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December 1998 Issue
Nutmeg -- Myristica Fragrans
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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Classic B├ęchamel Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 small onion studded with 2 whole cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 small bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (or so)
Melt butter over low heat. Add and blend over low heat for three to five minutes the flour. Slowly stir in the milk which has been slightly scalded. Add the onion and bay leaf if using and continue cooking and constantly stirring the sauce until thickened and smooth. Place in a 350F oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Grate approximately 1/2 tsp of nutmeg into sauce.


This sauce can be multiplied easily.

Use it as a base for most other cream sauces including cheese sauces, for cream soups and, when you cook it without the onion and bay leaf, it is the perfect Alfredo Sauce with the addition of a handful or two of Parmesan Cheese.

Well, that's my contribution for this month! Now to get back to wrapping presents. Where did I leave my eggnog?


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