Introducing Béchamel Sauce, a versatile and creamy white sauce that serves as a foundation for numerous delicious recipes. This sauce, also known as White Sauce, is a key ingredient in popular dishes like lasagna, mac and cheese, white pizza, and more. While it may seem intimidating to make, a few tricks can help you achieve better results and a smooth texture.
Béchamel Sauce is traditionally made with a combination of flour, butter, and milk. The challenge lies in preventing the formation of lumps as you mix these ingredients. While many people use a whisk to keep the sauce smooth, some pots may be sensitive to metal utensils. In such cases, a wooden spoon or a newer silicone spoon can be used as a suitable alternative.
It’s interesting to note that Béchamel Sauce is one of the four basic sauces from which many other sauces are derived. The sauce’s origin has been associated with different individuals throughout history. One account suggests that its Italian roots can be traced back to Catherine de Medici, who brought her Italian chefs to France when she became queen. In Italy, the sauce is known as besciamella or balsamella or bechimella, and it has been widely used in Italian cuisine for centuries. It is believed that Catherine’s chefs introduced the sauce to France, where it became a fundamental element of French cuisine.
Other potential contributors to the sauce’s creation include Marquis Louis de Bechamél, the steward of King Louis XIV, and Chef Francois Pierre de la Varenne, the court chef at the time who authored “Le Cuisinier Francais.” Duke Phillipe De Mornay, credited with Sauce Chasseur and Lyonnais, is also associated with Béchamel Sauce.
Learning to make Béchamel Sauce is a valuable skill as it is widely used in Italian cuisine, including dishes like lasagna, cannelloni, and various pasta dishes. It is also served with chicken and fish and can be employed in diverse culinary applications. By adding different ingredients at the end of the process, you can infuse the sauce with various flavors, including spices and beverages. Experiment by incorporating a touch of wine, sherry, or whiskey to experience the enhanced depth and complexity it brings to the sauce.
Mastering Béchamel Sauce opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Explore its versatility in Italian and French cuisine, adding a rich and creamy element to your favorite dishes while experimenting with unique flavor combinations.
Bechamel or White Sauce is used in many recipes such as lasagna, mac, and cheese, white pizza, etc. It is not hard to make but a few tricks make it easier to get better results. Since it is made with flour, butter, and milk you want to make sure you don't get lumps. Many people use a whisk to stir it to keep it smooth but some pots could be damaged by the hard metal utensil. I usually use a wooden spoon instead or one of the newer silicone spoons.
It is a good sauce to learn as it is used in Italian cuisine: Lasagna, Cannelloni, and different kinds of pasta, it is also served with chicken, and fish and can be used in a variety of ways. You can also add different flavors by adding ingredients at the end of the process as explained in the instructions. These flavors can be spices as well as drinks. Once try adding a bit of wine, sherry, or whiskey and you will see what I am talking about!
Begin with warming a quart of milk.... then in another pot melt the butter. Once the butter is melted start adding flour slowly while mixing. You will get a yellowish pasty mixture once done start slowly adding the hot milk. You don't want the milk the boil but be hot. When you add the hot milk you are less likely to get lumps. Keep stirring and you will notice the mixture starts getting thicker you can now remove it from the heat and it will continue to cook. At this point, you can add any flavors or seasonings such as salt or pepper or cheese, depending on what you are planning to make.