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12.1.12

BÉCHAMEL SAUCE


Béchamel sauce is one of the mother sauces in Italian and French cuisines. It is quick and easy to make provided you know what you are doing and why. Make it with real butter it will taste better. I find it makes no difference if the butter is salted or not, the finished sauce will have salt and pepper in it anyway. Melt the butter over low-medium heat and cook it for a couple of minutes. This will get rid of the butter’s liquid content; essentially, you are making a minute amount of ghee. Once you have pure butterfat, you can then add the flour. Amazingly, there will be no clumping in the absence of liquids, the butterfat and the flour combines wonderfully. Continue cooking the flour in the butterfat for two minutes longer. This will get rid of the floury taste of the sauce. Slowly begin to add the cold milk, stirring continuously. If you add heated milk, you have to whisk vigorously because the sauce thickens with hot milk rather rapidly. [The only exception is skim milk; you will have to heat skim milk in the microwave first, because skim milk tends to burn when boiled in a pot.] Adding cold milk to the roux [the butterfat and flour is a roux] and stirring continuously will give you a nice smooth béchamel. Cook it until it is thick enough for what you need it for; just cook it a little longer for very thick béchamel.

2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and ground pepper to taste

• Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a deep non-stick fry pan over low heat.
• Cook the butter for two minutes. This will boil away the liquid, leaving you with pure butterfat.
• Add the 3 Tbsp of flour and cook for 2 minutes longer stirring continuously.
• Slowly pour in the cold milk, keep stirring continuously.
• Bring it to the boil and simmer over medium low heat for a few minutes to the desired thickness. [at the least the sauce should coat the spoon]
• Remove béchamel from heat and season with ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.
• To make Mornay sauce immediately add 3/4 cup of shredded hard cheese.
 


 


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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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