- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups milk (skim, 2% or whole)
In small, heavy sauce melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook and stir about 2 minutes. Do not brown.
Gradually whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and boiling. Gently simmer, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes more.
Variations: Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Prepare sauce as directed above, except stir in 1/2 teaspoon paprika along with the flour. Then, stir 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, a little at a time, into the finished hot sauce until melted.
Herb-Garlic Sauce: Prepare sauce as directed above, except add 1 teaspoon minced garlic to the butter as it melts. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, dried basil, dried rubbed sage or dried oregano along with the flour. Finish as directed above.
Lemon-Chive Sauce: Prepare as directed above, except stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives and 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel along with the flour.
Gruyère-Parmesan Sauce: Prepare sauce as directed above, except stir in a dash of ground nutmeg along with the flour and 2 teaspoons mustard along with the milk. Then, stir in 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, a little at a time, into the finished hot sauce until melted.
Photograhy by Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of www.JennywiththeGoodEats.com.
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.