I love classic white sauce with butter, cream, maybe a bit of white wine, shallots, and garlic. However, making a roux with traditional flour isn’t really Keto or Wise Traditions–two food paths I try to follow. (I guess you could soak your flour to limit anti nutrients, but I am not sure you would have the texture you desire in a white sauce.)
This old time starch was popular for teething biscuits for babies. It’s pretty amazing. Check out this article for more information. In a recent email exchange with the Weston A. Price Foundation food group, someone asked about making béchamel without commercial flour, and I shared that I used arrowroot. This then elicited a request for the recipe. Oh no! I never had written it down—just did it as needed. So I promised to commemorate the process. Truth be told, I rarely make plain béchamel, but I add cheese to make it a proper mornay sauce. Mornay sauce is great on veggies and on soft/hard boiled eggs. It is also the basic sauce for macaroni and cheese.
The technique to remember with arrowroot is that it is added at the end, not the beginning as with a traditional roux. When heated at length, arrowroot breaks down, and it is no longer able to hold your sauce in a thick suspension.
For 2-3 cups of sauce
- ½ cube of butter
- 1/4 C finely minced shallots (1 big shallot or so)
- 1 T finely minced garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 C bone broth
- 1 ½ C cream or half and half
- ¼ C white wine (substitute 1 T vinegar or lemon juice if you do not do wine)
- 1 C cheese of your choice (Gouda, Emmental, Swiss/Gruyere, sharp cheddar, etc. Pick a flavorsome cheese.) If you don’t want a cheese/mornay sauce, leave the cheese out.
- 2-3 T arrowroot powder
- 1 t lemon juice (just a squirt)
- ¼ t nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Melt butter and sauté shallots and garlic with a little salt until just soft.
- Add cream or half and half and warm. Mix thoroughly.
- Add white wine and broth. Again, mix thoroughly.
- Bring to medium heat and add cheese of your choice.
- Warm to melt cheese.
- Remove 1/4 C of the cheese sauce to a container and add 2 T arrowroot powder. Whisk thoroughly. (If too thick to stir, add in some milk or wine or broth. If too loose, add another T of arrowroot. It should be like a runny pancake batter.)
- Stir the sauce/arrowroot mixture back into your cheese sauce over low heat. It will thicken immediately. If too thick, add more wine or milk/cream/half and half.
- This mixture should then be taken off the heat, as the longer it cooks the looser it will become.
- Add your lemon juice and nutmeg, S&P to taste.
- Use it as you like.
I poured mined over roasted cauliflower and topped it with more cheese, then heated for 10 more minutes with the cauliflower in the oven (375 F).