Basic Bechamel Sauce

This basic French “mother sauce” is easy and the basis for so many different sauces for so many dishes. To make a cheese sauce, just add a cup or two at the end as you take it off the heat.

This recipe makes about 1 quart.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden, sandy color, about 7 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in milk until thickened by the roux. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the flour has softened and not longer tastes gritty, 10 to 20 minutes, then season with salt and nutmeg.

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