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Basic White Sauce

Basic white sauce can refer to a variety of sauces widely depending on region or type of cuisine. White sauce is also known as Bechamel which is used in a variety of dishes and is the base for many sauces. White sauce being the base sauce is used as an ingredient in the preparation of many recipes like casseroles, soups, gravies and sauces. It can also be used as a simple thickener for stews and existing gravies. You will, no doubt, have many creative ideas of your own by which you can also use white sauce by giving variations and mixing in leftovers to transform into an entirely new dish which could also taste better than the original. White sauce in Greek, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine and in American cities like New York refers to as tzatziki where as in French cuisine it refer to Bechamel or sauces derived from this stock while in Chinese, mayonnaise is literally called white sauce. Thus the generic term "white sauce" can have many different definitions depending on context. Bechamel sauce otherwise known as white sauce is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine and is used in many recipes of Italian cuisine for example lasagna. This sauce is traditionally made by whisking scalded milk gradually into a white flour butter roux (equal parts of clarified butter and flour by weight). Another method, which is considered less traditional, is to whisk kneaded flour-butter (beurre manie) into scalded milk. The thickness of this final sauce depends on the proportions of milk and flour. Béchamel is the most basic white sauce, from which numerous other sauces stem. It is generally cooked over a gentle heat until smooth and slightly thick. The milk may be scalded first and flavored with onion and nutmeg. You can add a variety of ingredients to a basic white sauce to transform it into something more flavorsome, such as chopped parsley, grated cheese, white wine, cooked chopped mushrooms, cooked onions and so on. Making a white sauce is easy to prepare and can be just the thing for making a variety of simple and delicious meals. White sauce can add richness to your delicious dinner dishes. To prepare a basic white sauce, in a dry heavy bottomed sauce pan dry roast the flour till light pinkish in color. Remove and keep aside to cool. Melt butter in the pan and add half the milk. Mix the remaining milk in the cooled flour to form a smooth paste. When milk comes to a boil add paste and stir continuously. Bring back to a boil. Cook till the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon thickly. Sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper and stir to mix well. Add grated cheese to the mixture. Use as required in individual recipes. A simple white sauce can be used to top noodles or a white sauce that includes cheese makes a wonderful topper for vegetables such as broccoli and can be used for favorites, such as macaroni and cheese. For trying this recipe click on the below link for detailed recipe: Making a white sauce takes just few minutes and is easy, once you know how. White sauce is a good way to use up leftover vegetables and meat that are left in the fridge. Add leftover cooked meat or tuna if you have it and cover with a piece of puff pastry for a pie to feed a whole family. Or mix in some rice or pasta, top with cheese for a moray bake. While this white sauce is basic, it will add extra calcium, protein and fat to your baby's diet. It can also be added to a variety of vegetables in pureed, mashed or whole foods. White sauce can be used for filling the pies, lasagna or moussaka or use as a pasta sauce or as a vegetable gratin etc. For giving different variations on the basic white sauce you can add cheese for cheese sauce and a little mustard for extra flavor; for different flavor, substitute part of the milk or stock with white wine; add cayenne pepper instead of nutmeg or try paprika; add mushrooms for mushroom sauce which make a good gravy or brown sauce; add herbs for herb sauce, parsley sauce is a traditional variation to white sauce.

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