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Topic: How necessary is Bechamel?

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Subject: How necessary is Bechamel?
Date Posted: 12/8/2008 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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I seen some good recipes, mostly complex, including a lasagna-like dish, that calls for bechamel sauce to be poured over contents before cooking. I've NEVER been able to make bechamel come out right.

Could cream be subbed? Or any easier subs that would work?

Date Posted: 12/8/2008 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2008
Posts: 84
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my husband makes bechamel this way

In a coated cast iron pot,

2 TBL butter & 2TBL FLOUR

make a roux of butter & flour, brown it a little,

SLOWLY Add one cup milk stirring frantically so you don't get lumps, add 1 small onion spiked with 2 cloves & half bay leaf

Then put in a 350 oven for 15 minutes


He made cream of tomato soup yesterday using this, it was wonderful. He says it is from the Joy of Cooking.

That doesn't answer your question. I think the answer is: it depends upon the dish. It is a thick sauce, and usually serves to bind other ingredients. Cream wouldn't work so well to do that. If it is to hold cheese, you could probably get away with just putting the cheese in.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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IT is the base for so many recipes that it really is worth learning how to make. I do it the exact same way as Celina's husband. My one hint would be to heat up the milk in the microwave before adding it to the cooked flour and butter roux. This helps to prevent any lumps.  I also prefer a nonstick pan.

Subject: Bechamel for Northern Italian lasagna
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2008
Posts: 42
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Bechamel for lasagne cannot be too thick or it won't spread. Though it's thin, it'll bake nicely when the cheese is added: about one cup of cheese shreds per cup of bechamel. The heat of the oven will set and brown the sauce.


4 tbsp butter (melted)

2 tbsp flour

2 cups whole milk or half and half (half and  half is richer, tastier)

1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


Heat the milk or half and half until it is hot but not simmering - hold at that temperature, do NOT let it boil

Into melted butter, sprinkle the flour. Using a whisk, gently move flour around until it's all incorporated into the butter. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle the nutmeg over the roux and stir. Gently and carefully pour the heated milk or half and half into the roux, stirring constantly with the whisk to keep lumps from forming. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Keep it simmerly every so gently for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. If lumps have formed, or if you suspect that they have, before using, pour bechamel through a sieve into a clean bowl.

Set the bechamel aside until you need to use it. Bechamel can be used for many things. http://www.real-restaurant-recipes.com/Bechamel-Sauce.html click for "real-restaurant-recipes.com website

Bechamel is used widely in Northern Italian cooking. To make 'pink' sauce, combine Bolognese ragu with heavy cream or bechamel sauce. Proceed with layering of lasagna. The pink sauce can be used for many recipes.

http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/recipes/display/recipe_id/956/  Fettuccine with Pink Sauce (can be made with heavy cream or with bechamel)

Last Edited on: 3/25/09 8:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1