You can do almost anything with a Bechamel sauce, and once you learn to make it (you can make it) you can impress people by telling them you whipped up a Bechamel.white_sauce1

Basic recipe:

2 T butter
2 T flour
1/4 t salt (more if you’re a Waldrop)
1 c milk

Melt the butter in a pan over med-hi heat, then add the flour, whisk constantly and let it cook, bubbling, for 1 minute (cooking it longer is an option, and will give the sauce a richer and nuttier flavor). Add the salt, then the milk, pouring slowly and whisking constantly. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the sauce thickens (keep whisking).

Play with the proportions to get a thicker or thinner sauce, but keep equal parts flour and butter. Add some shredded cheese to the finished product and you have a Mornay sauce, or something that is sneaky good over pasta. Add bacon and sour cream to your Mornay sauce and pour it over a casserole dish filled with sliced potatoes and make scalloped potatoes. Last night I put sauteed onion and garlic, artichokes, and parmesan in my Bechamel, mixed in some chicken, and served it with pasta and green peas.

The possibilities are truly endless.