The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Word To Your Mother Sauce – Bechamel

Editor’s note – I’m so far behind on different ideas I have for this blog and am terribly busy with work that I’ve asked a guest blogger to write about the five “mother sauces”. Kind readers, I present to you rapper/chef/blogger – Sir Mix-a-Lotta-Ingredients.  Also, recipes (sauces and more) are in the Recipe Index on the left.  Or you can click here.

Yo! Peep this – while my brother The Food and Wine Hedonizzle is busy workin’ on making rubber band banks in his pocket, he asked me to rap at y’all on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart – sauces.

Now every mad homie trying get his food on best know the five mutha sauces. These are the sauces from which all the ballin’ sauces come from – or at least any that matter. In rap or hiphop terms these are like Afrika Bamabaataa, Eric B and Rakim, Grandmaster Flash, and Kurtis Blow. Just as these rappers set the way for future rappers, these five sauces set the way for a multitude of other sauces. CHURCH!

They are:

  • Espagnole – brown stock (using roasted bones, usually veal) thickened by brown roux (mixture of flour and butter)
  • Tomate – tomato-based sauce
  • Bechamel –milk-based, thickened with a white roux
  • Veloute – light stock (non-roasted) thickened with a white roux
  • Hollandaise – an emulsion of egg yolk, butter, and lemon or vinegar

The first four were from my dawg Antonin Careme in the 1800s. Olllddd Schooollll. Then the main gangsta – the late, great, DJ Auguste Escoffier – added Hollandaise to that list. DJ Escoffier was the greatest chef of all time who brought cooking out of the elite ranks and to the masses inna the ghetto. All player chefs are indebted to Escoffier, including yours truly. (Mourn ya til I join ya!) How important was it that he added Hollandaise? Well, from Hollandaise you get Mayonnaise. And from Mayonnaise comes that king of sandwich spreads – Miracle Whip!

But like those homies in that TV show from my younger days – Kung Fu – you ain’t ready for that shizzle yet, Grasshopper. Let’s start off with Bechamel. Then I’ll show ya’ll how to pimp that out and make Mornay sauce.

I am going to help y’all out by giving you some inspirational music so y’all achieve the greatness I know to be inside of y’all. And because Bechamel is the whitest of all sauces, I chose this one.

Bechamel

I don’t need measuring spoons or shit like that, but I know y’all just learning. So I took this recipe from the chef with the most mad skillz in America – Thomas Keller. My boy The Hedonizzle let me use his crib to cook this, hence the pictures may look familiar to y’all. I had baby mama drama at my place that I’d rather not discuss at this moment.

  • 1.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup diced Spanish onion
  • Kosher salt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly so the roux does not color, for 3 minutes.
  4. Whisking constantly, add the milk and cream and whisk until fully incorporated.
  5. Bring to a simmer, whisking, and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves.
  6. Move the pan to the side away from heat to prevent scorching. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. Keep at a really low heat so it doesn’t scorch. If it does begin to scorch, immediately pour into a clean pan and continue. Don’t scrape the bottom of the pan.
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with pinches of salt, nutmeg, and white pepper. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.

Mornay Sauce

Take the above Bechamel sauce and whisk in 3 Tablespoons of grated Comte or Emmentaler cheese until melted. Use immediately (see below) or can be stored for three days in a bowl with plastic wrap touching the top of the sauce.

Creamed Baby Spinach

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 pounds baby spinach
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Mornay Sauce
  • ½ cup grated Comte or Emmentaler cheese
  1. Melt the 2 T of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add half the shallots to the pan and a a few handfuls of spinach, stirring.
  2. As spinach wilts, continue to add handfuls until ½ of it is in the pan, seasonin with salt as you go. Cook until tender, about 4-5 more minutes.
  3. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer to drain excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Repeat with the restof of the butter, shallots, and spinach.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Stir the Mornay sauce into the spinach. Spread the spinach in a 9-inch square baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Heat the spinach in the oven until it is hot and bubbling. Then turn on the broiler to melt and brown the cheese.

Bon Appetit, players!

Sir Mix-a-Lotta-Ingredients
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About pimpchef

Big time playa pimp in the kitchen.

8 comments on “Word To Your Mother Sauce – Bechamel

  1. Socialkenny
    March 12, 2012

    Comparing sauces to rappers lol.That was a good metaphor though.

  2. The Sicilian
    March 12, 2012

    A rap saucier? OMG Escoffier is rolling in his grave. Hope you work those baby mama issues out mix-a-lot!

  3. pimpchef
    March 13, 2012

    Don’t be playa hatin’ on the pimpchef. Last fool I had to put in his place felt the wrath of my almighty apple corer. Me and DJ Escoffier go wayyy back – he taught me all my skillz and I help him keep the shit real. The only rolling he’s doing in the grave is his patented Le Blunt. Or rollin’ around, knockin boots with Julia Child up above. And, oh yeah, I got that baby mama drama all hell tight.. Peace!

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This entry was posted on March 12, 2012 by in Cooking, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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