Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
This basic sauce is one the five "mother sauces" of french cuisine. It serves as a great starting point to make other sauces like Soubise Sauce, Sauce Mornay, Mushroom Sauce and more. It is very easy to make and to remember.
- 2 cups or 500 ml milk
- 3 tablespoons or 45 ml flour
- 3 tablespoons or 45 ml butter
- 1/2 finely chopped onion
- About a pinch of nutmeg
- Tiny whisk
- Melt the butter in a saucepan
- Add the finely chopped onions in the butter and stir them until they become translucent
- Incorporate the flour gradually into your buttery onion mix and whisk it. All these ingredients together is called a "roux". This is used to thicken sauces.
- Let the roux cook over medium heat for about 1 minute. The longer you leave it, the darker it's going to become. For a bechamel, you want it as white as possible, so stick to 1 minute. It will also remove the flour taste from the mixture.
- Add the milk and nutmeg in the roux and keep stiring constantly with the whisk. Bring it to a boil over medium to high heat. Never stop whisking.
- Once you feel the consistency is creamy and thick enough, remove from the heat and taste. Season with salt and pepper if you want.
Voilà, the bechamel sauce is ready to either eat as is or to be improved by adding other ingredients to it.
Mornay Sauce: Shred some strong cheddar and melt it in the sauce to create a Mornay Sauce.
Soubise Sauce: Caramelize a pound of onion in butter, puree the caramelized onions in a food processor and add the bechamel to the mix.
Mushroom Sauce: Brown some mushrooms (your favorites), add butter after they are browned and puree them. Add part of the bechame to the mix.