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
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!