White Sauce Failure

Yesterday was a very busy day for me, so I had carefully planned out my meals in advance. I was craving a creamy mushroom pasta sauce; as a child I loved the Sainsbury’s pour-over pots which we had with filled tortellini (the mushroom sauce doesn’t seem to be sold any more, and at any rate isn’t vegan) so I hunted online for a simple recipe which would be quick to make and fill that gap.

This recipe by PETA was the one I settled on, as it looked quite simple and didn’t call for any ingredients I didn’t already have, except for parsley because I hate parsley. Ugh, parsley. Anyway. Once I’d got home I quickly gathered together my equipment – harder than you might think, as my kitchen was slowly disappearing under a mountain of dirty dishes which I am about to start washing once I’ve finished this post – and started loosely following the recipe. As usual I dispensed with the idea of measuring and weighing, and just put a single portion of spaghetti onto boil while I made up the sauce.

White sauce has never been my strong point. I simply can’t manage to avoid making it lumpy! This time, I think I went wrong at the margarine stage, as it very quickly became a lot of dry lumps and when I started slowly adding the soya milk, the lumps got a bit smaller but never vanished. In the end I sieved the sauce so that almost all the lumps had gone, and ate the resulting thin liquid with the garlicy mushrooms. It was nice, but would have been a lot nicer if it had been a thick creamy sauce (and if I’d had time to flavour it properly – I was against the clock after all the stirring and sieving). Apologies for not having a photo but as I said, I was in a hurry and simply wolfed the plate of pasta down before sprinting out of the door.

I will try again soon, because if I can make a good white sauce then a lot more recipes will be available to me! I’ve managed it in the past under direction so it is possible… Next time I might try following these directions, which do things in a different order to the ones I’ve tried before. I’ll keep you posted!

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3 thoughts on “White Sauce Failure

  1. Adding the liquid to the roux is the critical step in this kind of sauce – add slowly and stir thoroughly and quickly, because as you discovered, any lumps that form are there to stay. If you add just a tiny bit of liquid at a time, stirring until it’s all absorbed and evenly distributed before adding any more, you should be good.

    And if it’s lumpy even before you’ve added the liquid, the fat/flour proportions are probably off; it should be thick, but evenly so. Try adding more fat to see if you can even it out.

    – a girl who loves her biscuits and gravy

    • Thanks! I suspect the issue is that I was using vegan sunflower spread, which probably acts differently from dairy-based fats. Next time I will try with more 🙂

  2. Pingback: A new recipe for an old favourite | Faint With Hunger

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