Classic Mornay Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 12 min
  • Prep: 3 min
  • Cook: 9 min
  • Yield: about 2 cups of sauce
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2 1/2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups warmed milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

2 ounces grated cheese, such as Gruyere

Steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower or baby carrots, for accompaniment


  1. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale yellow and frothy, about 1 minute. Do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. This is now called a bechamel sauce, and may be used as is to top any number of dishes.
  2. Stir in the cheese and whisk until melted. If the sauce seems to thick, thin with a little milk.
  3. The sauce is now called a Mornay Sauce. Pour over steamed vegetables and serve immediately. If not using right away, cool, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.