day, I tasted a wide variety of cheeses. Some of them made me reminiscent of my childhood in France, while others were intriguing and unusual. In particular, there was a vibrant yellow cheese I had never seen before. It's called Thai Curry Cheddar cheese. Since Steve knew that I love mixing cultures and flavors, he thought I'd like it.

Of course, like most cheddars, this cheese could be enjoyed with sliced apples and a crusty bread as a snack. But I wanted to really play up the fusion of cultures represented in the cheese, so I used the cheddar to create a Thai-inspired béchamel sauce that would pair wonderfully with any pasta. Good thing Steve gave me some of his new ravioli to bring home!

Instead of using good ol' nutmeg for the white sauce, I flavored it with melted Thai Curry Cheddar cheese, turmeric, ground coriander, ground fennel, freshly grated ginger, ground fenugreek, a touch of cumin and a fresh bay leaf. The result is an aromatic taste with the richness from the cheese. It was a great addition to sautéed ravioli.

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Blue Cheese Pasta Sauce Recipe Recipe

Blue Cheese Pasta Sauce Recipe

05.19.11 by Jackie

Blue cheese sauce isn't what you would call low-calorie, but it's certainly very tasty. Instead of the usual Gruyère cheese, I used roquefort cheese in a Mornay sauce, which is basically a béchamel (creamy sauce made of flour, butter and milk) with cheese. It's not the authentic French sauce but my husband Lulu and his little sister Sunny loved the strong flavor of blue cheese.

I poured the blue cheese sauce over riccioli pasta and topped with a brunoise, which is a blend of similarly-sized and shaped diced vegetables (I used orange bell peppers, crimini mushrooms, zucchini, jiacama and carrots). The addition of the jicama adds body and crunch to the vegetarian pasta meal. I also finished the dish with crumbled blue cheese as a reminder of the flavor from the creamy pasta sauce.


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Gratin de Christophine (Chayote Squash Recipe) Recipe

Gratin de christophine originates from the French island of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Whether it's called chayote in English, christophine in Creole and French or trái su su in Vietnamese, the vegetable is from the same family as squash. I steam them with apples for added sweetness, then mix in creamed pearl onion sauce and finally bake until golden.

If you're looking to spice up your Christmas meal, you should try this Creole dish. It’s familiar and fresh all at the same time.


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Salsify Potato Cheese Gratin Recipe

Salsify Potato Cheese Gratin

02.04.10 by Jackie

Gratin of salsify is a very common French winter dish. For my version, I added steamed fingerling potatoes and diced Granny Smith apples to make the flavors more interesting. The acidity of the apples and the starchiness of the potatoes give the salsify a great balance both in texture and taste. As you would any other gratin, the dish is covered them with béchamel sauce made with cheddar for a rich color. The crust is topped with Dubliner cheese.

If you've never tried Dubliner cheese, you should. We've all become addicted to it. Its flavor is very similar to an aged gruyère, but with fruitier notes and a sharper bite. It's become one of my "go-to" cheeses for cooking. It takes this classic French version of comfort food to another level.


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Artichoke and Spinach Manicotti Pasta Recipe

I stuffed my manicotti with artichoke and spinach, and served the dish gratin-style with a layer of mozzarella cheese over the top and a bed of marinara sauce beneath. The artichoke and spinach mixture evokes the flavors of a dip, which contrasts nicely with the brightness of the marinara.

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes because it's very easy to make, while at the same time having great presentation value. Manicotti have the added benefit of freezing extremely well, so I always make them in large batches.


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