Monday, February 23, 2015

MYO Creamy White Sauce aka Bechamel Sauce

Revised: 2/22/2015

My mouth waters when I think about mom's creamy white sauce that she uses as a base for cheese sauce and mustard sauce. She uses her versatile white sauce to blend with pasta, tuna, chicken, and best of all, a dish of new peas and potatoes. 

My mom cooks the way her Arkansas-born mom taught her to cook. Both of them made creamy white sauce with milk. Neither one  knew she was actually cooking a classic Bechamel sauce. I had no idea that Bechamel sauce and my mom's white sauce are the same thing until I started watching cooks like Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, and other television cooks, or chefs. 

White  sauce, or Bechamel sauce, can be used alone or transformed into a trifecta of sauces - mustard sauce, cheese sauce, or curry sauce. All three sauces are winners that will please your taste buds. Best of all, you only need four or five ingredients to produce cups of creamy, rich sauce.

Single serving amount, one cup, is given first. Two cup amount is given as an example. For a quart of white sauce, double the two cup amount that is given and follow the basic directions.


Thin White Sauce

Thin white sauce works well for creamed vegetables or scalloped potatoes and ham. My favorite creamed vegetables are peas with new potatoes, or peas and carrots combined.

  • Ingredients For One Cup

one tablespoon butter         one tablespoon flour       1/4 teaspoon salt         one cup milk

These ingredients are for each cup of sauce that you want to make. 

For two cups double  the amount of ingredients
Example: I want two cups of sauce so I will use

two tablespoons butter    two tablespoons flour    1/2 tsp salt     two cups of milk

Directions for Basic Thin White Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  • Blend in the flour and salt. Let it cook until it is smooth and bubbly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the milk and stir gently.
  • Place pan back over low to medium heat
  • Cook, stirring constantly (a whisk is the best tool for this) until the sauce is thick.
  • Add herbs and spices as desired, optional

Note: I have never used margarine to make white sauce, so I cannot guarantee what the end product will be like if you use margarine. 

Scroll down for the three variations, or transformations; cheese sauce, curry sauce, and mustard sauce.

Medium White Sauce

This is the recipe I use the most. Medium white sauce is great for homemade chicken pot pie, creamed vegetables, or scalloped potatoes and ham. For a thinner sauce, just stir in little more milk until the consistency pleases you.

  • Ingredients For One Cup

three tablespoons butter       three tablespoons  flour     1/4 teaspoon salt     one cup milk


These ingredients are for each cup that you want to make. 

For two cups double the ingredients.
Example: I want two cups of sauce, I will use

six  tablespoons butter   six tablespoons flour   1/2 tsp. salt      two - three cups of milk


Directions for Basic Medium White Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  • Blend in the flour and salt. Let it cook until it is smooth and bubbly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the milk and stir gently.
  • Place pan back over low to medium heat
  • Cook, stirring constantly (a whisk is the best tool for this) until the sauce is thick.
  • Add herbs and spices as desired, optional

Note: I have never used margarine to make white sauce, so I cannot guarantee what the end product will be like if you use margarine.

Transformation #1 

Cheese Sauce  = Add one half cup grated cheese to one cup hot white sauce. My favorite cheeses are American, Mild Cheddar, or Colby Jack. Great with broccoli or macaroni!

Transformation #2

Mustard Sauce = Add one level tablespoon prepared mustard to one cup hot white sauce. Use Dijon, Spicy Brown, Honey Mustard, or Regular. This is especially good with ham and fresh pork.

Transformation #3

Curry Sauce = Add one half teaspoon curry powder to the melted butter and salt.Then blend in the flour and salt. Follow the remaining directions.




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