Everybody should know how to make white sauce to pour over steamed vegetables, fish or whatever strikes your fancy, but here is a super simple microwave recipe that dirties no pots or pans.
Use a one quart bowl (for once, I will use anglo measurements).
Put two tablespoons of butter in the bowl and melt it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and microwave for 2 minutes. Whisk in one cup of milk and your personal decision regarding salt and pepper. Microwave for 3 or 4 minutes, stopping each minute long enough to stir the mixture.
That's all there is to it.
You can make all sorts of variations with chopped garlic, chopped parsley, grated parmesan, blue cheese or anything else that sounds good. Don't overdo it.
White sauce, which I do prefer to call béchamel, just because it sounds better, is a most necessary cooking skill. And best of all, it requires almost no skill. It's crucial to macaroni and cheese, and the true white filling to lasagna -- cheaper, easier to work with, and renders a finer result than ricotta.
I am a tiny bit perplexed since The Galley is the area to post recipes. I posted a simple recipe, and anybody else is welcome to post variations and improvements. I checked before posting that there was not already a thread devoted to béchamel, even if it is mentioned from time to time.
If somebody wants to start a thread called "mushroom gravy" that is totally fine with me too.
(I hope that the others are amused by our idle banter.)
Post by cheerypeabrain on May 23, 2020 18:45:53 GMT
When I make a white sauce I initially put the milk on a very gentle heat with a few peppercorns, a chunk of onion or a shallot, a chunk of celery and half a carrot...sometimes a clove of garlic. I don't peel anything...just steep the vegetables in the milk on a very low heat for a while without boiling. Then I strain off the peppercorns and vegetables and use the flavoured milk to make the white sauce. It gives a slightly more savoury sauce.
That sounds interesting, but I never want to strain anything out. I want to be able to consume just about everything except bay leaves, anis or cloves. However, I totaly approve of adding all sorts of extra flavours. Saffron is also excellent in many cases.
Post by cheerypeabrain on May 23, 2020 18:55:35 GMT
Ooh not tried saffron.
My sister uses the sauce as a base for fish pie, she crams prawns, chunks of salmon, white fish etc into the sauce and adds a layer of cheesy mashed potato topping. Bakes it in the oven till its crispy on top...She loves it...
I also add a bit of nutmeg to béchamel. Mine isn't so economical as I use goat's milk. But then, I don't make lasagne very often. Yes, I've also tried soya milk, but it is meh and has an odd texture. I definitely prefer béchamel to ricotta in lasagne. Ricotta (once again, goat's or ewe's for me) makes wonderful cheesecakes that are lighter and more interesting than the cream cheese kind.