All hale the Mother Sauce! (bows down)
This is the one sauce you need in your life. Do yourself a favor and take 3 minutes to learn this sauce because with it you can launch dozens of other dishes. With this sauce, you will always, always, ALWAYS have mac & cheese at your fingertips and if that isn’t a darn good reason to learn this sauce then I don’t know what is.
It’s a simple mixture of heated butter and flour, whisked (called a roux), add milk and thicken. Ta-da!! It’s that easy. Add some shredded cheese, it’s now called Mornay sauce.
And here we go! Dishes off the top of my head - mac & cheese, smothered enchiladas and burritos, casseroles of any variety which starts with ‘Creamy”, lasagna, scalloped potatoes & ham, veggie gratins of any shape or color, sausage & gravy for biscuits, chicken or turkey tetrazzini, queso dip, soufflés, cheese dipping sauce for roasted or steamed veggies, cream of anything soup, gravy for chicken and pork chops, SOS or chipped beef on toast.…the list goes on but I’ve got to get to the recipe part!
Below is a video for the classic béchamel. I then have a few quick videos for 3 things you can do with it. Mac & Cheese, Scalloped Potatoes & Ham and Chipped Beef on Toast aka:SOS. (click the links!).
Classic Bechamel Sauce
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups milk (may not use all the milk)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Melt the butter in a deep saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste bubbles a bit, allow to get a blond color — about 2 minutes. Add the milk in batches, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a very soft boil then test for thickness and add more milk if needed, bring back to a soft boil and test again, repeat until you get the thickness you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
- Using warmed milk will help prevent lumps.