This key recipe I learned before the arrival of my precious Betty Crocker cookbook. White sauce, roux, whatever you call it can be the basis for so many recipes. My mom taught me how to make macaroni and cheese using this white sauce, which surprisingly takes about the same amount of time as opening a box of Kraft. Here in germany where the “cream of” variety of condensed soups are not sold, I found I needed to use the white sauce in order to re-create many of my American recipes, like hamburger stroganoff, a chicken and rice casserole and my favorite cheesy potatoes. I also use this as the basis for my southern gravy and alfredo sauce.
Since I have been cooking-through my cookbook, I find now that it was used in so many recipes during the fifties and that I can even make a short cut to white sauce and keep it on hand in the refrigerator.
This is how I make my white sauce, which also seems to be the same recipe in the cookbook. Makes sense I guess, since I learned it from my Mom who used this cookbook too when it first came out in the fifties.
Let’s get started.
First, melt the butter over low heat.
Next, blend in the flour and seasonings cooking over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
Remove from heat to stir in milk. Then bring to a boil for about one minute. Here, you have to stir constantly.
Sometimes, I switch to using a whisk if there happen to be any lumps in the sauce. When the sauce is your desired consistency, it is done.
The recipe states for the best flavor to cook for 10 minutes. I never knew that. It also states to use a wooden spoon, so next time I will try as Betty suggests.
The measurements for a medium sauce is 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper and 1 cup milk.
For the shortcut to always have the basic roux (butter paste) on hand says to blend to a smooth paste equal amounts of soft butter and flour. Keep in jar in the refrigerator. I will be trying this too, it will save a lot of time for me. When ready to use, heat to scalding the milk, stock or other liquid and seasonings. Stir constantly until mixture boils for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
I thought it was time to share this method today, as throughout this month I will be trying out a few new recipes that require this white sauce and sharing a few of my own in the near future.
I can’t tell you how many times this basic, simple, little white sauce has saved my dinners!
If you are curious about learning more about this basic white sauce, you can find all the little hints and techniques in the sauces section of the original Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.