The basic white sauce or “béchamel” is a staple for many of the more well-known sauces in the world. It can be used to create a Hollandaise or Fettuccini sauce, used as the basis for a wide variety of cheese sauces and so many more. In fact these white sauces may be some of the most useful sauces to have ever been created, you can literally use them as the basis for many different dishes.
The Basic Sauce
To make a basic béchamel simply melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and whisk in two tablespoons of flour that has been seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. To this you need to slowly add one cup of milk, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for two minutes or until it has reached the desired consistency.
This particular recipe makes one full cup, however, you can make more by simply doubling or tripling the quantity of the ingredients. From this base sauce there are a number of more flavorful and complex sauces you can learn to create.
Sauces You Can Make
- Cheese Sauce: Add one and a quarter cups of shredded cheddar cheese to your white sauce after it is cooked and removed from the burner and pour over your favorite veggies or use to make au gratin potatoes.
- Mornay Sauce: Add a pinch of nutmeg along with a quarter cup of either parmesan, Swiss, or a blend of both to your white sauce.
- Brown Sauce: For this sauce you would follow the same instructions used to make the white sauce but use beef broth instead of milk.
- Curry Sauce: Make the white sauce and add a pinch of fresh ground ginger and a half teaspoon of curry powder to the mix.
- Mustard Sauce: Add one tablespoon of Dijon style mustard to the white sauce as it cooks.
- Velouté Sauce: Velouté is the French word for velvety, which is the perfect way to describe this sauce when you use fish, chicken, or turkey broth to make the white sauce instead of milk.