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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cream Sauce

In an effort to cut out all the premade canned stuff I have grown used to using I needed to learn to make a cream sauce or white sauce.

Who needs a recipe for a simple cream sauce? Me for one and I am sure there are others who would love a little help.

First some Do's and Don'ts
  • Do use a heavy saucepan. If you don't have one use your double boiler over simmering water. Do not allow water touch bottom of upper pan.
  • Do use LOW heat when melting butter - be patient, it is worth it!. Don't allow butter to brown. Keep heat LOW while blending in flour. Don't allow the flour to brown.
  • Cook sauce slowly.
  • Stir with wire whisk.
  • Cook until no trace of starchy taste remains.

Basic Cream Sauce
2 TBS Butter
1TBS flour
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
Sprinkling of white pepper (I use regular old pepper - my family isn't picky!)

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in flour. When flour is blended in, slowly add milk, stirring with a wire whisk. Cook, stirring over a low heat until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Medium Cream Sauce
Increase flour to 2 TBS.

Thick Cream Sauce
Increase butter to 4TBS, flour to 3 TBS.

Now for some yummy VARIATIONS!

  • Substitute 1/2 to 1 cup homemade chicken stock for an equivalent amount of milk.
  • Substitute 1/2 cup white wine for an equivalent amount of milk.
  • Stir in 1-2TBS of good cognac, other brandy, or dry sherry just before serving (isn't that elegant!)
  • Add 1/2 cup grated sharp cheese. Stir until blended.
  • Stir a little hot sauce into 2 well beaten egg yolks, stir yolks into rest of sauce, and remove from heat immediatly.
  • Substitute 1/2 to 1 cup sour cream for an equivalent amount of milk. Stir in a little prepared horseradish just before serving.
  • Stir in 1TBS tomato puree.

Add a 1/4 cup of any of the following:

  • Slivered almonds
  • Pimiento slivers
  • Sauteed-in-butter mushrooms
  • Ripe olive slivers
  • This slices of water chestnuts
  • Diced cooked shrimp
  • Julienne strips of ham
  • Chopped oysters
  • Chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • Crisp garlicky buttered homemade croutons (serve immediately, before they get soggy)

I don't know about you but we are having Cream Sauce with Dinner tonight!

Submitted to: Real Food Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays.


  1. I saw on a cooking show once where they mixed the flour into softened butter to make a paste, then proceeded to make a cream sauce. I've done it ever since and have never once had lumpy gravy!!

  2. Amy - Now that is brilliant - I am all about skipping steps that have the ability to go wrong! Thanks for sharing your tip.

  3. Another great thing to add to a white sauce is nutmeg. It sounds strange, but once you try it you'll never leave it out! It's great with a homemade mac and cheese, alfredo or anything with spinach in it. so good!

  4. Hi Christy,
    I'm a Catholic SAHM, too. :)

    I just tried Julia Child's cream of mushroom soup yesterday - it was great, but this looks easier and probably just as yummy!

    I'm stumbling your post right now, thanks for sharing on Real Food Wednesday!


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