Monday, February 26, 2007

The Mother Sauces....Bechamel

Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Mayonnaise, Tomato Sauce, and Velouté are the mother sauces of French cuisine. We also have added Beurre Blanc which isn't officially a mother sauce, but it also is a solid base other sauces are built from. Once you know how to make these you can add a few different ingredients to each base to make 100's of different variations.

This week I figured was a good time to go over the basic sauces because they really make a difference in very simple dishes such, as grilled items such as Steak, Veal, Fish, pork, and Chicken. We are going to start off with Bechamel because we can make an incredible Mac and Cheese with it. Don't be intimidated, all these sauces can easily be made by anyone if you follow directions, and develop an easy to learn skill set.

Bechamel, one of the mother sauces of French cuisine, is usually made today by whisking scalded milk gradually into a white flour-butter roux, though it can also be made by whisking a kneaded flour-butter beurre manié into scalded milk. The thickness of the final sauce depends on the proportions of milk and flour.

Bechamel Sauce

1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1 Cup Milk
Bay Leaf

Add or substitute the following ingredients to make the following sauces based on Bechamel.

Mornay sauce (gruyere cheese)

Nantua sauce (shrimp butter and cream)

Crème sauce (heavy cream)

Mustard Creme sauce (prepared mustard, heavy cream)

Soubise Sauce (finely diced onions that have been sweated in butter)

Cheddar Cheese sauce (cheddar cheese, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce)

Alfredo Sauce (heavy creme, parmesan, and romano cheese)

Gorgonzola Creme Sauce (heavy creme, gorgonzola, romano cheese)

Adult Macaroni and Cheese

The first time I had this was in Lahaina, Maui at the Mala Tavern which sit's in a small house on the edge of the water. Spectacular setting, with even more spectacular food. the Maytag Blue really gives it a tangy kick. If you don't like Blue Cheese just substitute the Maytag, for a Cheddar Jack mixure.

Rigatoni Pasta
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1 Cup Heavy Creme
Diced Mushroom
Diced Shallot
Bay Leaf
Mozzarella Cheese
Pecorino or Romano Cheese
Maytag Blue Cheese

Make your basic Bechamel using creme rather than milk, add finely diced mushrooms, spices, and add the cheese and serve over the boiled Rigatoni.

1 comment:

Jody Smith said...

Hello, can you please tell me how much of each kind of cheeses you need for the adult mac n'cheese? Thank you! I can be emailed at