7.8.08

The Basic White Sauce



Bonjour toute le monde!

It's been a while since I introduce some cooking tips. Here is one that I made recently the famous Béchamel Sauce (pronounced BAY-Sha-Mel). I was making Lasagna for my fiance and I decided to snap a picture of the fundamental part of making a good Béchamel Sauce. The flavouring of the Milk. You will see the ingredients that I've added to the Sauce add flavours to the Milk. Thereafter, everything else is easy.

Just a little background on this mother sauce (suggesting it is one of the basic sauces in cooking). The recipe was brought into France from Catherine de Medici's Tuscan cooks (Italy). The Italian name being Balsamella. To read more about how the French name for this sauce is obtained. Read this Wikipedia link. Of course there are many variations of this greatly acclaimed sauce which is the foundation of many other sauce. You can read more about them in this other article.

Now back to the kitchen, you can dunk in all the herbs that you can put your hands on to obtain the ultimate flavouring of the Milk. They can include: Parsley (stalks), Onions, Garlic, Peppercorns (if you crack them, you'll get a spicy sauce!), Cloves, Bay Leaves, Rosemary, Thyme, etc... Bring the Milk to boil. Strain.

In another saucepan, prepare the Roux (equal parts of Butter and Flour). Whisk them together. Add the hot Milk slowly, whisking it into the Roux. This is thicken up the sauce as the Milk cooks the Roux. If you are satisfied with the consistency, you can stop adding the Milk to the Roux. For all of you lovely people out there, here's the recipe that should make a saucepan full:

Béchamel Sauce
2 cups Milk
60g Flour
60g Butter

I found that it tastes much better in Lasagna if you enrich the Sauce into Mornay Sauce. Whisk in Shredded Cheese (Gruyère, Parmesan, etc).. whatever Cheese you can get your hands on.

**One most important point: Don't BURN your MILK!** beep...

Have fun cooking!!

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