About this recipe: This classic white sauce is used in a wide variety of dishes. Many flavouring ingredients can be added to make a number of different sauces.
For a mushroom sauce, slice 300 g (10 1/2 oz) button mushrooms and cook in the butter for 5 minutes before stirring in the flour. * A one-stage bechamel sauce is quick, and it can be a good way of making a lower-fat sauce as the butter can be reduced or omitted. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan and gradually whisk in the flour, sprinkling it lightly over the milk as you whisk. Slice the onion or shallots and add with all the remaining ingredients, including the butter, if using. Whisk the sauce over a moderate heat until it comes to the boil and thickens, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Strain the sauce, or use a draining spoon to remove the flavouring ingredients, and add seasoning to taste.