May 9, 2012

Keepin' it real with Sass: What is béchamel sauce and how to make it

I got this email a month ago and I'd like to start by apoligizing for taking such a long time to respone! Anyways! Better late than never! We always appreciate when you guys email us your questions! Here it goes:

Hey Sass,

I'm not French but I keep seeing this white sauce they call bechamel in a lot of recipes online. What is it exactly? Is it good? How do you make it? 

P.S. I am lazy. I saw recipes online and they seemed too difficult. I'm sure you have an easy one! LOL! 


Hey anonymous! I know who you are because of your email address but I won't expose you, Mrs. Lazy! 

So! Béchamel is
a creamy sauce with a texture similar to a very smooth gravy. Depending on who did it, it can be pretty damn good! The reason I say it depends on who does it is because I used to HATE béchamel just because I always found it too bland until I learned the right way to do it. When you put the right amount of spices, it makes a great sauce for pasta, chicken, vols-au-vent filling and more. It is also a great base for homemade mac & cheese.

I will give you my way of doing it, but you can always alter the spices to make it your own.

YOU WILL NEED (for 4-5 people)

-One medium sized chopped onion. Make sure you chop the onion very thinly. 
-1 1/2 cup of milk 
-1/2 cup of white wine or water. I prefer wine, give the perfect kick to the sauce.
-3 tablespoons of butter
-3 tablespoons of flour
-Time, patience, and arm strenght.


-In a large pan (minimum 2 inches deep), melt your butter and over medium heat, cook the onions until they are translucid and soft, but not caramelized. 
-Add the flour and mix with a whip. The color should be orange-dark beige: In French this is called a "roux". Do not stop whisking! Whisk and whisk and whisk. This is why I said you would need arm strenght!
-Add the milk and wine (or water), bring the heat up and whisk whisk whisk!!! You do not want any lumps in your sauce! So whisk and whisk till' you can't whisk no more! When the texture has reached the right consistency (the creamy gravy texture), stop whisking and bring your heat to minimum.

-Add salt, freshly ground black pepper and other spices of your choice, if you want. I love putting a thyme branch and extra pepper! This is the only thing you can freestyle in this recipe. After putting the spices, remove from heat and use it with what you like.

Not bad eh? Pretty easy. 

P.S. If you wanna make it EXTRA yummy, add some bacon pieces ;) 



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Mac n cheese

Vols au vent

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