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BASIC WHITE SAUCE WITH VARIATIONS

BASIC WHITE SAUCE WITH VARIATIONS

Consistency: Thin Medium Thick
Butter/Margarine 15 g / 15 ml 30 g / 30 ml 40 g / 40 ml
Cake Flour 15 g / 25 ml 30 g / 50 ml 40 g / 75 ml
Milk 250 ml 250 ml 250 ml

These amounts yields approximately 300 ml sauce.
Add a pinch of pepper and 2,5 ml salt for a basic white sauce

Microwave method: (my method)
Heat the milk in a microwave safe jug until it starts to foam. In another jug (measuring big enough to add the milk too) melt the butter in microwave and stir the flour in. Add the hot milk to the butter and flour mixture while stirring with a whisk to blend well. Return to the microwave and cook on full power until the sauce is smooth and thickened while stirring every 30 seconds with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper or add variations as below.

Conventional method:
Combine the butter or margarine with flour in a saucepan over moderate heating while stirring with a whisk until the butter had melted and evenly blended with the flour. Add all the milk and stir with whisk to mix well. Continue stirring over medium heat until its smooth and thickened. Simmer gently for a few minutes to ensure its cooked thoroughly and will not taste floury. Season with salt and pepper or add variations as below.

Variations:

Anchovy sauce (fish, eggs, crumbed veal or chicken, vegetables)-
Add 10-15 ml mashed anchovies and 5 ml lemon juice to basic sauce. For a more economical sauce use the same quantity of anchovy paste.

Caper sauce (mutton, grilled or poached fish)-
Add 25 ml chopped capers and 5 ml of the vinegar from the jar of capers to season the sauce.

Cheese sauce (just about everything!)-
Add about 125-250 ml grated flavourful cheese (such as Cheddar, Emmental, Parmesan or combination thereof OR crumbled Gorgonzola or blue veined cheese to the basic sauce after it has thickened. Stir well until the cheese has melted. Can be seasoned with 2,5 ml mustard powder or prepared mustard, 15-30 ml chopped spring onions and a dash of cayenne pepper or garlic salt (I prefer freshly grated garlic).

Curry sauce (hard boiled or poached eggs, vegetables, cooked diced chicken)-
Blend 10 ml curry powder with 10 ml sugar and 15 ml vinegar and stir into the basic white sauce after its thickened.

Egg sauce (crumbed meat, fish or vegetables)-
Stir in 2 sieved very finely chopped hard boiled eggs and 2 ml paprika, garlic or herb seasoning or dried dill.
If chopped fresh dill is used add more to taste.

Golden sauce (vegetables)-
Beat 1 egg yolk well. Stir in a little of the hot sauce and return to the saucepan stirring only to heat through.

Fluffy golden sauce (for dishes that will be covered completely with sauce and then baked)-
Prepare golden sauce but beat in the stiffly beaten egg whites as well. It will become light and fluffy after baking without forming a skin. Similar to a souffle top.

Horseradish sauce (beef, crumbed chicken or schnitzels and vegetables)-
Stir 50 ml cream, 15-30 ml prepared horseradish, 5 ml mustard powder, 5 ml sugar and 10 ml vinegar into the basic sauce. A little chopped parsley may also be added.

Lemon sauce (fish, vegetables and poached eggs)-
Prepare golden or fluffy golden sauce and stir in 15-30 ml lemon juice and 15 ml additional butter or margarine.

Maître d’hôtel sauce (fish and vegetables)-
Add 10-15 ml lemon juice, 25 ml freshly chopped parsley and 25 – 50 ml cream to the basic sauce.

Meat pie sauce (any homemade or purchased pies)-
Add 7,5 ml beef or vegetable spread and 15 ml tomato sauce to the basic sauce and stir until well blended.

Mock Béchamel sauce (vegetables or eggs)-
Add 50 ml finely chopped onion to the butter and cook gently for 1 minute before making the basic sauce. Season with a pinch of dried thyme, grated nutmeg, celery salt, and vegetable, beef or chicken stock powder. The advantage of this sauce is that its quicker to prepare than classic Béchamel sauce.

Mock Hollandaise sauce (poached eggs, fish, vegetables)-
Replace milk with water, simmer the basic white sauce for 5 minutes and beat in 30-50 ml additional butter. Beat 1 to 2 egg yolks with a little of the hot sauce and return to the saucepan with 5 – 10 ml of lemon juice. Heat through but do not boil. This sauce is more stable than the classic Hollandaise sauce.

Mock Velouté sauce (chicken or vegetables)-
Replace the milk in basic white sauce with mild chicken stock made with water and commercial stock powder. Stir in a knob of butter for a richer sauce or beat a little of the hot sauce with 1 egg yolk and 50 ml cream and return to saucepan. Heat through but do not boil.

Mock Mornay sauce (fish, eggs and vegetables)-
Add 250 ml grated Cheddar cheese and 50 ml cream to the basic white sauce. Season to taste with mustard powder or prepared mustard and additional Parmesan cheese.

Mustard sauce (ham, green beans, cabbage, other vegetables)-
Beat 1 egg yolk well. Make the basic white sauce and stir a little sauce into the egg yolk then return to the saucepan. Add 10 ml mustard powder blended with 15 ml vinegar and 5 – 10 ml sugar to taste, and heat through.

Onion sauce (lamb, sausages and vegetables)-
Chop 1 onion coarsely or very finely as preferred and sauté very gently in butter until transparent and soft but not browned. Add flour and proceed to make the basic white sauce and season with 2 ml grated nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves.

Paprika and dill sauce (lamb, fish and vegetables)-
Add 2,5 ml dried dill and 15 ml paprika to the saucepan with the flour and butter and complete the sauce.

Parsley sauce (poached white fish or haddock, potatoes, vegetables, veal or chicken schnitzel)-
Add 50 ml chopped parsley and a pinch of grated nutmeg to the basic white sauce. For a more flavourful sauce add 10-15 ml chopped leek or spring onion. Creamed horseradish (2,5 – 5 ml) gives a special tangy taste.

Prawn or shrimp sauce (poached egg, omelette and fish)-
Add 100 g cooked and cleaned coarsely chopped prawns or whole shrimps to the basic white sauce together with 30 ml chopped spring onion and 15 ml dry white wine or 5 ml lemon juice.

Quick à la King sauce (cooked boneless chicken or vegetables)-
Sauté 60 ml chopped green pepper, 60 ml onion and 125 ml sliced mushrooms in the butter before completing the sauce. If preferred add 30 ml soured cream and 5 – 10 ml sherry.

Quick mushroom sauce (steak, grilled fish, chicken)-
Add 250 ml sliced mushrooms, 50 ml chopped onion and a good pinch of dried oregano to the butter and fry gently for 3 – 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Complete the sauce and season with 15 ml white wine or sherry, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Wow! A mouthful!

Posted by Elsabie Templeton
Photo:  Cecil Dunhin

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