WHITE SAUCE

White sauce, also known as Béchamel sauce, is a sauce originated between France and Italy. Two ingredients, butter and flour, are used to make a white roux. To finish the white sauce, milk is added at the end. Since the seventeenth century, Béchamel sauce, has been considered as one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. It is used as the base for other sauces.

Béchamel is by far the easiest of the mother sauces to make.

Into a sauce pan, over a low heat, infuse 1 onion halved, 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves into 500ml of milk.

In another sauce pan, melt 50g of butter, then add 50g of flour. Stir until a paste forms, this is called a white roux. Cook the white roux for 2 minutes.

Pass the infused milk through a sieve and discard the onion, bay leave and cloves. Add the infused milk to the roux gently, stirring as you go, until you get a smooth sauce. Stir continuously and cook the sauce for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add salt, pepper and of course, grated nutmeg! Season to taste.

FISH POT PIE

Fish pot pie, a traditional British dish, with peas is a wonderful comfort food dish with chunks of fish and minty peas in a creamy and delicious white sauce, topped with golden and cheesy potatoes!

Every cook has a different approach how to make a fish pie. The collection of recipes that I am sharing on this blog, Fab Cuisine, is made for everyone. The recipes are quick and easy to make. As always, a basic kitchen equipment is used. For example, today, I suppose that not every household possess a mouli, so I sliced the potatoes instead of making a traditional mash. Every steps to make this fish pot pie are straightforward and it will take you less than an hour to feed your family or a group of 5. A side of fresh greens (tenderstem broccoli, kale) is the perfect accompaniment.

Typically, smoked white fish, like smoked haddock, is used to make a fish pie. Smoked haddock is the king of the pies, its smoky, flakey texture works well in a large repertoire of recipes involving a white sauce .

During the lockdown, fresh fish wasn’t easy to get so I purchased a bag of frozen fish pie mix on my online shopping list. Back to the past, I mean a few years ago, when I was cooking for a popular fine dining restaurant based in South West London, we used to make our own fish pie mix including fresh smoked haddock, fresh salmon and fresh and fresh cod. As a sustainable business, fish trims were used to make the fish pie which offered on the prix fixe menu available every evening.

Ingredients for the fish pie mix: 1 bag of frozen pie mix (320g); 1kg white potatoes peeled and sliced; 300g of frozen peas; 1 handful fresh chopped mint; 3 tbsp vegetable oil, Parmesan (as much as you like!!)

Ingredients for the white sauce: 500ml milk; 50g butter; 50g flour; 1 bay leaf; 2 cloves; nutmeg; 1 onion halved.

So, add the vegetable oil into a baking tray and pour the fish pie mix. Bake for 25mns your fish pie mix in a oven turned at 180 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile get ready with the white sauce.

At this stage, on your worktop, you should have, the fish pie mix cooked, a bowl of frozen peas, the white sauce and on your chopping board the sliced potatoes.

Incorpore the fish pie mix into the white sauce, fold gently, don’t mix it as you will break the fish, what we are looking for at this stage is to have chunks of fish. Pour into an oven dish the fish pie mix.

Boiled the peas in a salty water and refresh them. Pour the blanched peas on top of the fish pie mix.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cook the sliced potatoes half way through in a salty boiling water, drain them without breaking them and add them on top of the fish pie mix and peas.

Finally, season the potatoes with salt, pepper and grated parmesan. Bake for 20-25mns.

Serve and enjoy while hot! Bon Apétit!!

TRADITIONAL Flapjack RECIPE

These flapjacks are going well with a nice and warm cup of tea. Easy to make, gooey and crunchy at the same time, they will be the perfect for a mid-afternoon snack. Making flapjack was the perfect lockdown bake. So, why not to carry on baking them the all time!

Ingredients: 225g butter; 225g caster sugar; 200g porridge oats; 80g sultanas; 75g golden syrup.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 12 x 9 in roasting tin.

Combine the butter, golden syrup, sugar and sultanas in a saucepan and heat gently until the ingredients have melted and dissolved. Stir in the oats and mix well. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until pale golden brown. 

Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then mark into 24 fingers. Leave to cool completely, then cut and remove from tin.

I cut mine in square, “canapé style” but if you prefer to keep the tradition and to cut them into fingers, the choice is yours!

HOW TO BREAK DOWN A CHICKEN INTO 8 PIECES

A step-by-step illustrations for everyone cooking at home. A useful culinary technique to keep your food budget tight and also to keep your family happy by cooking a full range of chicken cuts like breasts, thighs, wings, drumsticks Roasted, slow cooked, barbecued, poached, and so on, the list is endless but the enjoyment is always the same.

Separate the crown from the legs
Getting the crown ready. Take the wishbone off.
Splitting the legs into drumsticks and thighs
Remove both breasts from the carcass
2 breasts, 2 drumsticks, 2 mid-joint wings, 2 thighs, 1 carcass, bones trim

CHEWY SALTED CARAMEL WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

If you’re hosting a birthday party or just have the desire to have a sneaky snack, these chewy, crispy and delicious salted caramel cookies are so easy to make. This mouth watering cookie recipe is like a taste of heaven!

Salted Caramel White Chocolate Chip Cookies are a combination of sweet and salty flavors. 8 ingredients are needed to make these cookies; butter, caster sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, white chocolate and salted caramel.

Ingredients: 625g butter; 320g caster sugar; 320g light brown sugar; 4 eggs; 1kg plain flour; 400g white chocolate chips, 100g Dry Caramel Sauce

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one by one, and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and baking soda. Mix until fully combined. Fold in the salted caramel (recipe attached) and white chocolate chips. 
  4. Create 2 loins shapes by rolling the cookie dough into cling film to form a cylinder shape. Leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. When ready, slice as much as cookies desired. Put the sliced cookies dough onto a baking sheets, and bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet.

A nutty smell of cooked white chocolate and caramel will be enough to make your mouth water. The aroma of white chocolate and flaky salt will perfume your kitchen which will appeal your strong desire to pick up some of these beauties!

. If these cookies aren’t for you, why not try my RHUBARB TART for a more traditional and British dessert. It’s almost the end of rhubarb season so grab a few sticks whilst you still can!