A three-ingredient bechamel is an easy recipe for cream sauce. Make a roux, add milk or heavy cream, and stir the concoction until it thickens. Add cheese for extra flavor and salt and pepper to taste.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add dashes of salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, and whisk the mixture to smooth out any lumps. Cook the flour and butter for about 2 minutes to remove any raw flour flavor.
Slowly pour in 1 cup of heavy cream while whisking vigorously. Whisk until the sauce begins to thicken, and then add another cup of heavy cream. Bring the cream up to temperature, and stir until it thickens to the desired consistency. Remove the bechamel from the heat and add any cheese, such as Gruyére.
For an aromatic variation, combine 1 cup of heated milk with a roux made with 2 tablespoons each of butter and all-purpose flour. Stir until the mixture begins to boil and thicken, reduce the heat to very low, and simmer the sauce for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 3 tablespoons of dry white wine, a tiny dash of nutmeg and any fresh herbs you like. Salt and pepper to taste.