You can use this simple white sauce on its own or add spices, herbs or vegetables. It’s a good base for a casserole or cream soup (pictured) when you don’t want to buy the canned variety.
This version of basic white sauce comes from The Well-Filled Microwave Cookbook, by Susanna Hoffman and Victoria Wise.
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1½ cups milk
¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the butter in a large bowl and microwave, uncovered, on High for two minutes until foaming. Add the flour and whisk until mixture is smooth.
- Microwave, uncovered, on High for 90 seconds or until boiling.
- Add the milk to the mixtures and whisk until smooth. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 2 minutes. Whisk to smooth again and microwave on High for 1 minute more, or until thickened.
- Add the salt and use right away. You can also add nutmeg, paprika, or pepper.
The sauce makes about two cups and keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.
White sauce is a good recipe to start with because nothing will happen if it’s not totally cooked. And you’ll know when it’s thick enough. I promise.
Any time you want to convert a conventional recipe that requires constant stirring to a microwave recipe, you follow the technique used in the recipe below: Stir in ingredients one at a time, heat, stir and check the consistency or doneness. Repeat until done. It’s hard to give exact times in microwave recipes because the temperature of the ingredients and the microwave’s wattage (maximum power level) affect the outcome.
The first time you make something new you might check it every 30 seconds, but with experience you’ll only have to stir it once or twice. Best of all, if you get interrupted the worst that will happen is that the food will cool off.
When you experiment, write down your results.
To make cream of anything soup, saute vegetables in a soup pot on top of the stove. You can cook the vegetables in the microwave too, just use a large bowl so the soup won’t boil over. Add one part water and one part white sauce. Add herbs or spices. Heat to just under boiling.
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