That’s a Mornay!

Family or friends are coming over and you want to serve a rich, sumptuous sauce that is still low in fat and salt? Read on!

The signature ingredients of the classic Mornay sauce are Béchamel, egg yolks, and Gruyère cheese. Those of a Thermidor are Béchamel, mustard, and Parmesan cheese. Both are wonderful when served with fish, lobster, or just mixed with pasta! In the following recipe, I have hatched a liaison between these two sauces that produced an offspring bearing striking resembles to both of its parents, but lean and young, with significantly less fat and salt.

If you expect my result to taste like the real, fat, salty Mornays or Thermidors made by master chefs, then you will again learn that nothing tastes like the well-prepared original. But if you are open to a new taste sensation that can stand on its own as an equally rich and tasty offspring of its two prominent predecessors, then you will be pleased with the progeny. Moreover, it is better than the Mornays and Thermidors I have tasted that were made by some less-than-master restaurant chefs!

  • cooking spray
  • 1 medium shallot, minced finely
  • 1 medium shiitake mushroom, chopped
  • 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 oz liquid <butter>
  • ½ cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cube low-salt chicken bouillon
  • ¼ cup low-fat grated Gruyére (or other Swiss) cheese
  • ¼ cup low-fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ¼ cup egg substitute (X)
  • 1 tbsp potato (or corn) starch dissolved in 2-oz water

Spray a 1-quart saucepan with cooking oil, add the shallots, and soften them on medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-cook for 3 or 4 minutes until they are also softened.

Add the yogurt and all other ingredients except the X and potato starch mixture. Stir constantly until the cheeses are fully incorporated into the mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool until the X may be added without being cooked.

Drizzle in the X while stirring constantly to incorporate it into the sauce. Add the potato starch and heat until thickened. If you prefer a thinner or thicker sauce, vary the amount of X and potato starch.

Makes about 2 cups sauce.