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White Sauce Magic

June 1, 2012



WHITE SAUCE.  What a treasure of cooking versatility the three ingredients of “medium” white sauce brought into my meal preparation:

2 tablespoons butter     2 tablespoons flour            1 cup milk

Directions: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until the butter and flour are well combined. Pour in milk, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add more milk depending on desired consistency. (Easily done in the microwave if you can convert “stirring constantly” to diligently “stirring frequently.” Go about every 20-30 seconds.)

What is WHITE SAUCE good for?

Mac and Cheese: add your favorite cheese, shredded, and stir until cheese is melted; add Parmesan to sharpen the flavor; add garlic powder or other seasonings to discover a macaroni and cheese dish you never knew existed!

Creamed soup base: this will call for a thinner white sauce

1 tablespoons butter          1 tablespoons all-purpose flour            1 cup milk

Can you say, “CHOWDER.”      Yummmmmmmm!

Other pasta sauces: Lasagna, Alfredo

Alternate to “red” or tomato pizza sauce

Biscuits & Gravy: Use drippings from sausage pan as in gravy recipe below

Cassaroles: quick Tuna Noodle Cassarole – make one cup white sauce; add one can of creamed soup (chicken, mushroom) and milk to desired consistency. Pour over noodles

OR use white sauce exclusively with seasonings such as celery seed and onion salt.

“Creamed” Tuna on Toast/Biscuits: never had it? Add drained tuna to the white sauce and pour over toast or biscuits.

GRAVY!!  Use meat drippings or broth in place of butter and some or all of the liquid. Note 2 cups of liquid. You want your GRAVY to be thinner than the WHITE SAUCE.

Now, don’t just think mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. Think: meat pies with a creamy gravy. Sooooo good.

Making Gravy with Flour

1    Remove the roast from the pan. Place pan on stove on medium high heat. Pour off, into bowl or    measuring cup, all but 2 Tbsp of the drippings in the pan.

2    Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour into the drippings in pan until the flour has thickened and the gravy is smooth. Continue to cook slowly to brown the flour, stirring constantly.

3    Slowly add back some of the previously removed. You can add water, milk or broth to the gravy, enough to make 2 cups. Season the gravy with salt, pepper and herbs.


Marinara sauce                                 Oct. 2012 Food and Wine (reading at the dentist office) J

You can purchase your “red” pasta sauce in cans or seasoning packets. But occasionally, you should make a homemade version. If it’s thick enough, put together a pizza!!

In a large saucepan, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add 3 halved garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 min. Add 1 T, tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 min. Add one 35 oz can whole peeled Italian tomatoes and crush with a spoon; season w/ s and p . Stir in a pinch of sugar and 2 basil sprigs and bring to a boil Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 cups – 30 min. Discard basil and garlic.

Chili Sauce, hotter                           Eva Seegmiller, Troy Branch


1 gallon tomatoes, peeled and quarter

2/3 cup onions, chopped

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp nutmeg

¾ tsp Tabasco sauce

½ tsp curry powder

2 ½ cups vinegar (add no citric acid)

5 tsp salt

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mustard


Wash, then blanch tomatoes.  To blanch, dip tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 seconds or more.  Put immediately into cold water to cool, then peel and quarter.  Put all ingredients together in large pan and boil down for 1-2 hours or until somewhat thick. (usually about an hour and a half) Stir often and turn heat down as it thickens to prevent burning.  Pour boiling hot into jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Put lids on and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes, pints or half pints.


Chili Sauce, sweeter                       Nancy Heward, Troy Branch    (my mother’s recipe)

Yield: 18 pints –                  18 pints sounds like a lot unless it is stored in the pantry for 2-3 years or longer. Sometimes we have  ingredients galore and should make good use of them.


12-14 lbs of tomatoes

4 c. chopped celery

2 ½ c. ground onion

2 ½ c. ground green pepper

6 cinnamon sticks

4 ½ c. brown sugar

4 c. cider vinegar

¼ c. salt

1 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 ½ tsp. ground cloves


Wash, peel, remove stem ends and cores and quarter tomatoes into 8­-10 quart kettle or Dutch oven. Cook 15 minutes; drain off 6 cups tomato juice (use for drinking or cooking). Add celery, onion, and green pepper; simmer 1 ½ hours. Tie cinnamon sticks in cloth; add to mixture. Add brown sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard, and cloves. Cook mixture 1 ½ hours. (My mom cooked it longer so it got thicker.)

Remove cinnamon bag. Pour into hot jars, leaving ½ inch head space. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water-bath; pints: 5 minutes.


Curry              Eva Seegmiller            Sunset Favorite Recipes 1

Curry is a nice way to make steamed rice taste great. And as in other recipes in this handout, if you have meat, it is a nice addition, but not necessary. Suggested other additions you may enjoy are, hard-boiled chopped eggs, and or chopped cooked vegetables.


¼ cup butter or margarine

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced or mashed

2 tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken broth


1 cup cream (I wouldn’t hesitate to use evaporated milk or even omit it altogether and use one additional cup broth instead.)

 Melt butter in a heavy pan; add chopped onion and saute until limp. Stir in garlic and curry powder; cook about 1 minute more. Add flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and cayenne; stir over low heat until blended and bubbly.

Gradually stir in chicken broth and whipping cream; cook over low heat, stirring, until thickened. Makes 3 cups sauce. Eat over steamed rice.

Hopefully, adding a basic white sauce/gravy recipe to your cooking tool box will give you confidence in the versatility of your basic food storage items!

Happy Cooking, Nancy


From → TIPS

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