This plain, easily made, delicious and altogether useful sauce is light and velvety and extremely versatile. Take care when you make it to cook it long enough - at least 15 minutes.

(Makes: 4 Servings)

Butter - 25g (1 oz)
Plain flour - 25g (1 oz)
Milk - 450 ml ( pint)
Salt and pepper

  • Melt the butter in a small, thick, extremely clean saucepan.  Stir in the flour and let it cook gently for 1 minute, until it is bubbling.
  • Keep the pan on a moderate heat and gradually add the milk  a few tablespoons at a time, stirring well after each addition until the milk has been absorbed, before adding more.  As the sauce becomes smooth and creamy, add the milk in larger quantities.
  • When it is all in, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, to cook the flour thoroughly, stirring from time to time.
  • Season well and whisk with a wire whisk to obtain a smooth and glossy sauce.  A few dabs of butter stirred in at the end give a velvety texture.
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    Use this sauce for fish and vegetable dishes.

    (Makes: 4 Servings)

    White Sauce - 450 ml ( pint)
    Cheese - 50g (2 oz), grated, ideally half and half Cheddar and Parmesan
    (any well-flavoured dryish cheese will do)
    Cayenne pepper
    Salt - to taste

  • Make the White Sauce
  • Stir the grated cheese into the sauce and beat it well until it melts.

  • Season with cayenne pepper and a touch of nutmeg but don't put in too much salt as the cheese is salty already.
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    Use this variation on White Sauce for veal and fish. 
    This is thinner than most of the white-based sauces and is intended to be so.

    (Makes: 4 Servings)

    White Sauce- 450 ml ( pint)
    Whole capers - 2 tbsp
    Caper vinegar from the bottle of capers - 1 tbsp
    Cream - 2 tbsp

  • Make the White Sauce as usual.
  • When the sauce is cooked stir in the capers and the caper vinegar.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream and serve very hot.
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