SALSA BALSAMELLA

(Bechamel Sauce - Microwave version)

(Relatively low fat, but not noticeable in the taste or texture)

NOTE -- This is our own version of a recipe for microwave béchamel given by Barbara Kafka in her book, "Microwave Gourmet Cooking".

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbl. Butter or Margarine
2 Tbl. Flour - all purpose, unbleached
1 Cup Chicken Stock ( A vegetable stock or water may be used if desired.)
1 Cup Milk - 2%

PREPARING THE BÉCHAMEL

Add the two tablespoons of butter or margarine to an oven proof glass bowl. Cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high for two minutes. Add two tablespoons of flour,  mix  well and try to get it as smooth as possible, then heat covered on high in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of 2% milk. Stir to break up lumps and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Check after two minutes to see if it needs to be stirred.  If so, stir and microwave for another 2 minutes.

Add another half cup of milk and heat on high for 3- 4 minutes.   During  this time check to see that the sauce is not overflowing the bowl.  If it is, reduce the power to 705 and continue.   After this time the béchamel should be about as thick as heavy cream. If too thick adjust with chicken broth, and cook until creamy, usually about 2-3 minutes. If too thin cook for another 4 minutes. If still too thin, add a tablespoon of flour dissolved in 1/3 cup of chicken stock. Cook another 4 minutes until creamy.

At this point the béchamel can be seasoned in a number of ways. Add salt to taste, and 1/8 Tsp of black. Alternatively, add 1/4 Tsp of ground nutmeg and 1/8 Tsp of white pepper. (Careful, the white pepper has a strong flavor) Depending upon the recipe, chopped garlic or chopped onions can be added during the last 3 minutes of cooking.  Cover the béchamel and set aside. If it thickens too much, add milk, water or chicken stock until it is the consistency of a heavy cream.

 Use as you would a bechamel made in the more traditional stovetop method.


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Last updated on: 01/29/02 01:10:00 PM