Cauliflower for dinner last night, so we decided to dress it in a creamy white sauce flavoured with salt, pepper and mustard. Not having cream available, how could we produce this? Most of you cooks will know how to create a béchamel sauce by combining flour and butter into a roux over a gentle heat and then relaxing them with the addition of milk. The tiny aggregations of flour and butter are distributed through the liquid and then, under the influence of heat and moisture, the flour swells, producing a thick sauce.
What is my twist? I have recently been enjoying the delights of cornflour. Cooked up with milk, sugar and a touch of vanilla, it makes a wonderful white custard and, minus the sugar and vanilla, is actually recommended in some places as a way to produce a low-fat, gluten-free white sauce. I added cornflour as well as regular plain flour when making the roux and the result, while neither low-fat nor gluten-free, was deliciously thick and creamy.
Experimentation is key but it worked very well for our meal. Talking of experimentation, I wonder what effect cornflour would have in a loaf of bread? … Watch this space (0r try it yourself and let me know).