Who is Béchamel? By Toby S.

5 11 2008

It is widely disputed who and/or where the mother sauce Béchamel was first invented.  Some say it was invented by Philippe de Mornay the man who invented Mornay sauce, among others.  It is also said that it was invented by Catherine de Medici’s Tuscan cooks who then brought it to France in the seventeenth century.  Then there are those who claim that Marquis Louis de Béchamel invented it himself while serving as a chief steward to Louis XIV.  However it seems to be more likely and widely accepted that Louis XIV chef François Pierre de la Varenne invented it and named it in honor of Marquis Louis de Béchamel who severed the king during the same period.  Nevertheless the original recipe was as follows:


Bechamel Sauce – Traditional Method

5 Tbsp. clarified butter
50 gr. very lean veal , cut in small dice
5 Tbsp. flour
3 cups milk, brought to a boil before using
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1 small sprig thyme
1/4 or 1/2 bay leaf
pinch of nutmeg
salt and white pepper

  • Gently cook the veal in a small pan with a little butter.  Avoid browning and set aside.
  • In a different saucepan create a roux with the remaining butter and flour.  Cook for 5mins avoid any browning.
  • Add the boiling milk, mix well, add the veal and remaining ingredients to the roux and simmer very gently for 45mins to 1hr.
  • Strain through cheese cloth.


Whoever invented the original recipe is really irrelevant, for the most part anyway, because it really isn’t used anymore.  This is due to Georges Auguste Escoffier.  He invented a much quicker and easier way to prepare Béchamel sauce that we still use today.  The recipe also known as the quick method is as follows:



Bechamel Sauce – Quick Method


3 Tbsp. butter
4 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3 cups of milk scalded

1 Onion layer from quartered oinion

1 Bay leaf, small

1 Clove
TT Salt

TT White pepper

TT Nutmeg


  • In a saucepan melt butter and add flour to create a roux.  Being careful not to allow any browning.  Set aside to cool.
  • Scald milk in a separate pan, then whisk in roux making sure there are no lumps.  Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Stick the bay leaf to the onion with the clove and add to the simmering sauce.
  • Cook until the sauce thickens.   If too thick adjust with a little more milk.
  • Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  • Strain through china cap lined with cheese cloth.


Personally, I love this sauce because it is delicate enough on it’s own to add to poultry or even potatoes, but you can also infuse other flavors to create other well know small sauces like Mornay, Cream and Soubise.  Or you can just incorporate other flavors as you see fit to create something new.  It’s subtle, delicate flavor lends itself well to tinkering and as a chef (to be) that’s the kind of base I love build off of creatively.





Professional Cooking, W. Gisslen, 6th edition, Page 171













Veloute Sauce By Edy .Z

5 11 2008

Veloute . It’s a fancy French name for a white sauce that is stock based and thickened with a white roux.
The stock used is usually chicken, veal, or fish. Veloute is one of the 4 mother sauces that almost all of the classic French sauces are derived from.
This is an important sauce to have in your repertoire because from it, you can prepare some other sauces just by adding a few other ingredients. Some sauces from veloute are Allemande sauce and Supreme sauce.

1 1/2 cups white stock (veal, chicken, or fish)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of flour
Salt & Pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over low heat (don’t let it burn) add the flour.
Raise the heat and stir the butter and flour together
Whisk the simmering stock into the roux and keep heating and whisking. When the stock begins to simmer again, let it cook until the sauce thickens.
A thin skin may form, just skim it away with your spoon.
Depending on your stovetop, the sauce may take 10 minutes to get to your desired consistency.
Season salt www. foodproductdesign. com/articles/463/7ah27151394089.htm

I guess i grew up eating Mornay by Neiman W.

5 11 2008

Mornay?! Have you been eating this too?! I’m pretty sure most of us growing up has had a version of this classic French sauce.  Well what is it? Mornay is a bechamel sauce with cheese.  Bechemal is just fancy name for a cream sauce made with a roux.

Growing up one of my all time favorite things to eat was Mac ‘n cheese.  My mom would fry up some spam slices and throw it into some mac ‘n cheese made from the box.  It was such a great combination of flavors.   I would definitely recommend everyone trying it.

I wouldn’t have survived through college if not for the late night microwavable mac ‘n cheese dinners.  Mac ‘n cheese is basically a mornay sauce, with macaroni.  It’s a very modern and streamlined version of the sauce but none the less keeping the essential basics of a mornay sauce. The classic mornay sauce listed below is made with a mixture of Parmesan and Gruyere cheese.  These cheese are white. So the sauce is completely white and is a defining feature in a classic mornay. We usually see mac ‘n cheese with an orange sauce, usually a cheddar.

I just recently ate a classic French mornay sauce for the very first time.  It was pretty much an awesome cheese sauce.  The salty and sweet cheese flavor from the Gruyere and Parmesan was delicous.  I would recommend try making this sauce at home, as it pretty much can go with anything.  My next experiment is going to be a spam and mornay sauce with some good fresh fettuccine.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warmed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt – TT
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper – TT
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 ouce of gruyere, 1 ouce of parmasan

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale yellow and frothy, about 1 minute. Do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. This is now called a bechamel sauce, and may be used as is to top any number of dishes.

Stir in the cheese and whisk until melted. If the sauce seems to thick, thin with a little milk.

The sauce is now called a Mornay Sauce. Pour over steamed vegetables and serve immediately. If not using right away, cool, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.

Work Cited:

recipe cited from : http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/classic-mornay-sauce-recipe/index.html

Making Classic Sauces Healthy by TSA

5 11 2008

I think everyone in class has heard me say this, but I grew up in a household that ate the same dishes over and over again – and they were delicious. We always had a protein, vegetable and starch, usually chicken or steak, any vegetable, and rice or pasta. There was a variety in these meals, but they were always lightly seasoned, and never made with anything heavy. Although my mom is German, she never made “traditional” German foods, and leaned toward serving foods more similar to my father’s Turkish background – using olive oils and lean meats for fat. There wasn’t a fear of fat in our household, we just didn’t like how it tasted.

When my mom made lasagna, it was more similar to Turkish subergi, with vegetables and feta cheese, and plain tomato sauce (to fit our American palate) in between noodle layers.

The first time I tried béchamel sauce was when I had begun cooking for myself in college. As a vegetarian, I was experimenting with cookbooks to fill my nutritional needs outside of my parent’s cooking. But I didn’t like the flavor – to me, as with any butter, milk, or cream-based dish, it is too heavy. I like dishes that do not weigh down my stomach. Bechamel sauce is typically made out of a roux, milk, and seasonings. Escoffier noted that after the milk and roux have been combined, lean veal can be added and after boiling slowly for over an hour, the sauce can be passed through a tamis.

Especially for vegetarians, adding any meat to the sauce makes it unusable. And these days as people try to develop healthier versions of their favorite recipes, it is important to have alternatives of these “mother sauces.”

A modern, healthier take on béchamel sauce includes replacing the butter in the roux with olive oil, scalding skim milk to whisk with the roux, and stirring in dry nonfat powdered milk to add body to the sauce. And, definitely, definitely, eliminate the veal. Especially if you are vegetarian. This is how I learned to make the more traditional béchamel sauce as I expanded my cooking repertoire.

For vegans, which I became a year later (although obviously am no longer either – I love my red meat), there are recipes for replacing the butter and milk with vegan margarine and soymilk, but I’m not sure how “healthy” that really is.

In the end, I’m excited to learn more about traditional sauces, but I still crave the type of cooking I grew up with – light, healthy and tasty. Unless of course it’s fried, then I’ll love it.







Mother Sauce: Veloute (veh-loo-TAY) by Subul B.

4 11 2008

Dedicated to Cooks and Chefs all around the world…November 2008… Et Voila!

Omg.   Culinary School and French…  What a combination.  Whether you can cook or want to learn how to cook, I highly suggest investing into a hands-on culinary school experience (research the school of your choice thoroughly before signing your checkbook away…) 

My personal blog today covers Veloute Sauce, a white-stock sauce made up of chicken, veal or fish stock.  Veloute; one of the four major French mother sauces that use liquids as their base.  The other 3 include Bechamel, Espangnole, and Tomato.  The 5th, less popular, but not to be forgotten sauce is Hollandaise.  This is the only sauce that uses a fat for it’s base instead of a liquid. 

The sixth edition of Professional Cooking by W. Gisslen speaks of the functions of sauces to add moistness, flavor, richness, appearance and interest to the created dish.  Classic Mother Sauces are made up of 3 main components: a thickening agent, a liquid and additional seasoning and flavoring agents.  Veloute was created by Antonin Careme, back in the 19th Century. 

A classic Veloute consists of two parts; the roux (the mix of butter and flour) with the addition of a white stock (chicken, veal, or fish). 

This is what you’ll need for a simple, classic recipe of a veloute sauce:

  • 4 ounces clarified butter
  • 4 ounces bread flour
  • 2.5 quarts of white stock, must be hot (stock can be prepared ahead of time, frozen, and reheated when you are ready to prepare this sauce) 

Personal Note:  Depending on the dish being created, you will need to choose a chicken, veal or fish stock.  I like to match a specific stock to the sauce to compliment the respective ingredients in the meal.  i.e.  use a chicken stock to enhance the flavor of a chicken dish like Chicken Noodle Casserole or even Chicken Enchiladas and use veal stock in sauces that favor or enhance the dishes with beef, etc.

A favorite recipe of mine: Chicken Enchiladas. There are countless things you can do with this, this is just my version of a quick, popular dish for any night…  The veloute sauce I would use in this dish would be ideal for enhancing the flavor of a dish when the chicken is baked and may lose the finer attributes after cooking.  The sauce would not only compliment the dish, but give it a kick of its original flavors that are lost due to baking a dish for a certain period of time or the level of heat involved. 

This recipe serves 2.

  • 1-1.5 cups veloute sauce as base of dish
  • 2 cups sauce to serve over dish (depends on how you like your enchiladas)
  • 1 lb. chicken; boil 1 large chicken breast, skin removed, boiled, drained and sliced into strips.  Add a packet of your favorite chicken taco seasoning and sauté for a few minutes.   Add some milk and stir it all together until spice mix binds.
  • 3-6 flour tortillas
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sliced onions
  • sautéed peppers
  • sour cream
  • your favorite cheeses (or Mexican blend)
  • optional garnishes: sliced hot peppers, jalapeños, lime, and/or finely chopped cilantro, to garnish


Start by heating oven to approx 350 degrees.  Take a large casserole dish and add about 1-1.5 cups of the veloute sauce to the bottom of the pan after greasing it with vegetable or olive oil.  Using the desired amount of tortillas, create mixture of seasoned chicken strips, tomatoes, onions, peppers.  Wrap each tortilla, keeping the binds of each tortilla to the bottom of the pan.  Cook in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until tortillas are baked and sauce has absorbed into tortilla mixture.  Top off with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.  Remove, cool slightly and scoop out sour cream over each enchilada.  Top off with desired garnishes and serve veloute sauce on the side, or pour over enchiladas.  Sauce can also be served in small bowls on the side as a dip for the enchiladas. 

Bon Appetite!





Professional Cooking, W. Gisslen, 6th edition, Pages 159-203, 172, 1056

Bercy sauce By: Alan G.

3 11 2008

Bercy  is from a part of Paris.   It is a small sauce made from a mixture of a brown sauce and a brown stock.  Which is then  reduced down   to form a demiglaze.  Then when a dry white wine is added with shallots and reduced down again. To form the Bercy sauce.  Also, it can be made with a veloute’ sauce      to be used with for fish and with demiglaze is made for meats. As you can see the Bercy sauce is universal with both meat and fish .Depending on the mother sauce and stock used to form the end results of the dish.

The ingredients for the bercy sauce is as follows:

Demiglaze  sauce

1 Gal.   Brown sauce

1 Gal.  Brown stock     Yields:  1 gal. Of sauce


Fish veloute’

 White Roux

5 qt Fish stock



2 oz chopped shallots

½ c add Fish veloute’ 

2 oz butter

2 tbsp chopped parsley

TT lemon juice

Reduce by 2/3 shallots and white wine, then add Fish veloute’ and reduce down a little bit and then finish by mounting butter, add parsley and lemon juice and garnish.

References:  Professional cooking by : Wayne  Gisslen  1983 copyright

                        Food Network.com for Encyclopedia on Bercy sauce history

Chicken Fricassee by Brian L.

3 11 2008

Chicken Fricassee is a classic French dish in which the chicken is cooked without producing color and is finished in a white sauce. It is prepared in the following method:


3lb chickens x2

Salt & Pepper

2 medium onions (chopped)

2 T flour

5c Hot, white Chicken stock

8oz Mushrooms

8oz Pearl Onions

¾ c Heavy Cream

4 egg yolks

1t. Lemon Juice (optional)

2oz Butter


  1. Season chicken, place skin down in a pan with 2oz butter on low heat. Cook approx 10 min, making sure the chicken and butter remain colorless.
  2. Turn Chicken over and cook an additional 10 min. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Sweat the chopped onions in the same pan as was used for the chicken, in the remaining butter. Once translucent, add the flour to make a roux.
  4. Cook roux for approx. 5 min, taking care not to brown.
  5. Add 1 qt. chicken stock to the roux, add the chicken back into the pan, cover and place in the oven at 350 degrees or place over low heat. Cook for 15-20 or until fully cooked. Remove from pan and allow to rest.
  6. Use the remaining stock to cook mushrooms and pearl onions. Place the mushrooms and onions with the chicken.


  1. Strain the broth from the pan used for the chicken. Discard the onions.
  2. In a sauce pan, reduce broth until approx 2c.remain.
  3. Wisk together cream and egg yolks in a bowl.
  4. Wisk ½ the reduced broth into the cream and egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the remaining broth and cook until simmer, stirring constantly.
  5. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Modern interpretations: Some contemporary versions of this recipe include browning the chicken, using various cooking liquids and/or garnishes.

Thoughts: This dish is a very simplistic in preparation and flavor. The only difficulty in preparation is keeping the colorlessness of the ingredients while cooking through. The flavor of onions is very prominent in both the sauce and the meat. It would do well to be served with a more vibrant and flavorful side dishes.

Works Cited:  Sauces:  Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making by James Peterson