Everyone needs a few essentials up their sleeves. Essentials in the wardrobe include a versatile pea coat, short but not-too-short cutoffs, a slimming v-neck, and comfy loafers. Essentials in your car include a tissue box, quarters, air freshener, audio cable to plug in the iPhone. Essentials in the kitchen include essential, basic recipes like a tomato sauce, a basic risotto, perfect chicken breast, and what I am going to write about today…a creamy sauce. I’m going to start a new category called “Essentials” that dictates some essential kitchen recipes! So excited and stay tuned!
Anyways, the picture for this post is just the ingredients, not because they look so stark and focused in this lighting (I think they do hehe), but because we scarfed down the recipe picture *cue sheepish grin* Yes, you will find yourself scarfing this creamy sauce down and not feeling guilty! So the secret to restaurant cream sauces is butter and heavy cream. Butter acts with flour to create a roux and the roux thickens the heavy cream and makes it oh-so-velvety. So, I’ve made this low fat by taking out the butter and leaving in the butter. We need something to thicken our fat-free milk and that something is a measly two tablespoons of butter. If this recipe was made with heavy cream, like many restaurant sauces are made of, we would be in for some trouble. 1 tbsp of heavy cream contains 50 calories and 17% of your daily recommended allowance of saturated fat. Ouch. This recipe makes 2-2.5 cups of sauce and feeds three comfortably in one serving, that means, there are about 10 tablespoons. If made with heavy cream, this equals 500 calories and 170 percent of your saturated fat. IN THE SAUCE! This is not including the pasta and the sides! So this recipe is perfect to lighten up a delicious favorite. Also, since it’s so very simple and basic, there are many add-ins that I’ve included below to jazz it up. Check it out!
Recipe: (Makes 2-2.5 cups)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2.5 cups of skim (fat-free) milk
Melt butter in a saucepan
As soon as it’s melted, (don’t let it brown!) add in the flour
Whisk the roux until it starts bubbling and becomes darker (about 1 minute)
Add in about 1/2 cup of milk and stir until thick
Keep adding 1/2 cup and stirring until you use up all 2.5 cups of milk
Add salt and pepper to taste
Easy and pie!
Now for my favorite part: ADD INS!
Add any one of these in to the butter once it’s melted and before you add in the flour:
1.5 tbsp thyme
1.5 tbsp rosemary
1.5 tbsp sage
1.5 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Add any one of these in to the finished, thickened sauce:
1 sauteed yellow onion
1 cup of chopped, sauteed vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus)
1 cup of cooked meat (shrimp, chicken, steak)
If you’d like to add more, just mess with the proportions a little. The cream sauce is very forgiving 😉 ENJOY!