Pic2: melt butter
Pic3: fry flour
Pic4: add milk
Melt the butter in a saucepan. (Pic2)
Whisk in an equal amount of flour in the foaming butter.
Fry the flour a few minutes to destroy the flour taste. (Pic3)
Do not let the mixture turn brown for béchamel.
If browning starts, add a little bit of milk to prevent further browning.
While doing this, heat the milk in the microwave as warm as you can without boiling over.
I give it 3-4 minutes for 3 cups in my microwave.
IMPORTANT: Remove the pan from the stove.
Pouring hot milk in a hot roux can cause an explosive steam reaction.
Add up to 1 cup of milk while whisking. The mixture will thicken very quickly. (Pic4)
This works best when the added liquid is quite warm.
You can fry this a few minutes, but make sure it does not brown.
Pic5: add more milk
Add the remainder of the milk/ liquid in small quantities while whisking continuously.
Stop adding liquid when the consistency of the sauce is ‘juuuust right’ for your purpose.
The sauce should stick to the spoon, but still be easily pourable.
Add S&P to taste. Béchamel loves to have some nutmeg.
Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes while stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Serve and enjoy.
B. a more complicated recipe:
This is the French cuisine version of béchamel sauce . As nearly always, it is too elaborate to my liking to have much practical value for daily use. Once the onion thing is done, it is very similar to the above recipe.
Yield: 1 L (1 qt.)
Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 30 min.
Ingredients by weight
- Onion Pique (whole peeled onion, studded with clove and bay leaf) 37.5 g 1.5 oz.
- Milk 1 L 1 qt.
- Flour 62.5 g 2 oz.
- Butter 62.5 g 2 oz.
- Salt, White Pepper, nutmeg to taste
- Add the onion pique to the milk in a heavy saucepan and scald/simmer for 20 minutes on very low heat to infuse the flavors. Keep in mind, the 20 minutes begin once the milk has reached simmering temperature. If you wish to speed this along, you can dice the onion and throw in the clove and bay leaf and strain the milk afterwards.
- In a separate stainless steel pot we want to create our white roux by mising the flour and butter together and cooking it slightly just to remove excess starchy flavoring. Cool the roux to room temperature.
- Remove the onion pique from the milk and gradually add the hot milk into the roux while stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps.
- Once the roux begins to combine with the milk you can add the remaining liquid faster.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the sauce to a simmer, and add the seasonings and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Be sure not to burn the sauce on the bottom by whisking consistently.
- Once completed, strain through a strainer.
- Melted butter can be ladled over the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.
- Cool in a water bath.
Pic8: fisherman's pie
Pic10: chicken parmo
Pic13: veal Orlov
A few dishes made with béchamel sauce:
- cauliflower cheese
- celeriac in béchamel sauce
- fisherman's pie (Pic8)
- lasagna (Pic9)
- parmo (Pic10)
- moussaka (Pic11)
- pastitsio (Pic12)
- veal Orlov (Pic13)
Béchamel sauce is the base for a number of other classic sauces.
Take note that there may be considerable variations between recipes from different sources.
- Mornay Sauce (cheese and egg yolk)
- Nantua sauce (crayfish, butter and cream)
- Crème sauce (heavy cream)
- Mustard sauce (prepared mustard seed)
- Cheddar cheese sauce (Cheddar cheese, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce)
From another source:
Anchovy Béchamel Sauce
This sauce is best served with fish.
- To create this sauce, add 28 g (1 oz.) of anchovy puree or paste to your béchamel sauce.
Béchamel Cheddar Sauce
A classic that is the basis of many cheese sauce products today, including Mac & Cheese, CheezWhiz, and Velveteen.
- Add 250 g (4 oz.) of grated cheese, a dash of tabasco sauce, and 15 mL (1 Tbsp.) of dry mustard to your finished béchamel sauce.
Cream Sauce Béchamel
A very heavy and flavorful sauce used sparingly and in small quantities.
- Add 200-250 mL (8 to 12 fl. oz.) scalded cream and a few drops of lemon juice to your béchamel sauce.
Béchamel aux Oeufs (Ecossaise)
This delicious sauce is used in fresh pasta and can be used as a heavy salad dressing.
- Add 6 chopped hard-boiled eggs to your béchamel sauce.
Mornay Sauce (cheese and egg yolk)
Mornay sauce is a popular sauce in fine dining establishments and uses Gruyere and parmesan cheeses to complement pastas and meat dishes.
- Add 125 g (4 oz.) of grated Gruyere and 25g (1 oz.) of grated parmesan cheese.
- Thin the sauce to the desired consistency with scalded cream.
- Remove and swirl in 60g (2 oz.) of whole butter.
Mustard is a natural pair to dairy and this sauce makes for an excellent compliment for pork or lamb dishes.
- Add 15 g (2 Tbsp.) of dry mustard or 30 g (1 oz.) of Dijon or English mustard.
A popular seafood sauce that works wonderfully with lobster, crayfish or crab.
- Add 125 mL (4 fl. oz.) of heavy cream and 175 g (6 oz.) of crayfish butter. Add paprika to achieve desired color and garnish the sauce with diced crayfish meat.
A great sauce that is visually contrasting and adds freshness to the béchamel.
- Add 30 g (1 oz.) of chopped fresh parsley to your béchamel sauce
Soubise sauce is a popular muted onion sauce that works well with pastas and pork/lamb.
- Sweat 250 g (8 oz.) of diced blanched onion in 25 g (1 oz.) of butter.
- Add Béchamel sauce, 250 mL (8 fl. oz.) of cream and 5 g (1 tsp.) of sugar.
- Simmer until onions are fully cooked.
- Strain out the onions when finished.