70g/ 5tbsp Butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
500ml/ 2.5 cups Milk
50 grams grated Parmesan cheese
1tsp grated finely nutmeg
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Bechamel sauce which is also referred to as the “white sauce”is one of the basic sauces in the French culinary and considered a base of many different sauces. for me this sauce is a terrible memory of the 80’s in which every sauteed mushroom was covered in tons of bechamel and every cauliflower was creamed properly with the white sauce.
i’m happy these days are over and today we use bechamel only when needed. making bechamel is not hard, just stick to the guidelines and play with the quantities of the cheese if you like it to be more cheesy. it is a roux of butter and flour for which we add milk while whisking constantly to thicken the sauce, the thickness is determined by the proportions of flour and milk the more flour you add the higher the thickens of the sauce will be. In general, proportions are as follows 1:1 proportions between flour and butter and 1:3 proportions between roux (flour and butter) and milk.
Guidelines for making a Béchamel sauce
- Use warm milk when adding to the butter-flour mix
- Stir constantly, we want a smooth sauce
- Add cheese only when the pot is of the heat
- don’t waive the nutmeg, it a great supplement for this sauce and give it the spicy flavor
I have to admit that these days i mostly use Béchamel sauce with lasagna, it is just the perfect topping for this dish, it gives a runny creamy cover to this great meal and so much better than just spreading cheese on top.
So indeed, Béchamel sauce was the star of the french cooking or any other dish that needed to be creamed, a long time ago, we still use it and I have to say that even though his glorious day are behind him, there is still room for it in many of the contemporary dishes.
cooking the sauce
melt butter on a medium sauce pan, add the flour and mix constantly until it forms a solid roux. watch out from burning the roux, we don't want it to be golden, we want it to be in white color...remember the white sauce.