To create a cheese sauce, whisk 1/2 cup grated Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano or other cheese into the finished béchamel sauce. If a lighter sauce is desired, substitute chicken stock for part of the milk.
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups milk, heated, or 1 cup each milk and
chicken stock, heated
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.
Increase the heat to medium and simmer to blend the flavors, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before using.