Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sauce Bechamel (White Sauce), Mornay (Cheese Sauce) & Soubise (Onion Sauce)

Sauce bechamel is a very basic French white sauce that works well as a "mother" recipe for lots of different things and variations: in gratins, lasagnas, and other casseroles, over steamed veggies, mashed potatoes or Yorkshire Pudding.  This is based on the very standard Joy of Cooking recipe.

1&1/4 cups milk
1/4 onion
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
sea salt
freshly ground white or black pepper

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, onion & bay leaf on low heat, uncovered for 15 minutes.  Remove and compost the onion & bay leaf and set milk aside.

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter on medium low heat, add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until golden brown.  Slowing whisk in the warm milk until well incorporated (no lumps).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 1&1/2 cups

After it thickens:
  • stir in 1/4 cup grated cheese blend from Taste or smoked cheddar from Spring Hill
  • add a tablespoon fresh minced herbs (chives, parsley...)
As the first step, saute an onion or a couple shallots (sliced very thin, sauteed until soft); then proceed with the recipe as written.

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