Mainly used with baked pasta and seafood dishes.
5 TBS Butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TBS black peppercorns, crushed
4 whole cloves, cracked
3 large bay leaves, broken
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 1/2 TBS flour
4 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Set a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter, onion, pepper, cloves, bay, and garlic and saute and stir 4 minutes, or until aromatic. Blend in the flour and cook, stirring 3 minutes, or until frothy. Gradually stir in the milk until smooth and keep stirring until it boils. Lower the heat so the sauce simmers and cook, uncovered, 8 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon and has no raw flour taste.
Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, stirring and pressing on the ingredients to extract every bit of flavor. Stir in the cream and thyme. Use immediately or lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. - Lynne Rosetto Kasper
Prepare Bechamel as above, omitting heavy cream and thyme. After straining, place back in hot pan and stir in crumbled gorgonzola cheese until melted - serve with pasta or gnocchi.