- Dish type
- Side dish
This is an easy recipe that works well over short pasta or toast.
7 people made this
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 80g finely chopped ham
- 250ml water
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 250ml double cream
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and ham; cook until onions turn translucent. Pour in the water; season with the stock cube, parsley, basil and black pepper.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Pour in the cream, and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)
Reviews in English (3)
This was fantastic and simple. I made it exactly as stated as there were no other reviews to build on, and I'm very glad it worked out that way. I served this over a bed of egg noodles with fresh spinach.-12 Jan 2012
I made this exactly as printed and used fresh basil and parsley from my garden. We used it as a baked potato topping and the two of us ate all four servings at one meal. I am now making it to serve at a wedding shower on a baked potato bar. Delish!-19 May 2016
How to Make White Sauce
Homemade white sauce is so easy to prepare and once you learn how to make it, you&rsquoll find yourself using it or the base of it (a roux) quite frequently in cooking from scratch.
I&rsquom all for a good shortcut, but white sauce is one of those things that tastes so much better when it&rsquos made from scratch. It&rsquos worth taking a few minutes to prepare it yourself.
No more cream of ____ canned sauces.
I have a few recipes that do call for these cream-of sauces for convenience but to be honest when I make these recipes, I make my own sauce. So, I thought it was time I shared with you how to make a white sauce too so you have the option to make your own cream sauces.
White sauce is otherwise known as Béchamel sauce.
If you&rsquore fancy. Or you can call it white sauce like I do. Béchamel sauce is one of the French mother sauces that is made with a white roux plus milk.
What is a roux?
Another fancy French word. I don&rsquot have another less-fancy name for this one, but a roux (pronounced rue, rhymes with clue) is something I use all the time in my cooking and if you browse all my recipes, you&rsquore sure to find a roux at play in many of them.
A roux is flour and fat heated together to form a thickener. Any type of fat works but I often make my roux with butter and flour. You can, however, use bacon fat or any animal or vegetable fat. The ratio of fat to flour is 1:1. Pretty easy to remember.
A white roux is one that you let cook for just about a minute to cook away the floury taste, but not so long that the butter browns and becomes a brown roux. A brown roux is not wrong and actually can taste really great! Browning the butter adds a nutty flavor so if you&rsquore into that, go for it. Just don&rsquot burn the butter.
For this recipe, since we&rsquore aiming to make a white sauce, we will start with a white roux.
Going from a roux to a sauce.
Once you&rsquove made your roux, you then add a liquid to make it a sauce.
For this white sauce, we&rsquore adding milk. There is no golden ratio or proper amount of liquid to add.It really just depends on how thick or thin you like your sauce. The less liquid, the more thick your sauce. I typically add liquid and bring it to a boil. Bringing it to a boil sort of activates the thickener and makes everything combine and so you can see how thick your sauce is. You want to stir the sauce until it&rsquos smooth as it heats to a boil to help it combine. I usually eyeball how much liquid I add and I start with a minimal amount. You can always add more liquid to thin it out. It&rsquos more difficult to add more thickener because you can&rsquot just add butter or flour separately or it will clump and you&rsquoll end up with a lump sauce.
Other than seasoning it a bit, once you have your desired thickness, you&rsquore done! A white sauce is just flour, butter and milk. To season your white sauce, some chefs recommend adding nutmeg to give it a depth of flavor and you should add salt and white or black pepper to taste as well.
This is a basic white sauce!
Beyond the basic white sauce.
Once you&rsquove mastered how to make a roux and you&rsquove turned it into a delicious sauce by adding a liquid, then you can experiment and branch out almost indefinitely.
Here&rsquos how to take your roux and sauces beyond a basic white sauce:
&bull Brown your butter by cooking it longer to achieve that nutty flavor.
&bull Try different fats other than butter.
&bull Add cheese to your white sauce. Melting in Parmesan cheese creates an awesome homemade Alfredo sauce. Adding cheddar cheese creates a wonderful cheese sauce for mac and cheese. Add white American cheese and you have the start of a yummy queso dip! The amount of cheese you add is totally customizable. I typically start with 1/2 cup of cheese per every 1 cup of milk but you can do less or more depending on how cheesy you like your sauce.
&bull Instead of adding milk to your roux, try adding other liquids. For example, adding chicken broth creates a lovely chicken gravy. Beef broth for a beef gravy. And so on. This can be used as gravy, or a base for stews as well as fillings for things like pot pies.
Homemade Cream of Chicken Sauce
To make your own cream of chicken sauce (similar to the canned condensed soup), create a thick white sauce using a 1:1 butter and flour mixture then slowly add milk until you reach the desired thickness of your sauce. Don&rsquot forget you need to bring the sauce to a boil for the thickening agent to combine with the milk and &ldquoactivate.&rdquo Then add 1-2 tsp of chicken bullion powder for each cup of milk. Adjust the amount of chicken bullion to your own taste. More bullion means more chicken flavor but also means more salt so find your happy medium&mdashthe beauty of homemade is you can control these things.
You can also add herbs if you&rsquod like. Add the herbs to the butter and flour stage so that the oils in the butter activate the herbs&rsquo full flavor. Herbs that pair well with chicken are: thyme, marjoram, tarragon, cilantro, rosemary, sage, oregano, and garlic. If you want a blend of herbs but aren&rsquot sure what goes well together, you can opt for a ready-made spice-blend for poultry.
Use salted or unsalted butter
You can control the amount of salt you use in your white sauce. I typically start with salted butter since I like to add even more salt to season my white sauce. However, if you are on a low sodium diet or want to use a special salt like sea salt for a different flavor, then you can start with unsalted butter and add your own salt to taste. You can add salt at the end so that you can taste the sauce to see how much you need to add.
What can you serve with white sauce?
White sauce is great with a meat added in. Add chicken, ham, or sausage. Delicious! Serve with biscuits, and you&rsquore in business.
I often associate white gravy with breakfast foods. It can dress up a breakfast sandwich or top an otherwise dry egg casserole. However, it can also be enjoyed at dinner time too depending on what you&rsquore topping with it.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes that incorporate some variation of a white sauce:
Want more easy recipes?
This tutorial for how to make white sauce was featured on South Your Mouth!
Ham and White Bean Skillet
Beans and rice are a big deal in the south, always have been really. Back in the day, they were an important part of the dietary needs of the people, because families were large and relatively poor, so any kind of bean was an inexpensive, nutritious and filling dish.
Mostly our beans are slow cooked from dried beans, on the top of the stove, and that's really the way I still love them best to this day. Don't get me wrong. Electronic pressure cookers like the Instant Pot do an excellent job and makes a great pot of beans from dried, but slow-stewed still rules in my book. Fresh frozen sometimes fill in, and though faster, still take a little care to make.
Canned beans are an excellent solution for a time crunch because somebody else has already done the work for you! Unfortunately they can also be a bit high in sodium, but the solution is simple.
Nutritional Factoid: Did you know that while most canned beans are very high in sodium, draining and rinsing them gets rid of nearly half of the sodium level? And, just so you know, it also helps to reduce some of those gas-causing sugars too.
As to rice, long grain rules in the Deep South over all others and while I mostly cook with it, I also keep a box of "instant rice," or what is also known as minute rice, for skillet meals just like this. It just seems to work better for me and doesn't get that mushy texture that sometimes happens, but what exactly is instant rice anyway?
Simple. It's rice that has already been precooked. That's it y'all!
As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.
Here's how to make my Ham and White Bean Skillet.
Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet (about 4.5 quart/11 inch) over medium-high heat. Add the ham and lightly brown.
Add the garlic, fresh parsley, Cajun seasoning, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
Drain, rinse, and mash one can of the beans and stir in.
Add the remaining can of beans, green onion and rice.
Mix well, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a medium low simmer.
Cook, covered, for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Fluff with a fork, taste and adjust seasonings as needed serve immediately.
Ham and White Bean Skillet
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin or light olive oil
- 1/2 pound smoked ham, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper, any color, or use a combination
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans of white beans, divided use, rinsed and drained
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 2 cups instant rice
- Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet (about 4.5 quart/11 inch) over medium-high heat. Add the ham and lightly brown.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, fresh parsley, Cajun seasoning, pepper and bay leaf.
- Add stock/broth.
- Drain, rinse, and mash one can of the beans and stir in.
- Add the remaining can of drained beans, green onion and rice.
- Mix well, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a medium-low simmer.
- Cook, covered, for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Fluff with a fork, taste and adjust seasonings as needed serve immediately.
This recipe is a great, basic rice and beans dinner and versatile enough that I've successfully varied the meats, canned beans and seasonings to come up with other meals too. Use your imagination and make some swaps for variety.
Skillet Chili Mac
Sausage and Peppers Stew with Onions with Beans
Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet Dinner
Did you make this recipe?
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White sauce with ham and herbs recipe - Recipes
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