You must learn to make sauce! Handy-Easy White Sauce Recipe
When I was first diagnosed with Celiac I was depressed at how much I could not eat! The funny thing is, many of the food items that now contain wheat our grandmothers made with corn starch! For those of you who can’t use corn there are other gluten free thickeners on the market as well- potato starch, amaranth flour, you can even try an all purpose gluten free flour mix like Bob’s Red Mill etc.
So, to get back to the basics, I am adding my first recipe which will be white sauce from scratch. You really can do it and it is wonderful not having to worry about hidden ingredients on the label. This simple sauce is a staple in my home since I can whip up mac n’ cheese for the kids in no time flat with a bag of Tinkyada Rice Noodles (gluten free of course) and a cheesy variation of the basic white sauce.
Do I really have to go there? (Shopping List):
1) butter 2) corn starch- or preferred thickener 3) milk 4) now comes the fun part- season with salt and pepper, or parsley, and/or add various cheeses (I like a good sharp cheese since I don’t have to use as much), anything that suits your fancy.
If I can do it you can do it! (The Recipe):
Order DOES matter! Believe me, I’ve tried, after all I am a certified Goof.
- 1pad of butter (1 Tablespoon)
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch (notice it’s the same amount as the butter, this is helpful to note if you want to make more)
- 2 or more cups milk (depending on how thick you like the sauce, don’t be afraid to try it with less then slowly add the milk as it simmers until you have the right consistancy)
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, bring to a gentle bubble. Don’t burn it-that stinks and you will have to start over, just get the edge starting to cook. Butter really does work better than margarine in this case-I tried margarine to appease my mother and eventually gave it all up. I think the real macoy is the only way to go but of course in moderation. I’m typing with The Biggest Loser on TV in the background making me feel a bit guilty about all the calories I’m suggestion here! I never said this was a healthy recipe.
- As soon as you see that the butter is bubbling add the corn starch and whisk like mad then when is it mixed in let that start to bubble and cook only about 20 seconds. Seriously, that was the hard part!
- Next pour in the milk, whisk and increase the temperature to medium. The sauce will thicken over the next few minutes, mine usually takes about 5 minutes but I’m impatient and don’t mind a thin sauce as long as the kids are fed and hopefully done clinging to my legs asking “what’s for lunch Ma!”
- Season to taste- Sometimes I add cheese and pepper at this point, or if I’m going for an alfredo I leave the cheese out and spoon in minced garlic and some green spice for color (whatever is close at hand, well almost)! Onion powder can be used or Season All- *Don’t forget to check the spices in your cupboard if you are new to gluten free baking, many of them contain wheat as an anti-caking agent, when in doubt, throw it out or call the company if you can’t bear to part with that 3 yr old shaker full of Italian Seasoning your grandma gave you. Well, maybe that’s just me, I’m cheap!
- Parting Thoughts- Slowly add the milk and wait while the sauce thickens. I know, them are fightin’ words! But seriously if it doesn’t turn out thick enough you will have to start from square one, or as I have done before in a pinch, get another saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, cook 20 seconds and pour that mixture into the 1st – thin- attempt. Usually that will revive it. Even though this recipe is fairly easy it takes some practice to get it right if you are as Goofy as I am. And don’t try pouring flour into the pan after you have added the milk, it’s horrible, even the dog won’t eat it- cat’s don’t mind the lumps though, if they are getting warm milk so all is not lost!