I work with an amazing lady and chef extraordinaire. She does things with squash that are unspeakable. But this post I’m not talking about squash, no I’m talking about a white sauce. Sometimes for the veggie option she has to whip up some deliciousness last minute with sauteed vegetables and pasta and a white sauce. It’s from her that I learned this recipe, and about a little thing called roux.
Roux is this magical thickener. At least, I find it magical. I stand in awe every time it actually works. What’s so great is it has only 2 ingredients: flour and butter. Even better you can use it to make some kind of white sauce or cheese sauce or just to thicken that stubborn stew. I know we’ve all heard the idea of using flour to thicken soups and stews, but you probably made the same mistake I did and tossed the flour straight in. Blech. All you get is flour clumps that don’t dissolve into your thin soup.
I have to warn everyone though this is one of those recipes I have no measurements for. It’s all done by taste and winging it. And it works. I’ve seen it, but didn’t believe it until I whipped some up for a last minute dinner with my friends. So here is that white sauce as well as recommendations of how to liven it up
- “livening up” stuff (ie seasonings)
Very Sketchy Directions
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium low heat. Try not to burn the butter.
- Once melted, add flour, using a whisk (or fork etc) to mix it in. Stir constantly. You may need to add more flour, but the mixture should thicken up some. For this recipe “keep it blonde” or light colored. You can go darker for other recipes, but don’t ask me about that. If you burn it, dump it, wash the pan and start again.
- Add the milk and stir. The mixture should thicken, making a sauce. At this point you want to add any seasonings. I recommend garlic, and salt and pepper.
- Once thickened to your liking pour over pasta, toss with vegetables (and pasta or whatever), etc.
Liven it up
The most basic seasoning I do is garlic, pepper and salt. You can also add onion powder, curry powder, italian seasonings, basil, cajun seasoning, etc. Parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic will transform this white sauce into an alfredo sauce.
This can be served over meats, pasta, vegetables, rice, whatever. I like tossing from frozen veggies in with pasta and maybe left over chicken. The main things is to not be afraid to experiment. Such a basic recipe begs you to have fun with it. And I seriously recommend at least salt because the sauce is very very bland without extra flavor.