Sunday, January 20, 2013

Creamy Mushroom Sauce (from scratch)

No canned soup here! I like making this sauce whenever I’m making breaded chicken or pork chops. I coat the meat with egg and then breadcrumbs, and fry it lightly in a bit of oil or butter. Okay, not really diet food, but my family likes it every now and then. So I make pasta and of course that means there has to be a sauce. We like cream sauces and this would be a nice alternative to your cheddar mac & cheese. I didn’t add salt because sometimes cheese is salty already. Taste your sauce at the end and decide if you need to salt it.

This made enough for 4 bowls of pasta. I didn’t measure the finished product though.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce
4 servings

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced or diced
4oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 heaping tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups 2% milk (or more)
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

If you’re frying up some chicken or pork chops then use the same pan. The crusty bits on the bottom from the meat will be tasty in your sauce. Don’t clean the pan! If you’re just making the sauce, your pan will start off clean (obviously). Either way, add the butter to the pan over medium high heat.

Fry the onions and mushrooms in the butter until they get soft and the onions start to brown slightly. If the pan seems a bit dry at this point, add a little butter.

Stir the flour, pepper and nutmeg into the mushroom mixture, then, pour the milk in. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Once it starts bubbling, keep stirring until it thickens. You can add more milk if it’s too thick for your liking.

Once it’s thick, stir in the cheese. If you stir in the cheese before it thickens it looks almost curdled, so make sure the sauce has thickened first.

I buy the cheese in chunks and grate it myself, or our deli grates it and you can buy it in containers already grated. Of course there’s the canned stuff in the spaghetti sauce aisle, but the flavour is not the same. I’m not even sure it’ll melt into the sauce the same way? 

If there are leftovers, store the pasta and the sauce separately  Heat both and mix before serving. If you mix it and then refrigerate it won't be very creamy.

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