see this? it’s called a roux, and it is your new best friend.
just by combining flour and margarine over the hob, you now have a magic thickener that enables you to turn a 59p carton of soya milk – or any other non-dairy milk, hell, even water – into a delicious white sauce that even your omni friends will love.
(apologies if you already know what a roux is, my tone is perhaps more condescending than strictly necessary.)
i’m going to give you my recipe for a basic, bare-bones white sauce, and then tell you how i fancy it up. all measurements are for around 100g of pasta, or enough for two people.
oooooh lookie i did a mise-en-place! lol
basic white sauce
2 to 3 Tbsp margarine
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp flour (can be gluten-free flour if you must)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soya milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (if you don’t have any to hand, substitute with 1/2 to 1 tsp marmite. but add more salt to get rid of that bitter aftertaste!)
1. melt the margarine over a low-medium heat. add the salt and flour, and stir until combined into a paste – about one minute.
2. immediately add a splash of the milk and stir until the mixture is smooth. add the yeast and stir.
3. gradually add the rest of the milk while stirring, until the sauce is smooth and well-mixed.
4. allow to thicken over the heat. don’t worry if it boils – this is non-dairy milk! add more milk for a thinner sauce.
5. take off heat. sauce will thicken upon standing.
pictured: fancy chipotle mac
bechamel – add 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp garlic granules, and possibly a bay leaf while on the heat
pepper sauce – bechamel + 1 to 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
mac’n’cheez – add 1/2 tsp garlic granules and 1 tsp cider vinegar
cheddar mac – mac’n’cheez + 1 Tbsp tomato passata (or 1 tsp paste)
chipotle mac – mac’n’cheez + 1 tsp chipotle paste (or 1 Tbsp chipotle sauce such as cholula), and 1 to 2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander and a quarter of a lime added when the sauce is off the heat. i also added avocado and vegan chorizo sausage to mine.
fondue – add 1 tsp garlic granules and 1/4 cup hard cider or beer
hollandaise – add 1/2 to 1 tsp mustard powder, 1/2 tsp garlic granules, and either half a lemon’s zest or a quarter of a lemon’s juice
lemon cream – add 1/2 tsp garlic granules and the zest of a whole lemon. smoked paprika is nice with this one too.
that’s what i got today. stay tuned for why you really need to keep nutritional yeast around at all times!