This sauce is relatively low in fat, but not noticeable in either the taste or texture. This is our version of a recipe for microwave bechamel given in Barbara Kafka’s book “Microwave Gourmet Cooking”.
|2-3||Tbl.||Butter, Margarine or Olive Oil
|2||Tbl.||Flour – all purpose, unbleached|
|1||Cup||Chicken Stock (vegetable stock or water may be used)|
|1/2||Cup||Milk – 2%|
Preparing the Sauce
Add the two tablespoons of butter or margarine to an oven proof glass bowl. Cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high for one-two minutes. [Exact time depends upon the power of your oven] 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 minute.
Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and stir to break up lumps. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Check after half of the time has transpired minutes to see if it needs to be stirred. If so, stir and microwave for another minute. Add 1/2 cup of milk, stir and microwave for a minute. If you have a hand blender, that can use rather than a whisk.
Add another half cup of chicken or vegetable stock, and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, checking that the mixture does not over flow the bowl. If it is about to overflow, reduce the power to 70% and continue. After this time the béchamel should be about as thick as heavy cream. If too thick adjust with chicken broth or water, 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 stock. Cook another 2-3 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 or white pepper. Alternatively, add 1/4 Tsp of ground nutmeg. (Careful, the white pepper has a strong flavor) Depending upon the recipe, chopped garlic or chopped onions can be added during the last few 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 stove top method.