There is not too much call for a béchamel sauce these days, unless it is in an Italian lasagne or Greek moussaka (in which case use the Greek kefalotyri cheese to flavour it). Don’t be scared to make it a light sauce, by adding as much liquid as the ‘roux’, formed from amalgamating the butter and flour, will take. Or replace the cheese with two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley, and pour over corned beef, vegetables or fish dishes.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add flour. Return to a very low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 3 or 4 minutes until it just starts to colour; the idea being to ‘cook’ the flour so it doesn’t taste raw, without browning it. Add milk all at once, and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Allow to bubble gently for 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken. You want it thick enough to coat the spoon, rather than drippy or solid. Stir in nutmeg, cinnamon, cheese, salt and pepper, and keep warm until serving.
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