This is a simple béchamel sauce that can be used as a jumping off point for delicious mac and cheese and leafy vegetable gratins. Yield: 1¾ quarts
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups whole milk
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until the butter and the flour are thoroughly combined. Continue to cook the mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.
2. Whisk in the milk 1 cup at a time. Whisk until the paste is smooth than add another cup of milk and repeat the process until the milk is finished. The milk and flour should be smooth and slightly thickened.
3. Place the pan back over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a boil while whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes stirring every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon. The sauce may form a crust on the bottom so try not to disturb it with the wooden spoon or you will have brown flecks in your sauce. To avoid this, you can transfer the sauce to a double boiler and continue to cook it for 20 minutes without having to stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm for up to 30 minutes to prepare lasagna.