Tuesday, 29 June 2010


I hide away for nine months, incubating food thoughts, training hundreds of school chefs, young moms, nutritionists, social enterprise managers, and the like, and I return to the blog with a picture of goose fat taken on a vacation last month in Budapest ?!?!?!?!

Am I having recollections of the goose that laid the golden fat...or am i trying to remind us of the real look of what we love( deep deep down within). Admit it, we all have a bit of a vice ... we all love it...saturating our cheese, creating our mayonnaise, layering our cakes, filling our sundae's, oiling even our omega favoured fish, scooped out of our avocados, and being used each and every day in hundreds of ways. So what gives?

I overdosed...yes...the fat was just toooooo much...the goose platter of goose cracklins, goose liver pate, goose fat spreads, and then the goose oozing out of me as I sat in the steam rooms of the Budapest spas...But even as we try to cut back, I am not cutting cold turkey(or goose) or attempting to eliminate fat nor flavour from food. But how to make a simple sauce, richly flavoured , creamy textured, but healthy with lower fat and lowered salt?

WHITE SAUCE/BECHAMEL/CREAM SAUCE... call it what you will, we will make a basic quick and easy, cheap and cheerful item that can be your goto pasta white sauce, your lasagna filling, fish or chicken finishing sauce and so much more. This is the recipe I have passed on to hundreds of chefs...not a new creation but a remembrance of old school methods long forgotten. Working with school chefs each and every week, not only teaching, but creating dialogue of what can be done with the food and the future generations that they feed, how to make it simple, tasty, cheap, and healthy. Making the sauce with no gluten, lowering the saturated fat, no added salt, and lots of added flavour all within five minutes...i may have O.D.ed on the fat, but i am not having hallucinations...trust me.


2 Tablespoons corn flour ( corn starch)
300ml/½ English pint semi skimmed(2%) milk
50g/2 oz/ mature cheddar ( or your other strong cheese), grated
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (or less if too spicy)

1. Put corn flour/starch in measuring jug
2. Add a little cold milk to make a paste
3. Add the rest of the milk and stir.
4. Pour into saucepan and bring to a low boil . Turn stove top to low heat, stirring sauce continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon. If the sauce thickens too quickly, add a few teaspoons of milk or water to thin out again. As it thickens, take off heat and continue stirring.
5. Add the mustard and grated cheese and cover with cling film (to prevent skin from forming)

This is a great simple white sauce to use with pasta and your tuna past bake( tuna noodle casserole for those on the west side of the Atlantic!), the binding sauce for a old school fish pie, for lasagna or with so many easy adjustments to use with what you have at hand, such as....

Follow Steps 1 - 4 of the recipe and then add one of the following to flavour the sauce:

  • carmelized onions and garlic
  • saute of mushrooms deglazed with red wine
  • home made pesto
  • simply fresh herbs and good grind of black pepper

Or for dessert, after step four of the recipe ...add 1 tsp vanilla essence and 2 Tablespoon sugar to make a vanilla custard sauce, add cocoa powder as well for a chocolate sauce...all with semi- skim milk !!! Great with crumbles, cakes, and cookies!!!

A lower fat sauce with no gluten, no annoying step of making a roux, no time, no problems and an ability to make sauce for dinner and dessert at the same time...that's a no brainer! Enjoy the new recipes, review last summers blog entries for ideas, and get into the summer swing of things with lots of slowfood and fast cookin...


  1. Does it work with canned snails?

  2. Stacy beat me to it with her question.