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Bechamel Sauce

2 Ratings: 5.0
A classic french sauce made with butter, flour, and milk

Bechamel is a classic French white sauce, made by whisking hot milk into equal parts butter and flour (also known as a rue). The sauce is a base for many other sauces, and is used in making anything from macaroni and cheese to lasagna.

1 review about Bechamel Sauce

Learn the Basics, Then Let Loose!

  • Apr 11, 2009
  • by
Bechamel is your friend in the kitchen. Mastering this basic sauce will enable you to easily make countless dishes and variations to spice up your culinary routine.

Just melt butter in a small pan. Once melted, add an equal amount of flour. Whisk for a minute or two until smooth (no lumps!). Next, whisk in scalding milk. I'd say about a cup of milk per tablespoon of butter/flour (you can consult any online recipe if you want exact measurements). For example, if you used 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of flour, you'd use about 4 cups of milk. I've made this sauce so many times, that I can usually tell by looking at it and estimating. Whisk until the rue (butter and flour) and milk are combined and smooth. Continue whisking over medium or medium low heat until the sauce is thick and creamy, which will only be a few minutes longer.

Now onto the fun stuff. Add in a couple cups of your favorite grated cheeses, like gruyere, cheddar, gouda, or knobs of creamy goat's cheese. Add a teaspoon of nutmeg and a few leaves of fresh thyme or other herbs, and pour over mostly-cooked pasta for a fabulous mac'n'cheese, ready to be topped with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven until toasty on top and gooey all over.

Use bechamel in lasagna, layered with tomato sauce, fresh ricotta, and spinach. I wash big leafy stalks of basil, remove the leaves (to be used to decorate the top of the lasagna later), and steap the thick herby stalks right in the bechamel sauce, while I'm waiting for it to thicken. This basil-infused bechamel laces another delicious layer of flavor throughout your whole dish.

Get creative with it and let me know how it goes!

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April 11, 2009
Basil-infused bachamel? I love basil and I love bachamel, so I've gotta try that! I usually use bachamel as the base of my mac 'n cheese sauce :)
April 11, 2009
Totally! Also try tying the stalks into a little bundle and adding them to a simmering tomato sauce. They have too much flavor to waste! I can't really think of anything that would be BAD in a bechamel. Hmm, what about adding slices of roasted jalepenos to a chedder and jack mac, and topping it off with tortilla and cilantro bread crumbs? Or infusing the cilantro into the bechamel? I think the principle of it is that anywhere you can sneak in a boost of flavor, you should!
April 12, 2009
Oh my gosh, your version of mac 'n cheese sounds so good! You should post a recipe :P I love cilantro, but I never thought about putting it into a bechamel sauce. Time for an experiment!
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