Béchamel, one of the "mother" sauces in classic French cuisine, is versatile: It's used in dishes such as lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and moussaka, and it can also serve as the base for soufflés, soups, and savory pie fillings. What's more, add a little Swiss cheese, and voilà—you've got Mornay Sauce. We call for white pepper so it isn't visible in the sauce. If it's unavailable, you can omit it.
Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2010
1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.
2. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add flour to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add strained milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook 9 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.
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