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Dec 13, 2011 11:50 AM

Need ideas for a white sauce that will keep on a buffet.

I'll be having a buffet grazing bar at my holiday party. One of the dishes is Mushroom Ravioli and I'd like to have a white sauce for it that will work on a buffet for a few hours. I'm thinking that a cream sauce isn't necessarily the best bet. Can anyone assist with a different idea? I'm staying away from red sauce, as it will be used in another dish.

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  1. Why are you against a white sauce? Just curious and maybe will help with recommendations.

    That said, the first thought that came to mind was a sage brown butter. It will keep in a chaffing dish relatively well for a few hours.

    3 Replies
    1. re: thimes

      Thanks, Thimes. I'm afraid that a cream or flour-based sauce will thicken up too much with the heat of a chafing pan and will end up like glue. Does that make sense?

      1. re: nakiska

        yes, makes sense. You can make the sauce to control for this a little (if you really want a cream sauce). you can either make it on the thin side so that as the night goes on it thickens but not overly or you can do a mix of Hank's advice and do two 1/2 pans of the pasta, saucing one and putting it out - keeping the second 1/2 pan in the low oven (sauce in a thermos) and then just sauce the second pan 1/2 way through the part and swapping them out. . . .

        1. re: thimes

          Indeed - a combo of Hank's carafe and your idea of making the sauce a littler thinner should work wonderfully. Grazie to you both!

    2. Sounds like you want a mushroom velouté, which could be made with or without cream. Adjust the flour in the roux to avoid having it come out too thick. Practice it first, making adjustments until you get what you want.

      1. Use a thermal carafe similar to this one.

        Before you put the sauce in it, put hot water in it and let it set for a few minutes. You can then empty the carafe and put your sauce in. It will stay hot and not thicken up.

        I use two 2 cup capacity carafes when hosting fairly large dinners like at Thanksgiving. one at each end of the table.

        Assuming you can get electricity to the buffet table, you can even get electric ones.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hank Hanover

          I actually have one of those very same thermal carafes - brilliant!