I’ve been teaching my girls how to cook for a few years now. The twins, 17, are getting pretty good with more simple fare. There is one thing I want them to master; however, white sauce.
A good, simple white sauce. Why, you may ask… if you aren’t a chef, amateur or professional.
Simple. There are so many dishes that can be made starting with a white sauce. Pretty much, if it’s thick and creamy and not a tomato sauce, it’s some variation of a white sauce!
Want to make macaroni and cheese? White sauce & cheese.
Want to make some alfredo dish? White sauce & cheese — though, you’ll probably want different cheeses for alfredo than mac & cheese!
Creamed chipped beef (or SOS as we call it) — white sauce!
Au gratin Potatoes? Cheesey veggies? Sausage gravy? — White Sauce!
Want to know the best part? It’s a secret. It’s Super-de-duper easy to do and remember!
The hard part is mastering it. But if you use it enough, it’ll start to become “your” white sauce. And people will ask for your dish over and over again. And then you’ve mastered it!
Ok, here goes: 2 – 2 – 2. Can you remember that?
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine, I suppose)
2 cups of milk — not 2 tablespoons!
First, you are going to make a roux. Don’t worry it’s easy. I don’t know why it’s called that, it means red in French…there’s no red, so, I don’t know. *shrugs*
Anyway, in a heavy pan over medium-low heat, melt the 2 TBS of butter. When it’s melted, add the 2 TBS of flour and whisk really good. You should have a smooth paste. If you don’t, sadly, you’re gonna have to start over cause you messed up somewhere. Probably in measuring.
Now, assuming you’ve got a nice smooth paste, slowly add the milk, whisking the whole time. This is the very important part. You’re gonna have to constantly whisk this baby so it doesn’t scorch, you know how persnickety milk is when you’re cooking with it.
It’ll come back to a boil eventually and you don’t want to turn the heat up otherwise it’ll taste like flour. Let it cook on med-low heat till it starts to boil. And once it starts to boil, cook it for at least one full minute… that’s the persnickety part of flour. If your sauces or gravies ever taste like flour you either heated it too quickly or you didn’t let it “cook off”.
Now, once it cooks for one minute, this is when you are going to add in whatever cheeses you need to add in.
Oh, and if you’re gonna flavor it, you wanna do that in the beginning, before you add the flour. So, throw in the butter, and while it’s doing it’s thing throw in garlic, or peppers, or whatever floats your boat.
And there you go. Now you can go make some quick and easy mac & cheese — homemade and they’ll never ask for Kraft again! Or a quick Alfredo sauce that’ll knock their socks off!
Just remember 2 – 2 – 2 … or just bookmark this page and have it titled as your go-to white sauce.