Cream Sauce or Béchamel

Cream sauce or white sauce is a classic. It’s amazing that anyone would buy cream sauce mix when the ingredients are so simple and available in almost every kitchen, and the sauce is so easy to make that even my grown son was proud to show off his white sauce making abilities by making sausage gravy for biscuits for a family breakfast.  It is the basis for many dishes, casseroles and soups. Many leftovers can be made into a meal by adding them to basic white sauce, seasoned appropriately for the mixture. Many people have eaten creamed chicken, a favorite in this part of the Midwest with homemade noodles, and we like these creamed hard-cooked eggs. 
White sauce is so easy to make, I haven’t used an actual recipe in years. I had to look one up in Joy of Cooking. Of course, they remind us that cream sauce is the famous French Béchamel. For a delicate flavor, there is no substitute for butter. 
Cream Sauce or Béchamel
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Melt the butter over LOW heat. Add the flour and blend over LOW heat 3-5 minutes until flour is cooked, but not browned.
Remove from the heat and stir the milk in slowly. Cook and stir the sauce with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until thickened and smooth.
Season with onions, mushrooms, chicken bouillon or soup base, dill weed for fish and eggs, celery cooked in the butter or celery salt or celery seeds, etc. I like a tablespoon of sherry in white sauce to be used with chicken or seafood.
For a substitute for canned cream soup, use a ratio of 3 tablespoons of butter and flour to one cup of milk. This will equal the same amount and consistency as a 10 1/2 ounce can of soup

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