Browning flour in a dry skillet is the classic way to prepare the roux base—be sure to use a heavy pan and to stir constantly to prevent scorching. For a dairy-free version, replace milk with an oat or unflavored soy beverage.
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 large shallots, peeled
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 lb. mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, chanterelle and portobello, sliced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 quart (4 cups) low-fat milk
- 1 small bay leaf
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- In heavy medium saucepan, cook flour over medium heat, whisking constantly, until light tan all over (the color of an almond shell), about 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and continue whisking until flour cools slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, stick cloves in 1 shallot and set aside. Thinly slice remaining 2 shallots. In heavy large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add sliced shallots and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until tender and they begin to release their juices, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Gradually whisk in 3Ú4 cup milk to cooled flour in saucepan until smooth paste forms; then gradually whisk in remaining 11Ú4 cups milk until no lumps remain. Add remaining 1Ú2 teaspoon salt, whole shallot with cloves, bay leaf and nutmeg. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil until thickened, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Discard whole shallot and bay leaf. Stir mushroom mixture into milk mixture and briefly warm through. Serve hot.
- Serving Size: Makes 4 cups
- Calories: 323
- Carbohydrate Content: 47 g
- Cholesterol Content: 10 mg
- Fat Content: 8 g
- Fiber Content: 7 g
- Protein Content: 16 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
- Sodium Content: 669 mg