Bechamel Sauce

I wanted to mention something from yesterday’s recipe… Probably most people know what a bechamel sauce is but I didn’t until recently. Now I am obsessed!  You can do so much with very basic ingredients!

Basically a bechamel sauce is this (keep in mind, this is my interpretation of the multitude of recipes and articles I’ve read on this subject once I discovered it):

You have equal parts butter and flour (example 4 tablespoons of butter, 4 tablespoons of flour) and 2 cups of milk (which I see as another 4 since there are 4 half cups in 2 cups).  That’s my easy way to remember.  It might not be exactly accurate from an actual chef’s perspective but it works.  

What you do is melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the flour.  Stir constantly until it’s slightly browned (this cooks the flour so it doesn’t taste flour-y) (some say it shouldn’t be browned but that’s the only way I know it’s cooked long enough – plus the browning adds nice flavor).  Add salt and pepper (I don’t measure, just toss some in).  Some say that you should warm your milk prior to adding it but I don’t and I haven’t had any problem.  So… Add your milk (slowly!) to the butter and flour.  Whisk constantly until it’s all smooth and pretty.  Let it come just to a boil (should be thickened) and then remove it from the heat.  At this point you have a sauce and you can add cheese or anything you want.  This is how Alfredo sauces are made. 

Now don’t do what I did yesterday!  I wanted a thick sauce so it wouldn’t be runny in my stuffed bread.  I did not think this through!  I added WAY TOO MUCH flour!  I wound up with a wad of butter and flour rolling around in the pan that I couldn’t brown.  Finally, out of desperation (it was the last of my butter so it HAD to work) I added chicken broth to loosen it up.  It worked!  But it took a lot of chicken broth (probably a cup!)!  Then I still had to add the milk.  I didn’t think it would work but somehow it pulled together and I was able to finish my garlic parmesan bechamel!

Even though it worked, I don’t recommend that method.  It was scary!   The pic is the final outcome.  It was thick!  Tasted great though!



About Natalie

I'm 48 years old, have 4 animals (2 cats, a ferret and a parrot). I haven't always enjoyed cooking but I have time now to do it without rushing so it's more enjoyable and I'm having fun learning new techniques. I want to share what I learn because if I can do it, anyone can.

2 responses to “Bechamel Sauce

  1. You remind me of myself, except I still am not quite there with “have the time” and “ready to learn to cook.” I like your blog! The layout is awesome.

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