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Bechamel Sauce (and Variations)

This creamy bechamel sauce was part of Chef Nick's French Sauce workshop in Spring of 2011. It's bound to please, and Chef Nick also offers three delicious variations.


Ingredients:

5 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 quart milk

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Prep Time: 5 min, Cook Time: 35 min, Serves 8

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 no longer tastes gritty, 10 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and nutmeg.


VARIATIONS:


Cheese Sauce: Stir in1/2 teaspoon dry mustard with the flour. Once sauce is made, remove from heat and stir in 1/2 to 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, stirring until melted.

Curry Sauce: Stir in 1 teaspoon curry powder with the flour.

Dill Sauce: Stir in 1 teaspoon chopped fresh of 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed and a dash of ground nutmeg with the flour.