White sauce is a recipe that should be a staple in any cook`s recipe chest, but many people avoid it like the plague because they just aren`t sure how to do it. If that sounds like you, it`s time to get over that fear and start using this amazingly simple recipe for yourself.
If you want the fancy word for white sauce, you can call it bechamel sauce.
Basic White Sauce
Makes 1 cup
2 Tblsp. butter (you can use margarine, but the results won`t be the same . . . that being said, I always use margarine.)
2 Tblsp. white flour
1 c. milk
salt to taste
Melt the butter in a saucepan. It`s important to use low heat so it won’t burn.
Stir in the flour and continue stirring while cooking. The flour should soak up all the butter and begin to turn white with the heat. Continue to stir, moving it constantly across the bottom of the pan to ensure it doesn`t brown. It should take around 2 minutes to cook the flour it is all white.
Using a whisk, gradually add the milk. DO NOT add it all at once or you will have lumps, the trick is to pour it in slowly, mixing it thoroughly as you go.
At this point, any spices or flavorings can be added (see recipes below). Continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
Variations on the Basic White Sauce
After adding the milk, melt one cup of grated cheddar cheese into the sauce, stirring constantly. Add a dash of Worschestershire sauce for extra zip.
Add 1/2 c. minced onion to the melted butter and saute until translucent. Proceed as normal with the recipe.
Garlic Pasta Sauce
Add 1 Tblsp. white vinegar to thickening sauce, along with 1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce and three cloves of smashed garlic (smash flat with the side of your biggest knife). Remove garlic before serving.
Add 1 tsp. dry mustard powder to the flour before adding it to the recipe. When the milk is added, stir in a few drops of Worchestershire sauce for added zing. Alternatively, you can add prepared (from the jar) mustard to taste once the sauce has finished.
Add 1/2 c. fresh, minced parsley to the recipe, along with the milk. Include two smashed garlic cloves and cook a little longer to release the flavors of the herb.
Simple Curry Sauce
Add 1 Tblsp. curry powder to the butter while it is melting. You may also include finely minced onions to the recipe at this point. Continue as normal.
Use beef broth instead of milk when making the recipe. For a heartier sauce, try stirring in 2 Tblsp. of heavy cream at the very end.
White sauce can be served over everything from pasta or vegetables to fish and chicken. It turns an ordinary dish into something truly special.
Interesting Fact: Here in Guatemala, white sauce is used as a hot drink on cold days. It is called “Atol Blanco” and is served with a spoonful of boiled beans and a dash of green hot sauce, then drunk from a bowl.Print or share this recipe using the icons above!