I just love to read recipe books and try to find fun new recipes to try. I also get a great magazine called Saveur http://www.saveur.com/. It is a magazine that focuses on authentic world cuisine-thus you never know what you will find in it. The pictures of the countries/cuisines featured are gorgeous too. Anyway, ever year they do an issue that focuses on what they call the “Saveur 100″ which is their favorite, tips, tools, recipes, restaurants, etc. I have been cooking for around 40 years and am always looking for tricks of the trade. I found a great one in this past issue and want to pass it on to you. Now I don’t make tons of gravies and sauces, but when I do, the thickening trick is always hard for me. Half the time I wind up with some lumps in what I thicken-I’m just not too good at mastering that. Enter a tip called “Beurre Manie” from Saveur:
“One key to making velvety soups, stews and sauces is beurre manie (which means kneaded butter in French), a mixture of flour and butter that helps achieve a thick, smooth consistency in these types of food. It is incredibly simple to make and equally easy to use. Just rub enough flour into softened butter with your fingers, fork, or food processor to make a thick, smooth paste. Roll teaspoon size amounts into balls and freeze. When needed, bring to room temperature and then whisk in one ball at a time to thicken a sauce. Allow the mixture to return to a boil and cook for one minute to thicken. If your sauce is not as thick as you would like, add another ball and repeat process. As the butter melts, it separates and evenly disperses the flour. “
You can omit the freezing part and just make enough for a one time use also. I hope this simple, great tip makes your kitchen experience more enjoyable…no more gravy with lumps for me.