The Béchamel sauce is a french sauce consisting of 3 ingredients, milk, flour and butter. The interesting twist on bechamel, is that it did not originate in France, but rather in Tuscany, Italy. The Italians called it ‘besciamella’ and had the short name of “coletta”. Coletta, which means white glue-which is the spot-on vision for this thick white sauce. Well, white glue never tasted so good!
It wasn’t until the 16th century when French culinary got their hands on it. It seemed the French set their eyes on this sauce to accompany a very loved and cherished dish in France. The Veal Veloute, which in fact, demanded a heartier, richer addition to this sauce…cream. French cuisine is known for it’s sauces. Their sauces accompany anything from vegetables, to eggs, to meat and noodles. There are 5 base sauces in French cuisine known as the mother’s sauce. Well, without a lesson in French cuisine, bechamel is one of them. It’s the white, creamy sauce that goes perfectly with pasta, or as the base in a chicken pot pie. If the French properly named this sauce and took it out of the hands of the Italians, I’d say the Italians put it right back in their culture and added it to their lovely dish of Lasagne.
Bechamel is not to be feared, however. It’s a very easy recipe to make, and at its best, requires good whisking skills. But, if you have butter, milk and flour on hand, get busy, and make your delicious and memorable batch of bechamel. Use it in your lasagna dish, or as your Alfredo sauce.
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 TBS flour white
- 3 dl milk
- 1 dl cream or half cream
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 50 grams cheese tilsiter for example
- To make your roux, gather your two ingredients…your butter and flour. Don’t forget to get your whisk as well, because you’ll need it as soon as the butter melts.
- Melt the butter, then whisk in your flower, slowly. Keeping the heat to medium, continue to whisk until mixture thickens and be sure the color of this sauce remains white. Take off heat. This is your completed roux.
- Measure out your milk and add the spices
- Return roux mixture to medium/high heat and whisk in your milk mixture.
- cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat, continually whisking until sauce thickens up. Take off heat.
- add your cheese. I recommend 50 grams of a softer mild cheese, I used Tilsiter.
- Use your sauce in lasagna, the perfect compliment!