This is yet another recipe that demonstrates how handy it is to know how to make a basic white sauce. Not only can this save you the cost of buying canned cream soups, but it can also provide healthier options since you can control the level of salt, sugar and preservatives.
This is what I call a “skeleton recipe”—a flexible recipe that can be a fabulous way to keep those odds and ends in the fridge from going to waste. When you throw away food, you throw away money. Plain and simple.
White Sauce (to use in place of two cans of cream soups):
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
Melt butter over medium-low heat, then add flour, stirring constantly. Once bubbles form, cook and stir for another minute or so.
Slowly add the following to the butter mixture, whisking constantly:
3 c. milk (preferably not skim) OR broth.
Stir until it comes to a simmer, then allow to simmer for about half a minute or so until thickened. Remove from heat.
Season to taste with:
salt & pepper
a couple of dashes of hot sauce OR 1 tsp. ground mustard or yellow mustard
Now comes the creative part! Check to see what you have on-hand, then combine your white sauce with the following:
3 or so cups of cooked pasta or rice
3 -4 c. cooked turkey or chicken
1 c. or so of cooked veggies of your choice
1 c. or so of grated cheese, if desired
Pour into a buttered 9×13″ baking dish.
If you want a crunchy topping, combine the following:
1 c. fresh bread crumbs, cracker crumbs or even crushed potato chips
1-2 T. melted butter
Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until bubbling around edges.
NOTE: This will freeze beautifully before baking. Just allow it to thaw completely after you’ve pulled it out of the freezer and bake as directed.