White sauce is one of the most simple and flexible sauces, providing a basic medium for a wide variety of other sauces or soups. On its own, it is very bland, but combined with other ingredients, it can be most delicious.
- 2 Cups milk
- 1/4 Cup butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- salt and white pepper, to taste
- Pour milk into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil; remove from heat. In a second heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, until well blended and bubbly (about 3 minutes); do not allow mixture to color. Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually add hot milk, stirring continuously. Season with salt and pepper and increase heat; cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Adjust seasoning.
- Variations: Basic White Sauce for Fish, substitute fish stock or bottled clam juice for half of the milk; season with juice of 1 lemon.
- Basic White Sauce for Fowl, substitute chicken stock for half of the milk. Season with a dash of ground cinnamon, a dash of brandy, and 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest.
- Basic White Sauce for Vegetables, substitute chicken stock for half of the milk. Add juice of 1 lemon, a dash of crushed dried thyme, and [1/2] cup grated cheese of choice.