Bechamel and sauces based on Bechamel are used with
eggs, fish, chicken, veal and vegetables, and as a base for
cream soups, souffles, croquettes, etc. Bechamel should always
be made in a heavy-bottomed saucepan to prevent scorching and
discoloring of the roux, the butter and flour cooked together
in the first step of making the sauce.
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. hot milk
ground nutmeg (optional)
Melt butter in a saucepan over moderate heat. Do not
let it brown. Add flour and stir until mixture is well blend-
ed. Gradually stir in hot milk. Cook over medium heat, stir-
ring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
Simmer, stirring frequently, over very low heat for 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and with a pinch of
nutmeg, if desired. Makes about 1 cup sauce.
Note: This recipe makes a medium thick sauce.
Variations of Bechamel Sauce:
For that definite French touch, enrich Bechamel sauce
and its variations with butter in this manner: Depending on
taste, use from 1/2 to 3 tablespoons fresh butter. Remove
finished sauce from heat. Stir in butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a
time. Make sure butter has been absorbed by sauce before
stirring in next amount. Serve immediately over food or
Mornay Sauce: Add 1/2 cup grated cheese to 1 cup hot
sauce and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted.
Season with mustard and/or Worcestershire sauce to taste.
Veloute Sauce: Substitute hot chicken, beef, fish or
vegetable broth for the milk.
Cream Sauce: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream to 1
cup finished sauce. This sauce is often flavored with a little
onion. To do this, put an onion ring into the milk when
heating it, and remove the onion before using the milk.
Mustard or Curry Sauce: For 1 cup sauce, combine 1
teaspoon dry mustard or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder with the
flour used in the sauce. Mustard sauce is excellent for fish
and broiled meats, while curry sauce is also fine for vegeta-
Herb Sauce: Add 1 teaspoon of any freshly chopped herb
or 1/2 teaspoon dried herb to 1 cup hot sauce. Cook for a few
minutes longer to let herbs release their flavor.
Sauce Aurore: Add from 2 to 4 tablespoons tomato puree
or 1 tablespoon tomato paste to 1 cup hot sauce. Cook for a
few minutes longer. The tomato may be increased to suit taste
and color requirements.
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