French Mother Sauce I: Béchamel Sauce

In the cooking/culinary world, there are several sauces you must master. No, forget ketchup or a mayonnaise sauce. We are talking about the main sauces, which are normally called French Mother Sauces. They are called that because of the important part they present to certain dishes. As a cook, or even an amateur cook, you need to master them all.

There are five French mother sauces according with the creator Auguste Escoffier, hollandaise, espagnola, velouté, tomato sauce and béchamel. Hollandaise usually is commonly known through eggs Benedict, tomato sauce through pizzas and béchamel through Mornay. Although I know the later through another dish.

I have been doing béchamel sauce for some years now, more than 10, and only a couple of years ago I developed an no fail method for it. Before coming up with an easier method, my béchamel sauce resulted into a random white sauce with some lumps. I had to sieve/strain the sauce most of the times to have a lump-free sauce. That was a nightmare. However I finally figure it out, and it now a piece of cake. The fun part is stirring will give you some muscles.

Planning to make béchamel sauce is fairly easy. Most of the ingredients you already have at home such as milk, flour, salt, butter and nutmeg. It is quite an interesting sauce, you can always add any herbs, shallots, bay leaf to add flavor to the sauce. All sauces are interesting actually if you put a small bitty quantity of imagination. Are you ready to learn one of the mother sauces through an easy recipe? Let’s go.

 

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Béchamel Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk, whole
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs, optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour

 

Instructions:

Add 2 1/2 cup of milk, nutmeg, pepper, salt, butter and herbs in a pot, and place it in the stove at low heat.

In a small bowl add the flour, and slowly pour the rest of the milk (1/2 cup). Incorporate the flour well ensuring the nonexistence of lumps.

Turn up the heat, and mix the milk mixture with flour. Keep stirring but not too voraciously. This needs to be done only to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot and as well to avoid the formation of lumps.

As the mixture starts to heat up, it will become more consistence. The desired consistency should be between a drinkable yogurt and ketchup. Once you have the desired consistency, remove from the heat.

The béchamel sauce is ready to be added to your dish. Remember that it can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days, 3 maximum.

Until next time, Hungry People.

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