Tag: remedies

The perfect bechamel in 5 steps … and 3 remedies – Italian Cuisine

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There bechamel is one of the basics of classic cuisine: indispensable for season and tie a thousand dishes, from lasagna to gratins, and a starting ingredient for more complex recipes such as soufflés or croquettes.

In short: the bechamel it is the sauce that one cannot avoid being able to do, the test on which the aspiring competitor of a culinary talent such as the cook or the home cook often "falls".

The shortcut to béchamel sauce ready, packaged in brick, it is frowned upon by gourmets mainly because it concerns "heavy" products on the palate, due to the presence of cream, but without butter which, in the traditional recipe, is the ingredient that confers the distinctive, soft and round taste .

So it's time to learn, or review doses and technique the perfect bechamel. And how recover if, unfortunately, it was ruined.

1. Dose the ingredients
The magic formula, as the cooking manuals teach, is: 50 g of butter, 50 g of flour, 5 dl of milk. But that of bechamel is a recipe that can be adjusted. Answering the question: what do you need?

For soufflé and especially, croquettes it must be very firm to withstand the addition of subsequent ingredients, from cheese to diced salami, and to maintain body and shape.
If, on the other hand, you want to veil the layers of baked pasta, which needs a certain humidity to cook, you will have to have a softer, almost fluid sauce, especially if the pastry is of the type you cook directly without pre-cooking.
A middle ground is the right one for fennel, ribs, cauliflower or other vegetables and preparations to pass under the grill.

To get the desired density, learn to play on the amount of butter and flour: 10-20 g more or less will greatly change the final consistency.

1513232. Roux
The French name of the mix of butter and flour denounces the origin of this as of many other basic preparations.
The transition is quite simple but crucial. In a saucepan thoroughly (to avoid the inconvenience referred to in point 4) dissolve a moderate fire butter, without absolutely frying it. As soon as it is liquid pour in one shot flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. A sort of is formed instantly batter that you have to keep mixing for about 1 minute until it takes on a color slightly golden and start at sizzle. This step is important for cook the flour otherwise, it retains an unpleasant taste (raw, in fact), but must not be prolonged in order not to have a toasted béchamel.

1513253. Pour in the milk
Hot, cold or at room temperature?
If it's of refrigerator, the thermal shock is likely to form in the small roux lumps difficult to dissolve.
The risk is reduced if the milk is at room temperature, but we need to act big speed.
Easier if you use milk warm: heat it over low heat before starting preparation, but just barely, without absolutely boiling it.
pour flush, not too quickly, and at the same time turn the roux over, to dilute it, using one hand whisk and scraping the bottom of the pan well.

4. Always stir
Now start cooking the sauce during which the béchamel sauce will thicken.
It goes always mixed, to taste with a whisk or a wooden spoon, and always scraping the bottom and arriving well in the corners in the pan; also, at this stage, hold the low flame it is imperative: two essential precautions because the bechamel sticks easily and the clotted part on the bottom (if not even burnt) invariably ruins the sauce.

The bechamel is ready at the first hint of a boil: the fluid version will veil the spoon, the dense one will collect easily.

1513295. The dressing
Till now the sauce is neutral.
Off the heat, flavor it with a pinch of salt and the traditional grated of nutmeg, for many an essential aroma.
Then, according to the recipe, it can be enriched with grated cheese, which will melt with the residual heat, pepper black or white, or others spices to obtain, why not, a saffron, turmeric or curry béchamel.

And finally, the 3 remedies to recover it
With a little practice, this refined sauce becomes simpler to make. But the drawbacks I'm always on the prowl.

The first is, of course, the lump formation: if they are few, you can recover the sauce by passing it on sieve; if they are numerous, you can try to dissolve them with a few strokes immersion mixer, fast and at not too high speed.

If it is attached (you can feel it from the aroma it releases), in addition to further lowering the flame, stop immediately to scrape the bottom.
As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and travasatela in a container avoiding to pour the last two fingers, which preserve more the burnt taste.

151331If you have to do it cool down, cover it with cling film or baking paper in contact. Or, still hot, "polish" it by passing over a peanut of butter that will melt forming a thin protective layer.
If not, it will form one pellicina on the surface: do not break it and do not mix it with the rest of the sauce (it would divide into lumps), but lift it and eliminate it.

Good béchamel sauce at all.

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
December 2017

say goodbye with natural remedies! – Italian Cuisine

say goodbye with natural remedies!


From the now known cranberry to the less famous D-mannose, passing through herbal teas and lactic ferments. Here are some natural remedies useful for treating and preventing cystitis

Who has had it knows well what are the symptoms of cystitis: among the most frequent and debilitating are burns during urination, pains in the lower abdomen and the frequent need to urinate. Women are the most affected, but men are not entirely immune to them. THE risk factors they are varied and range from poor personal hygiene to unregulated feeding, from a lowering of the immune system to constipation. Keeping these aspects in check is a good way to prevent it. But once you have the first discomfort you have to intervene: with the antibiotic (on medical prescription) but also with some natural remedies, including supplements, herbal teas and lactic ferments.

Cystitis, what it is and what causes it

Cystitis is ainflammation of the bladder. In the case of bacterial infection from Escerichia Coli, the most widespread, it is appropriate to resort toantibiotic, after consulting the doctor of course. If instead cystitis is triggered by other factors, such as virus or mushrooms, the use of this drug is not strictly necessary. Indeed, its abuse could cause the opposite effect, that is the development of real colonies of antibiotic-resistant germs and bacteria, thus transforming a trivial cystitis into a chronic malaise.

Cranberry and D-mannose, the most effective natural remedies

The most effective natural remedies for cystitis are mainly two: the cranberry or cranberry and the D-mannose. The positive effect of the small fruit of American origin is now confirmed also by various scientific researches. Her antibacterial properties help to relieve symptoms and, for the same reason, it can also be used in via preventive. In the first case better the capsules, in the second it is recommended to take two glasses of juice a day for two weeks. The cranberry is also useful because it can make the mucosa of the urinary tract non-stick to the bacteria, thus preventing their reproduction.

This same function also performs the D-mannose, a simple sugar with low glycemic content, which is extracted from birch or larch wood. Also, the bacteria in the bladder, by binding to the D-mannose, are more easily expelled, thus reducing healing times. Usually found in herbal, in capsules or in powder: for the dosage better to consult with an expert.

Alternatively or alternating with the cranberry, you can also use thebearberry, which according to modern phytotherapy is the best anti-inflammatory of the urinary tract. This should be taken in extract (in the form of tablets) at the first burns to counteract the infection and calm the urge to continue urinating. Or in the form of tisane, which is prepared with 1.5 grams of leaves left in infusion in 100 ml of water: the recommended dosage is two or three cups a day. Since incorrect use can cause irritation, medical supervision is still recommended.

Drink so much water and off to herbal teas: yes, but which ones?

One of the ways to eliminate bacteria inside the bladder is to drink lots of water: at least two liters a day, preferably at room temperature, even better if hot. Here then is that also herbal teas they prove to be useful natural remedies against cystitis. The one at mauve, for example, it has calming and anti-inflammatory properties. To prepare the decoction, simply boil the flowers and fresh leaves for ten minutes and then filter them.

Another effective infusion is thenettle, because it has a diuretic effect. In this case it is better to use two tablespoons of dried leaves, to be left to infuse in boiling water for about ten minutes. The herbal teaechinacea instead it is perfect to prevent cystitis because it has the power to strengthen the immune system. Among the particularly diuretic herbs then there is also the hawkweed, a perennial herbaceous plant very similar to the dandelion, which can even triple the volume of urine, as well as having soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Also in this case the herbal tea is made with dried leaves, which must always be left to infuse for about ten minutes.

Lactic ferments are also important

Cystitis can also be caused by a reduction in the favorable micro-flora present on vaginal mucous membranes. This has the task of protecting the genital organs and keeping the acid pH in balance, thus avoiding the attack of pathogenic bacteria which can cause infections and diseases. This state of alteration can be caused by imbalances in the intestinal microflora caused by the intake of antibiotics, drugs or contraceptives, by an unregulated diet, by constipation or from the use of aggressive intimate cleansers. In these cases it is advisable to prevent or treat inflammation restore the "friendly" bacterial flora, taking lactic ferments once a day for at least a couple of weeks.

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