These little devices are great. The trouble is, after living in Italy and coming back to the states, your standard is pretty high! I have yet to find a bean in the states that tastes as good as the stuff in Italy. But like Vlad said, maybe the air is better there:) Could it be the water? Maybe it is just a matter of perception. Either way if anyone has discovered a great espresso bean in the states, I would be most appreciative if you would share the info with me.
While Bechamel is one of the mother sauces, this version is not the version of classic French cooking. In classic French cooking, there are 3 versions based on the thickness and purpose of the sauce, using a formula of standardized proportions of butter, flour and milk. I understand that this version works beautifully in this lasagna recipe, but to say this is the classic French version of bechamel is inaccurate. The point is once you learn the formula, you don't need a recipe anymore and can make any sauce with this basee off the top of your head. For the classic French version check out Julia Childs on the subject.
a non stick pan can sear, if it has a heavy bottom and you get it very hot. Using olive oil to lubricate the surface a little before hand. Also, it helps a great deal when searing ANY food, to let the food rest out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so it is not so cold when it hits the pan. The closer to rom temperature it is the better. I know proper food handling rules say to keep food refrigerated till you use it, but 30 minutes really isn't a lot of time for bacteria to multiply like crazy, and besides you are about to introduce that bacteria to a very hot pan anyway, thus killing it. so, let the fish sit out at room temp for 30 minutes, blot off the moisture with paper towel, nd then put it into a very hot non stick skillet with a little olive oil. Butter will not work for searing it will just burn. Heck this technique works so well, you can almost blacken fish this way! Of course remember to turn the heat down after you sear each side. If that doesn't do the trick for you, then try a WELL seasoned cast iron skillet that you have rubbed oil into with paper towel prior to heating it. Don't go crazy with the heat or it will burn, not sear. Also-very importatnt with the cast iron, use a metal spatula and when ready to flip, make sure it is between the fish and the pan bypushing it down hard against the pan as you slide it under the fish. A little scraping action against the pan as you work the spatula under the fish should allow you to pick up the fish with all the nice searedness still stuck to the fish.