Mrs Beeton’s Cream Sauce

When I first saw the finished product, I thought “Cream?  It looks like melted cheese.  Mmmm!”

Last night’s dinner of Chicken Fillet (for my boyfriend, and Vegetarian Chicken for me)  looked a little dry and lonely on its own.  Something had to be done about it.  “Aha,” thought I, “I have some cream left over… what can Mrs Beeton recommend?”

Mrs Beeton recommended Cream Sauce.  Natürlich.

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INGREDIENTS: 1/3 pint of cream, 2 oz. of butter, 1 teaspoonful of flour, salt and cayenne to taste; when liked, a small quantity of pounded mace or lemon-juice.

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As an ardent fan of anything with cream (whipped cream, sour cream, regular cream, thickened cream, strawberries & cream minus the strawberries…), for once I knew he wouldn’t protest at me slathering the sauce on his meat.

Or as he would put it:  “It’s cream.  It’s sauce.  It’s cream sauce.  What’s not to like?”

It’s a very quick sauce to prepare – it was ready in just over 5 minutes.  Towards the 5-minute mark it really began to thicken and take on the consistency of melted cheese, so I had to be careful not to let it boil too long and thicken too much.

It initially tasted rather bland, but I followed Mrs Beeton’s advice and added some mace (well, grated nutmeg) and lemon juice.  You’ll have to adjust it according to taste, but I found that a little more rather than a little less made it slightly less pedestrian. I also used paprika and a pinch of black pepper in place of cayenne pepper. (By the way, aren’t cayenne pepper and paprika the same thing?)

This sauce’s simplicity is one of its greatest selling points.  The fact that it doesn’t overwhelm the main dish is also a bonus.

Besides, as a wise man once said, “It’s cream.  It’s sauce.  It’s cream sauce.  What’s not to like?”

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Cream Sauce (Recipe 397): http://www.mrsbeeton.com/10-chapter10.html#397

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