It is finally cold here in North Texas. Ok, I had my down coat on at 50 degrees and it is going to dip into the 30s. This probably is near shorts weather for some of you. I’m a wimp.
The cold makes me want to head to the kitchen and start making pot pies, croque madames, white pizza, roasted cauliflower with a white sauce (very Irish), and mac and cheese: warm, silky comfort foods that leave you satisfied.
Instead of a traditional rich French béchamel sauce, made by whisking hot milk into butter and flour, which makes you want to forget your new year’s resolution of eating more healthily, this version uses cornstarch to thicken flavor-infused low fat milk. The flavor imparted by onion, cloves, carrot, thyme and pepper makes a flavorful, pretty darn good substitute. Low calorie and gluten free!
This is a great little recipe to add to your cooking arsenal.
Low Calorie, Gluten Free Béchamel Sauce
3 T cornstarch
3c 2% milk
1 small onion
2” piece of carrot, peeled
4″ piece of celery
2 sprigs of thyme (optional)
1 bay leaf
4 peppercorns, whole
medium sauce pan, measuring spoons, measuring cup, slotted spoon
Stick the cloves into the onion. Place the milk, carrot, onion, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to extract the flavors. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out and discard the vegetable pieces. Whisk the cornstarch into another ¼ c milk to get the lumps out. Add to the flavor-infused milk. Raise the heat to medium. Whisk constantly for about 5 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.