Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bread sauce

Here is the bread sauce recipe (for 4 to 6) from my book (links on the right). It still seems plausible to me; you might, bearing on mind the comment I made yesterday about salty bread, leave out the salt.

Bring 280 ml of milk slowly to the boil with half a peeled onion studded with a couple of cloves, along with a little salt, a bay leaf, a few peppercorns, and a pinch of nutmeg; turn off the heat, cover, and leave to infuse for half an hour. Strain into another pan through a sieve, add breadcrumbs, and warm through. I’m afraid that I don’t know how many breadcrumbs you’ll need. Add some, stir and simmer; the sauce will continue to thicken, so err on the side of too few at first (unless you want an excuse to add more milk and create more sauce – but of course this milk will be unflavoured). When the sauce has the consistency you want, take it off the heat and stir in a walnut-sized knob of butter. You could add a couple of tbsps of cream too. You can leave the sauce and warm it up later, by which time it will have become very thick, and will need loosening with a little more milk.

Among the Christmas cooking tips in the Guardian yesterday, Tom Norrington-Davies suggested throwing slices of bread into the milk, and then whizzing the sauce in a blender. The drawback with this method is that you will not know whether you have added too much or too little bread until you've blended the sauce; whereas with my method you can add breadcrumbs gradually, until the consistency is right. Norrington-Davies simmers his milk until the onion is soft, and blends the onion with the milk and bread. Chacun, etc.

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