Now for Something Different – Lasagna White Sauce Style
Lasagna with white sauce is not the way that many people see lasagna, but with a move toward some more healthy types of eating, quite often we’re lowering the fat and the other ingredients. White sauce lends itself well to this trend. It can be used with chicken lasagna and offer you a low moisture, part skim cheese type white sauce that will be delicious as well as remarkably healthy.
White sauce is far easier to make than you might think. The cream that you use can be replaced with two percent or some other type of low fat milk, and the butter can be replaced with margarine without losing a great deal of the taste. Using fresh spices, particularly freshly ground pepper will help you to get a great taste even when your white sauce ingredients are low fat.
To make the white sauce, you’ll need some parmesan, or low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese, as well as margarine and milk and flour. While your ingredients are cooking be sure that you stir constantly in order to keep the mixture from sticking or clumping in any way. Keep it on a low heat and keep it moving to get a smooth great taste and a wonderful creamy texture.
Typically your white sauce will be made with real parmesan, not the grated variety that comes in a shaker. You can buy parmesan pregrated in plastic envelopes for a very good price and it works just as well as the gourmet variety for those who are a budget… and isn’t everyone these days?
How to Make Easy White Sauce
White sauce is also known as bechamel, and it is very simple to prepare. White sauce is used in a lot of different recipes and it is also the base for various sauces. To make your own easy white sauce for lasagna, you will need to melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan over a low heat. Use a heavy-bottomed pan so the sauce does not scorch.
Blend in a couple of tablespoons of flour and quarter of a teaspoon of salt into the butter, and cook the white sauce over a low heat for four or five minutes, stirring constantly. This is to cook out the flour flavor. Slowly pour in a cup of milk, stirring all the time, and keep cooking the white sauce until thick and smooth.
To transform this basic white sauce into a bechamel sauce for lasagna, add a small onion studded with three cloves, a grating of nutmeg, and a bay leaf when you add the milk. You can use cream, light stock or a combination of both instead of milk. Also, feel free to throw in a teaspoon of lemon juice, some celery, sherry or some tablespoons of chopped parsley or snipped chives.
Thickening or Thinning the Sauce
If you want a thinner sauce, halve the amounts of butter and flour. This would be too thin for a lasagna recipe but nice with other dishes like cream soups. For an extra thick sauce, increase the flour and butter to three tablespoons each. This is too thick for lasagna but nice in soufflés. You can even double the flour and butter amounts. The resulting sauce would be very thick and good to use as a binder for croquettes.
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