See that lovely skillet full of bacon, cream and kale? After taking that photo I set it back on the burner to heat through again and went upstairs to check my email. And answer a few. And work on a story that’s overdue… and yep, I burned the hell out of it. My cast iron skillet has gained another half inch of solid blackness that will take some serious chipping at to remove. Par for the week.
Regarding the snooty name, bacon béchamel sounds far better than bacon sauce, which sounds like something you might pump out of a vat at 7-11. Béchamel is just a hoity-toity name for that white sauce your mom may have made when you were a kid in order to make cheese sauce to pour over your broccoli. It’s just white sauce. Unless you’re a contender in Top Chef, in which case you’d better know your béchamel from your velouté.
Traditionally a basic béchamel is made by whisking milk into a roux (equal parts butter and flour – really, do we even need a fancy name for butter and flour?) and in this case, made with bacon drippings instead of butter. If you feel weird about this, remember that lard – pig fat – has 40% less saturated fat than butter.
It appears that I – who loves to not waste food – have wound up with a surplus of cream and pre-chopped veg left over from our day of soup making on Wednesday, when a bunch of you -and you know who you are- came down to the Cookbook Company to chop, sauté and stir up twenty six batches of soup to photograph for the Soup Sisters Cookbook, a fundraiser for the organization that’s scheduled to release in October. It was a fantastic afternoon with lots of laughs, and we all had the opportunity to do what we love, together, for a great cause. And I got the chance to meet more of you, which is always so awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Half of the 40 photos are done (!) with more of the prepped soup still to photograph and a few left to make, it looks like we’ll actually make our end of the month deadline. Thanks to all who came to chip in at the soup sweatshop.
And now to tackle the contents of the fridge…