Friday, November 12, 2010

Fun in the Kitchen #6 - A Simple White Sauce

Last week, we tackled a roasted chicken.  That was a fairly complex meal that took a bit of work.  But, the payoff was impressive too.  The week before that was mini-pizzas.  Sure, they were easy, but they're not going to knock anyone's socks off.  This week, you're going to get a little of both.  This white sauce only takes a handful of ingredients, plus, but it tastes great and can be used in about a bazillion different ways.  Plus, you can brag about you make your own sauce from scratch.  That's worth a couple of brownie points.

Butter - 2 Tablespoons
Flour - 2 Tablespoons
Milk - 1 Cup
I'm making a double batch, so just multiply all of the quantities by 2.  Easy-peasey.
Milk, Flour, Salt, Pepper and Butter - They're common ingredients that you should all have in your kitchen.

Start by melting your butter in a sauce pan.  For now, keep the heat at or below medium on the range.  You don't want to burn your butter.

After a couple of minutes, this...
turns into this...

Add your flour and mix it in.  I recommend a silicone spatula to get at all the corners of the dish.  In a minute or two, you'll have a nice, frothy blend.

It'll go from this...
to this...
Again, keep the heat at or below medium on your range to keep the mix from burning and sticking to the bottom.

Now, mix in your milk.  Once the milk is in, turn up your heat.  Keep that spatula moving and the sauce will stay smooth.  Stop mixing and you'll get lumps.

Mixing, mixing mixing...
Once the sauce reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low.
Okay, time to turn down the heat.

For the next couple of minutes, just let the sauce simmer while you keep mixing.  Things will start to thicken up pretty quick.  The longer you simmer, the thicker the sauce will be.  Go ahead and add a couple pinches of salt, pepper and any other spices you like.

I've been experimenting with coarse Kosher salt, but good ol' Morton's works just fine.
Sweet.  We're good to go.
Like I said, you can add this sauce to just about anything.  You could add some sauteed mushrooms and put it over a steak.  You could put it over grilled chicken, or, like me, you can just put it over some pasta.
Here's The Wife's plate.
I added a little ground sausage to mine.  Yum.
Start to finish, this sauce only takes about 10 minutes, and you've probably already have the ingredients in your home.  Plus, it's a good recipe to start with if you're still stretching your legs in the kitchen. 

That's it for now.  Good luck in the kitchen and have a great weekend.

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