Recipe Name: Bechamel Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups


1 cup milk
1 cup light cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 bay leaf, whole
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 small onion, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and bring them to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cover, to keep the contents warm.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the butter doesn't brown. Now add the milk and cream mixture in a steady stream, whisking briskly until the mixture is well-blended. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes. A scum of protein from the flour will rise to the surface as the sauce simmers. Skim this off and strain the sauce through a fine sieve.

B├ęchamel sauce should be refrigerated if you don't intend to use it immediately. To reheat the sauce; place it in saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally so the sauce doesn't burn.