What is an easy recipe for béchamel sauce for moussaka?
I made a vegetarian moussaka with potatoes and eggplant, but my béchamel just kind of disappeared in the dish. How do you make the firmer version, that's half-inch thick on top, like when you order moussaka in a restaurant?
I have never attempted to make a bechamel sauce that thick, but as far as I understand you just need to increase the amount of roux you use. The more roux you use the thicker your sauce will become. I would suggest using 1.25 lbs of roux per 1 gallon of milk (I hope your not counting calories). If your still not pleased with the thickness you'll need to add more roux.
Beware, as your sauce gets more thick it will burn more easily. You should be ready to whisk your heart out and don't leave it unattended.
Also, with a sauce this thick don't use a typical strainer I would suggest you wring the sauce through cheesecloth to avoid any lumps.
I just wrote all this and thought this would make a good hub...
Here's a basic bechamel sauce recipe for the home. The thickness of your sauce depends on how much water is in the sauce. Cook it for longer and the water from the milk will evaporate leaving your sauce thick. Continue to simmer it over a medium to medium low heat and you should have no problem with the roux burning or the milk scalding.
Bechamel is one of the five Mother sauces of French cuisine.
This is the basic, medium-thick white sauce used in moussaka and melitzanes papoutsakia (little eggplant shoes). Increasing the ratio of butter and flour to the milk will result in a thicker sauce, and decreasing will make a lighter sauce.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutesIngredients:
•5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
•4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
•2 cups hot whole milk
•1-3 egg yolks, beaten with a fork
In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. As soon as it melts, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps, and increase the heat to medium-low. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk, and continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken - creamy without being too thick. Remove from the heat and stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the egg yolks and return to the heat, whisking briskly until well blended. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
Yield: 2 cups
Thick Béchamel: (for use in au gratin recipes, filled pies, and croquettes) Increase the butter by 1 tablespoon, and the flour by 2 tablespoons. Leave everything else the same.
Thin Béchamel: (for use as the base for other sauces) Cut the butter and flour amounts in half. Leave everything else the same.
Multiplying the recipe: To make 4, 6, etc., cups of béchamel, increase all ingredients proportionately except the egg yolks. No more than three egg yolks should be used.
Storage note: Béchamel can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than one day. To reheat, use either a double boiler, stirring constantly, or the microwave. For the microwave, cover and vent, and heat on medium power checking every two minutes. Microwave heating time will depend on the amount of sauce and the oven's wattage.
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