Bechamel or White Sauce
A basic white sauce is essential in many dishes and lends itself to endless variations. This recipe makes a medium-thick sauce to coat food.
Servings 2 cups
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.
Once butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour to make a smooth, soft paste called a roux.
Add about one-quarter of the milk and mix well with a whisk. When it is smooth, whisk in the remaining milk.
Set the pan back over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
When the sauce starts to bubble and thicken, reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Whisking occasionally.
The sauce will continue to thicken slightly. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
For a Cream Sauce, substitute cream for 1/2 to 1 cup of the milk.
For a Blonde Sauce, add the flour to the melted butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale beige color, 1 - 2 minutes. Heat the liquid before adding it off heat. Bring to a boil, whisking, and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes.
For a Bechamel Sauce. Heat the milk with a chopped onions, one bay leaf and a few black peppercorns until scalded. Remove from heat, cover and left infuse for 20 minutes. Strain before adding to the roux, made for a Blonde Sauce.