Hey folks, we have a special treat for you! We have a special guest blogger helping us out (you may have noticed a bit of a lull lately), Regina's brother, Bill. Bill is known for unique and VERY delicious creations, and is always willing to share his love of food and cooking.
The snow is piling up in the driveway, the kids have the bug that’s been going around at school and nobody feels like trekking to the supermarket to forage for food. What can we make with ingredients on hand? A peek in the refrigerator reveals some crabmeat leftover from last weekend’s ravioli. What do we have to go with that?
There is my stash of dried porcinis and some Basmati rice I bought last week at the Indian supermarket. We have the basics for a Béchamel ‘mother sauce’. A recipe starts to take shape. It looks like we will survive this storm.
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms.
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons brandy
8 oz. cooked crabmeat
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
Salt to taste
I start at lunch-time by chopping up 1 oz of the dried porcinis and steeping them in a cup of hot water. The longer the better, so I let them steep for several hours.
About an hour and twenty minutes before dinner-time I start the sauce: Put the milk and cream in the microwave to heat. While it is warming, start the roux. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the olive-oil. When the oil is hot, whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly. Next, whisk in the hot milk and cream. Bring it almost to a boil, stirring constantly. Drain the porcinis and add the fragrant brown ‘porcini tea’ to the sauce. Bring it almost to a boil again and season with salt, pepper and some freshly ground nutmeg. Lower the heat and let it simmer very gently uncovered for 1 hour stirring frequently to keep the texture smooth.
About a half-hour before dinner I start the rice: Put the rice and water and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for another 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
The sauce is now thick and creamy and the house smells like basmati and porcinis. Stir in the brandy the porcinis and the crabmeat and cook it a few minutes more until it is warmed through. Spoon the sauce over the hot rice and serve.