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Bechamel (White) Sauce

Category: Dressing/Sauce
Source: Kristen J. Gough
Ingredients: 5 Tbsp. butter (or margarine)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Directions: Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk in flour; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Gradually add in milk a little at a time, until it is incorporated and without lumps. Cook, stirring constantly for 10 minutes – it should come to a gentle boil and thicken during this time. (Watch the pot carefully so it doesn't burn!) When it’s thickened, add seasonings.

Additional add-ins
After you've cooked your sauce, you have several options:
Alfredo: substitute some heavy cream for the milk (optional: you can use milk). Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Cheesy sauce: Add room temperature cream cheese or shredded mozzarella.
Mac 'n cheese sauce: Add cheddar cheese and room temperature cream cheese.
Mushroom sauce: Saute mushrooms in butter; remove, then, proceed with sauce and add the mushrooms back in at the end.
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