Cooking tip – making white sauce

Another tip, also related to the aforementioned and sinful Portobello Lasagne: Whisking milk into a roux (flour browned in butter) to make a white sauce can be difficult and produce lumps, which in turn makes a lumpy sauce. (Unless you strain it, and who has the patience?) I’ve found that simmering the milk beforehand – and adding hot milk instead of cold – virtually eliminates lumps. Maybe because it keeps the butter melted. Who knows? All I know is that I got a perfect sauce with hardly any whisking.

Never made a white sauce? It’s a good base for creating rich dressings for things like chicken, or for making creamed spinach, or for tossing and baking with broccoli and cheese for a gratin. A good ratio is 4 tbsp butter to 4 tbsp (1/4c) flour, to 2 c whole milk.

Heat the milk. In a separate pan over low heat melt the butter (now is a good time to fry onions and garlic if you want them) and then whisk in the flour and stir constantly till golden, then whisk in the hot milk and seasonings. Whisk for about five minutes and take off the heat. Now you can stir in things like cheese, spinach, or sauteed mushrooms. Voilá!

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