Bechamel Sauce by David Antonacci

24 09 2008

There are many different theories of where this mother sauce came from. One was that the sauce was created by Duke Philippe De Mornay of the 1600’s. He was the Govenor of Saumur, Lord of Plessis Marly and a protestant writer. Another theory is that it was created Marquis Louis de Bechameil, a 17th century financier of King Louis XIV. It is said he came up with it when he was trying to find something to go with dried cod. The most likely theory though is that it was invented by Francois Pierre de La Varenne, a chef for King Louis XIV. The ingredients to make this mother sauce is:

  • roux ( 8 oz. butter and 8 oz. flour)
  • 1 gallon of milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 piece of peeled onion
  • 1 clove
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • nutmeg to taste

First you want to make the roux, then in a separate sauce pan, scald the milk. Then slowly temper into the roux while whisking constantly. Bring to a quick boil, then simmer for at least15 minutes. When reduce the heat to simmer is when you want to add the onion, bay leaf and clove. After it is done simmering you need to pass it through a chinos and season to taste with the salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

Other sauces that can be made from Bechamel Sauce are:

  • Cream Sauce (just add cream)
  • Mornay Sauce (add gruyere cheese, parmesanand finish off the heat with butter)
  • Mornay  Sauce for Glazing and Gratineeing (add egg yolks and heavy cream to original Mornay Sauce)
  • Cheddar Cheese Sauce (add cheddar cheese, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce)
  • mustard sauce (just add mustard)
  • Soubise Sauce (add finely diced onions, butter (without browning), simmer for 15 minutes and then pass through a chinos)
  • Tomatoed Soubise Sauce (just add tomato puree to original Soubise Sauce)
  • Nantua Sauce (add shrimp butter and heavy cream)

Resources:www.911cheferic.com (for the history) and The Gisslen (for recipe)

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