Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Houston, We Have a Staublem

You may already know of my weakness for 1) small dishes, and 2) Staub cookware.
Honest, I didn't buy these dishes for myself. They were a Christmas present for Cranky. He's into it, too.
These pretty enameled cast-iron dishes hold a cup. A cup! Of food. They are sold without lids, so it is tempting to heap your food a little before it goes into the oven, and heap we did.
The best part of the day's culinary adventure was that Cranky prepared and assembled our Chicken Divan. Easy-peasy, right?
Wait! Cranky had never made a Béchamel sauce before, much less a Mornay.
Bless his heart. I gave him cursory directions, but he went slightly off course.
He added some flour to the melted butter, and kept waiting for it to thicken. (It wasn't enough flour in the first place, and flour doesn't thicken until it gets its greedy little molecules on something liquid.) Well, we got that straightened out.
Then it was time to whisk in some milk. He did fine, though he held a belief that he had to stir very fast. Sauce was blooping out all over the stove.
All on his own, he decided a grating of nutmeg would be nice, and it was very nice, indeed.
Finally, the grated Gruyère went into the sauce, and it was quite successful.
Cranky was pleased!
He took more liberties. He decided to mix the cooked broccoli and chicken pieces together in the sauce, and then slam them onto the toast planks in the bottom of the oval dishes. Easier, if less "haute."
Bake till brown and bubbly, and then you may just wilt in the solace of your meal.
Yes, that is a little brown dog in the upper right. She got close, but no see-gar.


Ms Brown Mouse said...

Mr Brown also feels it is necessary to stir very fast so that the sauce bloops out all over the stove - it must be a boy thing.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Of course it's a boy thing. They like to bloop the sauce fast. And then they fall asleep. (He just woke up.)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

tee hee

Kelly said...

a whisk generally reduces the bloop. give that shot next time. looks $#@!& awesome (says she on day 8 of no carbs n dairy) eeks!

Greg said...

Bloop is the perfect word to express the effect of sauce flinging itself from the pan.The recipe sounds old school delicious.

Zoomie said...

Love the little dishes and the Crankster is amazing.

Entwined Vines Jewelry said...

This dish looks simp and yummy. My hubby is not allower in the kitchen except to put dishes away and make coffee as he has made a few messes that just did us in AND he can't cook to save his own grumbly belly let alone the other 14 people in the house. heck the children have banned the man from the grill because he cooks so poorly.

namastenancy said...

I didn't realize that blopping the sauce all over the stove was a boy thing - but it figures. Now, who cleans up the mess? However, Mr. Cranky's blopping was in a good cause and the result sounds delicious. I see the blur of hopeful dog in the corner but I'm glad that you aren't spoiling her with people food.

cookiecrumb said...

Kelly: He used a whisk for part of the stirring, but he wanted a wooden spoon to make sure there was no sticking on the bottom. It was a very good lesson.
No carbs or dairy! I'll bet you are sick of cabbage.

Greg: Yeah, old-school it was. And you should have seen what we had for supper. We are regressing!

Zoomie: The dishes are such a pleasure. They get really hot in the oven, and then hold that heat at the table.
Crankster is... well, he's already made his second Mornay sauce, completely solo. Love him.

Entwined: I know what you're talking about. I used to get nervous and territorial when my hubz went in the kitchen, other than to make tea. But to have your kids ban him from the grill! All male pride vanishes. Poor boy.
Fourteen people... Blessings, dear.

Nancy: Cranky is not interested in cleaning his messes. He'll leave grease and sauce for days. When I'm cooking, though, he hovers with a paper towel (and always takes my ingredients away before I'm done with them). It's a fair trade-off.

Zoomie said...

My Beloved is blind to spatters, too. Is that another guy thing? He will do the dishes happily but then I have to go around wiping the counters and the stove. Didn't his mother teach him this stuff?