The white sauce can accompany a variety of dishes (vegetables, fish, white meat …), but it also serves as a base for other sauces used in some Bechamel Sauce recipes.
Successful béchamel sauce: the right mix of ingredients
The white sauce is one of the classics culinary arts. It is successful when it has the proper texture depending on the dish it accompanies, but is neither too thin nor too thick.Sauces missed are rare, however there are a few tips to make up a sauce that went wrong “taken”. Once the white sauce prepared, you can make other sauces incorporating different ingredients.
Ingredients, equipment and the steps
The white sauce is used both to coat some vegetables for stuffing pastry preparations. It is made from a mixture of white roux with milk.
The ingredients for the sauce béchamel
For a recipe for 4 people, you will need:
- 5 3/4 tablespoons (40 grams) of flour;
- 2 tablespoons (35 grams) of butter;
- 2 1/4 cups (500 ml) milk;
- salt, nutmeg and pepper.
To make the sauce, you’ll need two pots (a little to prepare the roux, and one more for the milk) with a wooden spoon or spatula. A chinois may be necessary if it lumps.
Completion of the bechamel sauce
Start by boiling milk, and prepare the white roux in the same time. To do this, melt the butter in saucepan over low heat without letting it brown. Then add flour, stirring with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Let the roux cooling.
Once the milk is boiled, gradually incorporate the roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps form. Continue stirring to allow the sauce to thicken slowly. It is ready when it becomes creamy.
Filter any lumps and then season with salt and pepper. Nutmeg is essential since it has the particularity to enhance the flavor of the sauce. If it comes in the form of a nut, just grate.
Tips for a successful béchamel sauce
The white sauce can accompany or garnish various dishes. For some dishes, it needs to be a little thicker, for others it must be lighter. It’s all about the mix of different ingredients including flour, milk, egg yolks and cream.
A thick béchamel
To make a thick sauce, simply increase the amount of flour from 70 grams to 100 grams. Always add flour gradually while stirring or whisking to prevent lumps. Adjust the seasoning then. If the sauce takes a while to thicken, turn up the heat because heat accelerates transition between the roux and milk. When the sauce starts to load the back of the spoon, it is ready to coat your gratin or to garnish your cabbage.
A lighter sauce
For a lighter and more refined sauce, simply substitute a portion of the flour with the cornstarch. It is based on personal taste as it can be replaced by a third or half. If by mistake, the sauce is too thick, it must be added back slowly boiled milk.
Precautions conservation and derived bechamel sauce
Béchamel sauce should be served immediately to prevent the formation of a skin on its surface when it cools. If you want to keep a few hours, melt one tablespoon of butter over the surface without mixing.
There are practical tips to make a quick bechamel sauce. Some melt the butter in the microwave (a few seconds) before adding the flour. Must then mix well, then put in the microwave for a minute, on medium heat. Leave to cool the roux before adding previously boiled milk, and reheat in the microwave. Then mix and season.
Another tip is to prepare well in advance a large amount of roux 2 1/2 cups (250 grams ) of flour and 13 tablespoons ( 200 g) of butter. Then divide into small fractions of 2/3 cup (60 g), and wrap in plastic wrap before freezing. It is then enough to thaw a portion prior to the preparation and continuing the steps of the recipe. lp
Derivatives of bechamel sauce
After completion of the bechamel sauce is well controlled, you can then venture into the preparation of other derived sauces. By adding an egg yolk and some grated cheese, you get a Mornay sauce. By substituting the cheese with mustard and adding cayenne pepper, you get a sauce Thermidor.
By incorporating into the sauce of chopped onions and steamed, you get a soubise sauce. So, your sauce will fit best for your fish dish, your cauliflower gratin or other recipes.
Enjoy these recipes and share your tips! — Also Read: How to Make Vinaigrette Sauce