Recipe by Chef John
"White sauce is one of the “mother sauces” in traditional culinary training and is used in many popular dishes."
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fresh thyme, chopped
freshly grated nutmeg
cayenne pepper, or more to taste
I didn't change a thing and loved it!!
Looks better than it tastes unfortunately
This is a BASIC sauce. Add whatever spices will complement whatever you're going to use it on. Important: you want to cook the butter/four mix at a temp that will cook the flour without burning the butter. Usually when I get lumps, it's because I didn't cook the flour long enough. I like to make this with whole wheat flour, if you don't mind a brown "white" sauce with speckles. :)
I skipped the thyme in this recipe. I browned some chopped onion and fresh minced garlic in the butter before adding the flour. After the sauce was made, I added some ground mustard and a touch of hot sauce. I used the white sauce as a base for homemade macaroni and cheese. It worked out great--perfect thickness and held up well during the whole cooking process.
For a basic, more versatile white sauce, omit the nutmeg and thyme. (Actually, I’m not sure I’d like that combination. For my tastes it would be either/or) For a thinner white sauce, use 1 T. each of flour and butter. For a thick sauce, 3 T. each of flour and butter.
I cannot resist making a comment here. Chef John did a great job presenting this recipe, however, I have to laugh when I read reviews of folks who consider themselves "pro's" and obviously have no concept of the basic "mother sauces" and what goes into them and what they are used for. This recipe is (except for the thyme and cayenne) a very basic Bechamel or White Sauce - I learned this way back in 8th grade home economics class many decades ago and, yes, it does and should have nutmeg in it. You don't just make this and dump it over food and expect that to be it. You must adjust it - add cheddar cheese for a cheese sauce a 'la Mac and Cheese. Add Gruyere and Parmesan to make a Mornay Sauce - great over veggies and even pasta - also used in a Kentucky Hot Brown. There are 4 other Mother or basic sauces in French Cuisine which are the basis of almost all sauces - think Hollandaise (if you've had a yummy plate of Eggs Benedict you've had Hollandaise (a mother sauce) - it's the technique used to make mayonnaise. This is such a basic sauce and can be made thinner or thicker depending on what you want to use it for - just use equal amounts of butter and flour to milk with a dash of nutmeg which enhances the taste of the sauce. More flour and butter equals a thicker sauce. Easy.
Thank you so much! I had a basic recipe for white sauce and lost it and couldn't find a good one to replace it. This was exactly what I was looking for. I did add some chopped onion and garlic to the butter and skipped the cayenne since I don't care much for spicy hot food. It turned out perfectly. I can't wait to experiment with other added ingredients and can see several possibilities!
This turned out good-but made alot so I had to throw out the rest..I used this sauce for my macaroni and cheese dish and my son loved it...A keeper!!!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Chef John's White Sauce
Serving Size: 1/8 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 126
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