How to prepare and use a Bechamel sauce?

Bechamel sauce
(Image: © mawdoo3)

Bechamel sauce is a white sauce prepared with butter, flour, and milk, or cream, used as a base in cooking. This classic sauce can be used in many recipes.

History of Bechamel sauce

Its name goes back to that of Louis Béchameil de Nointel, Marquis de Nointel, butler of King Louis XIV, but in reality. It is much more likely the result of François Pierre de La Varenne’s improvement of an older sauce made from cream, the Tuscan salsa colla, exported to France from Italy in the 17th  century by Catherine de Médicis. Initially modeled on the name Béchameil, the term changed into Béchamelle before becoming a common name at the end of the 18th century.

The use of Bechamel sauce

This sauce can be used in different recipes; endives with ham, gratin, eggplant moussaka, lasagna, pasta, etc. Bechamel sauce even enters into the composition of various sauces such as Cardinal sauce or Mornay sauce.

Preparation of Bechamel sauce

To make a bechamel, you must first make a roux, that is to say, a binder based on butter and flour mixed over low heat. It is then supplemented with milk or cream. Depending on the amount of liquid added, the sauce is more or less fluid. Finally, all you need to do is season it with salt, pepper, nutmeg, or even cloves.

Preservation of Bechamel sauce

It is advisable to use bechamel immediately after preparing it. Indeed, it solidifies quickly on cooling. Otherwise, lay a stretch film directly on the surface.

Nutritional value of Bechamel sauce

The following table shows the nutritional value of each tablespoon of Bechamel sauce:

Preparation of Bechamel sauce

How to prepare Bechamel sauce?

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  • 2 tablespoons of flour.
  • A cup and a quarter of liquid milk.
  • A quarter of a teaspoon of salt. A ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • A pinch of nutmeg

Preparation:

  • Melt the butter on low heat, add two tablespoons of flour and stir constantly, until golden in color.
  • Add the milk and stir well and quickly over the fire until the ingredients are homogeneous and the sauce becomes thick, add salt, black pepper, and the nutmeg. Then reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Keep the pan away from the heat, set aside to cool the Bechamel sauce; a little milk can be poured to prevent the sauce from clumping and forming the dough.

Note:

You can add some cheese.

Now, moving to some recipes that need a Bechamel sauce.

1. Pasta gratin with Bechamel sauce

Ingredients:

  • 300g raw pasta
  • 25g of butter
  • 20g of flour
  • 20cl of milk
  • 6 slices of crunchy cheese
  • 75g diced ham
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • Grated Gruyere cheese

Preparation:

1- Prepare the Bechamel sauce; melt the butter, add the flour, then the milk little by little. Leave to thicken for a few minutes over low heat, then add salt, pepper, and the nutmeg.

2- Add the slices of chewable cheese in the Bechamel sauce and mix until they are completely melted.

3- Cook, rinse, and drain the pasta. Put them in a bowl and pour the Bechamel sauce over them. Add the diced ham. Mix well.

4- Put the preparation in a dish and sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes at 200 ° without preheating the oven.

Related: how to prepare chicken wings?

2. Chicken breast with Bechamel sauce

Ingredients:

  • Milk
  • 100 g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg, Parsley
  • Chicken breasts
  • Grated cheese

Preparation:

Prepare the chicken breasts

Cut the chicken breast into pieces

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick pan over the heat and brown the chicken breasts.

Salt, pepper, then add some parsley.

Cook for 5 minutes, and stir regularly.

Then prepare the Bechamel sauce

Melt about 100 g of butter, until it becomes yellow. Then, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour on the butter, stir everything. Return to medium heat, and gradually add milk (without drowning the bechamel sauce). At the end, add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and some gruyere cheese, and mix again.

In an oven dish, put the chicken breast pieces and cover with the Bechamel sauce, and spread the grated cheese on it.

Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy your meal !!!

Originally published on Live Positively.