Homemade white sauce is easy to prepare, inexpensive and surprisingly versatile. It can be mixed with other ingredients to make a simple pot pie, a variety of vegetable cream-based soups, and even homemade cheese sauce for fondue, drizzling over broccoli or other vegetables, or for macaroni and cheese. Following is an easy recipe for white sauce, and three simple ways to use it.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold milk
Melt butter in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Add flour and salt, and whisk until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce comes to a boil. Turn down heat slightly and continue stirring until sauce becomes smooth and thick. Once the sauce becomes thick, simmer for an additional 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
Chicken Pot Pie
Add white sauce to cooked chicken cut or torn into bite-sized pieces and mixed vegetables, along with a teaspoon of low-sodium chicken broth. Mix well and pour into a store-bought or homemade pie filling. Cover with the top crust and crimp edges to seal, then bake at 350°F about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
White sauce can be used as a starter for making creamed soups – which can replace the store-bought varieties and add a fresher taste to your cooking. Puree 1 lb. of the desired vegetable, such as cooked asparagus, carrots, celery, or mushrooms; or potatoes; and mix in with milk or cream to white sauce.
In a medium saucepan, stir 1/4-1 cup of grated sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese to the white sauce on low heat. Keep stirring until the cheese melts, then use as desired – as a dip for veggies or chips, or mixed with some cilantro and tomatoes for a cheesy salsa.