White Sauce, White Sauce, What to do with a White Sauce!

How to make a white sauce was a standard part of the curriculum of Home Ec. at school in the 60’s.  The white sauce is one of the mother sauces and can be uses as an ingredient in making many casseroles, soups, gravies, and sauces. 
A 1960's Parsley White Sauce for Fish

Below I have included the basic recipes for white sauces that I got from my Home Ec. Teacher Mrs. Wright.  One of the big advantages of making a white sauce is the variety of other ingredients that you can add to change the flavor.  You can also control the amount of salt you add which helps reduce the sodium content.  The stirring is important to help prevent lumps.  If the sauce gets lumpy put it through a sieve to strain out the lumps.  If you want more help with white sauces check out our how to video " How to Make a White Sauce"

Whisking the White Sauce helps prevent Lumps

The recipes below can be doubled to create larger volumes if needed.

Thin White Sauce (this one is great for soups)
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tbsp. flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or ½ cup evaporated milk and I/2 cup water ( I like to use the evaporated milk as it seems to give a better consistency to the sauce.0

Medium White Sauce (this one is great for sauces and casseroles)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or ½ cup evaporated milk and I/2 cup water

 Melt the butter or margarine in a sauce pan and whisk in flour and salt until smooth.  Gradually stir in milk cooking over direct heat and stirring constantly until the sauce boils.  Reduce the heat slightly and continue to stir until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.  When the sauce thickens, simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes over very low heat stirring occasionally.

Variations on a White Sauce

1.       Cheese Sauce.  Make the medium white sauces and stir in ¼ to 1cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese or other sharp cheese.  Stir until the cheese melts.   If you like it spicy add 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped jalapenos peppers for a little heat
 A spicy cheese sauce

2.       Turkey Pot Pie.  Add 2 cups medium white sauce to 2 cups of chopped cooked turkey, 2 cups of mixed vegetables and a 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage or thyme.  Mix well and pour into a pie shell.  Cove with a top crust and crimp to seal.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top crust is golden.
A great way to use leftover turkey.  Pot Pie