Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recipe: Easy Béchamel (White Sauce)

This is basically a classic béchamel, or white sauce. Once you have the basic formula down, this can be adapted into other sauces, including a cheese sauce (alfredo) and a cream gravy. The only real difference in my sauce is the consistency of the roux. The foundation of many a sauce, roux is the term for a fat (usually butter) and flour mixture. I use oil to lower the fat content, and use more in ratio to the flour. This helps prevent lumping, and is easier than the regular method of heating the milk before putting it in.

White Sauce- makes approx. 1 cup

3 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon each

Heat the oil over medium heat, and add in the flour. Whisk together until smooth, and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, but do not allow to brown in color. Add in the milk slowly, while whisking continuously. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 2 minutes, sauce will thicken. Add in the salt and pepper to taste, and stir together.

This recipe can be adapted to use as a gravy, by simply incorporating pan drippings and the browned bits into the sauce. In the start, pour off any extra fat from the drippings, and add in some additional oil as needed. Then, just continue with the recipe.
For a cheese sauce, add in 1/4- 1/2 cup of cheese (I like cheddar) at the end.

Over these next few weeks I'll be adding in more basic recipes, so come back and visit often. Or, subscribe to MAHM so you won't miss any posts.

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