I have an aversion to roux cubes. Ever since I started reading boxes to check for nuts for Meg I have felt differently about popping those little cubes of chemical infused goodness out into the pot for a quick and easy beef/ curry/ cream stew.
That and I hate shopping and live far enough from the stores that I'd rather substitute than go out and buy an ingredient for a meal.
My rouxless curries taste fantastic. But not even close to Japanese curries (funny that since I use (quasi) Indian recipes, huh?) and therefore tend to get the odd 'sniff, I want Japanese curry' among the yums from the other (less enlightened) members of the family.
My rouxless hayashi rice uncoincidentally tastes a lot like goulash and goes over well as long as I remember not to get carried away with the paprika.
Until now I have never tried rouxless cream stew. It just seems like it would be a lot trickier. Making white sauce and all.... But no! Easy peasy Japanesey and soooo good. And that was the conclusion from all four of us!
I am not much of a recipe person so this is more of an approximation than a how to but really, give it a go, it's worth it!
Creamy Dreamy Cream Stew*
3 chicken fillets
3 green peppers
3 sticks of stick broccoli
wedge of pumpkin (about 1/2 a cup?)
1 red pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme (or shake in some dry)
2 chicken stock cubes
3 cups water
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese/ strong flavoured cheese/ crappy Japanese cheese if you have to.
Saute the chicken in a heavy bottomed pot until golden brown. Add all veggies except broccoli as you dice them. (Start with the onions then work from hard veggies to soft ones to try and get the cooking times to align.)
When the veggies are all in add the water and stir. Cook until veggies are tender.
Add the aromatics and reduce to simmer.
Make white sauce starting by cooking the flour and butter then add milk and finally cheese.
Pour white sauce directly into stew pot. It will go horrible and separated and gloopy and you'll panic that you have a huge pot of disaster (a real hot mess) on your hands but take a deep breath, have faith and keep stirring.
When it comes together (right now) serve with black pepper and chopped parsley.
This makes a lot. But that's good coz it means you have leftovers. And it tastes even better the next day. Or you could just reduce the recipe.
*alternative names I'm considering are 'the power of three' or 'I can't believe it's not rouxed!' sub-editor I'm not...