Mastering the Basics - ABC, or doh, re, mi of cooking
Comment 1

Béchamel (or White) Sauce

Basic Ingredients

– Butter. Flour. Milk. Salt & Pepper –

So many dishes – both savoury and sweet – call for a white sauce. Mixing the flour with melting butter (the roux) can seem tricky at first but once you get the hang of it is fairly straight forward. For best results heat the milk up before adding to the roux. That all said I have often prepared this with unheated milk and it still works though it takes longer for the sauce to thicken. This book is about becoming a master cook not a master chef – so if there are one or two small lumps in the sauce don’t fret!

 

 

Begin by melting a large pat of butter over a medium heat. When the butter has turned to liquid add 2-3 tsp. of flour whisking it continuously into the butter. Gradually add around one litre of heated milk whilst continuing to whisk in order to disperse any lumps. If it is hasn’t thickened enough mix another table-spoon or two of either arrow-root or flour with some water in a small cup before pouring into the simmering sauce. (Just sprinkling more flour into the sauce will result in clumps of flour forming and not dispersing correctly.) If it gets too thick add some more milk until you are happy with the consistency and texture of your basic white sauce.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cheese Sauce

DSC_0277

Add any cheese of your choice (roquefort or cheddar or parmesan or emmenthal or whatever cheese you fancy) – to the sauce as it begins to thicken– great for macaroni cheese, lasagne, cauliflower cheese, croque monsieur, mousaka …..

Parsley Sauce

DSC_0351

Chop a bunch of parsley (flat or curly) finely and add to the sauce. A favourite in the UK where it is served with boiled ham or white fish.

Onion & Cloves Sauce (Onion Pique)

DSC_0366

Onion, bay leaf and cloves for an onion picque sauce (excellent with the bread sauce)

Cut an onion in half. Attach a bay leaf to the onion by piercing three cloves to the side of the onion. Heat the onion, bay-leaf and cloves in the milk for roughly twenty minutes before adding to the roux. A truly wonderful savoury sauce. Add left over chopped bread and turn into a bread-sauce best served with chicken or turkey.

Bread Sauce

DSC_0347

Add home-made bread crumbs to serve a bread sauce (see onion pique above).

Mustard Sauce

DSC_0353

Add one or two tbs. of your favourite mustard. Excellent with a bit of fresh cream and works really well with most pork and ham dishes.

Brandy Sauce

DSC_0374

This one comes courtesy of Hilary Kathleen Garnett née Fawcett (Grandma) who preferred it to brandy butter at Christmas – as do I! Prepare the white sauce, add as much sugar as you like and as much brandy as you feel you can spare. Seriously good stuff!

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Butternut squash and Ricotta Lasagne | Master in the Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s