Sauces, Gravies, and Seasonings

Basic Lean White Sauce ♯

This sauce is one even more basic than Béch\-a\-mel sauce. It is made with butter substitute, which reduces fat and cholesterol, and may contain salt, in which case you may want to adjust the amount of <salt> you add. Use it whenever you want a quickly prepared, lighter flavored sauce for dishes such as creamed chicken or chipped beef.

  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose or gravy flour
  • 1 oz nonfat liquid <butter>
  • ½ tsp <salt>
  • ¼ tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, heat, and stir constantly until thickened.

Makes 2 cups.

Velouté Sauce ⁑

Velouté is one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine. It can be made with any white stock, but perhaps chicken velouté is the most common. Veal and fish veloutés are also made.

Velouté is usually not, in itself, a finished sauce—that is to say, it isn’t typically served as is. Chicken velouté is the basis for the traditional Suprême sauce, as well as the classic Mushroom sauce, Aurora sauce, and many others.

I give my lower fat, lower carb version of this sauce below. Use veal, fish, vegetable, or beef stock, as needed for the particular dish of the evening.

  • 1 ½ cups stock (chicken, veal, fish, vegetable, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or 2 tbsp ButterBuds©
  • 3 tbsp flour (low-carb variety if you have it)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over low heat (don’t let it burn) and add the flour. Raise the heat to medium and stir the butter and flour together for about two minutes to make a roux. At this point there should be a pleasant toasted smell emanating from the pan.

Whisk the simmering stock into the roux and keep whisking while heating. When the stock begins to simmer, turn the heat to low and retain the simmer until the sauce thickens. If a thin skin forms, continue to whisk it into the sauce. Depending on your range, this may take 5 to 10 minutes to reach the desired consistency.

Makes 1 ½ cups.

Creamy White Sauce ♯

This is a rich, buttery white sauce much like Alfred Sauce, but without the Parmesan, garlic, and basil. You can use it to make the Alfred sauce, or whenever you need something a little richer than Béchemel sauce.

  • 2 cup2 nonfat milk
  • 8 oz nonfat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup nonfat liquid <butter>
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp <salt>
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process at medium speed until the constituents are uniformly distributed. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, heat to a simmer, and stir constantly until the corn starch has thickened and lost its taste.

Makes 3 cups.