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How to make Béchamel Sauce

How to make bechamel image

Béchamel sauce or white sauce has been taken from the French cuisine and introduced to Greek cuisine by Nicolaos Tselementes.  The addition of eggs to the Greek bechamel makes it much richer.

It is used as a basic sauce to top Moussakas, Pastitsio, Papoutsakia and used in many other Greek recipes.

To make this sauce you need an equal amount of butter or olive oil and flour (in weight) which is made into a roux and then milk is added and flavoured with nutmeg.

The addition of eggs should be added carefully so as not to curdle the eggs.  They are whisked separately and added a little at a time, whisking continuously until they are incorporated.

Pastitsio baked image

How to make Béchamel Sauce

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Enough for one baking tin 35 x 30

Ingredients:

  • 1.3 litres of milk
  • 150 grams olive oil (or butter or olive oil based margarine)
  • 150 grams all purpose flour
  • 3 – 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of grated halloumi, graviera,  kefalotyri or dried myzithra cheese

Directions:

  1. Before starting, heat the milk and beat the eggs.
  2. In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the flour, salt and nutmeg and mix thoroughly using a whisk, until it starts to brown.
  3. Add the warm milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  4. Whisk the eggs and add a little at a time slowly and mixing until it is incorporated.
  5. Remove from the heat and mix in the grated cheese.

Collage bechamel sauce image

Tips:

If it becomes too thick add some more cold milk.

If it is too runny dissolve a tablespoon of corn flour (starch) with 1/4 cup of milk and stir until it sets.

To make béchamel healthier I always use olive oil instead of butter.

If you have cholesterol:

Instead of butter use olive
Add less eggs or only egg whites
Add low fat , milk, low fat cheese or skip the cheese altogether

For dishes like moussakas and pastitsio, sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the bechamel and you will be amazed by the taste.

Bechamel on top of Moussakas image

The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 1 of the e-cookbook.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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6 Responses

  1. georgeK

    great recipe and beautiful song,,,,,,,can someone tell me the title of this song

    • Ivy

      Thank you george. The name of the song is (mes stou Aegaeou ta nera) Μες στου Αιγαίου τα νερά, by Eleftheria Arvanitaki and it means "In the waters of the Aegean". The link provided is an older version, I am not sure if it is the original version.
      http://www.greeksongs-greekmusic.com/mes-tou-aiga

  2. georgeK

    great recipe and beautiful song,,,,,,,can someone tell me the title of this song

  3. georgeK

    evharisto Ivy

    george

  4. PG

    Dear Ivy tryIng to make moussaka with your Recipe. Only i will have to replace the Cheese. Excited and happy to have Grund you Recipe! 🙂
    Preeti

    • Ivy

      That’s great Preeti. No problem about the cheese. You can even add feta if you like but you can also add other cheeses as well.