lunes, 24 de marzo de 2014

Gorgonzola bechamel sauce

Today we bring you one of best known sauce in the world: the bechamel sauce. This white sauce, rather thick, has just so manyn uses in our kichens. It is made out of just a few of ingredients and it is the base for so many other sauces, like the one we prepared for you today, the Gorgonzola bechamel sauce.

The origin of this sauce is not so well known and, as often happens, when something is good everyone tries to get the credits for it. Since we cannot take a dna test about the bechamel sauce, we will tell you all the versions, letting you decide which one you believe it's true.

Given its actual name, many of you may think is rather french as a sauce, but nowadays is believed that this sauce comes from Italy, and we tend to second that too, and not just because half of us is italian hehe. Historians have discovered in fact that in Italy, specifically in Tuscany, it was used a sort of white sauce even before the Renaissance times. This sauce was called "salsa colla", or "glue sauce", and was then renamed as bechamel sauce from the french some century after its creation. Catherine of Medicis, florentine by birth and believed to be the inspirer of the birth of french cuisine, has had its chef perfectioning the sauce, and then, when Catherine moved to France to et married with Henry II of Orleans, introduced this sauce to the local cuisine. This may explain because it is as used in Italy as in France.

Others instead thinks that this sauce was created by the duke and politics Philippe of Mornay, father of many other sauce like the sauce Chasseur, the Oporto and the Mornay sauces, but no document demonstrate this. Shall we should trust a politics, huh?

As for the name, it is said it cames from marquise Louise de Bechamel. Again, no evidence shows that the nobleman created this sauce, but it is possible that a chef working for him named after his Lord. Luckily times seems to have changed a little bit since then. The marquise was a strong commercial partner of Louise XIV, and so his speciality was known to the chefs of the Court and gained international fame. Infact, one of the chefs of the royal Court was Francois Pierre de la Varenne, considered to be the creator of French classic cuisine,  and when he published his cuisine book he wrote about this "new" recipe, and his book is the first document where this delicious white sauce appears under the name of "bechamel sauce".

So, in resume: Bechamel sauce is an italian creation named after a french noblemen, used a lot in both countries. Something very old, very confused yet so much European! ;)

Bechamel sauce has three ingredients: flour, a fat ingredient (olive oil or butter) and milk. Someone adds onions too, for sure you should add zested nutmeg and salt. The quantity for milk depends on how liquid you want your sauce to be.

The mix in equal parts of flour and a fat ingredient is known as roux, and it is the base for a lot of sauce. Many restaurants keep aside the roux, and add hot milk whenever they need bechamel sauce. I advice you: a lot of stirring is required.

Today's variation is a bechamel sauce with an add of Gorgonzola cheese, to let the sauce be creamy and tasty, ideal to use with meat, veggies, pastas or whatever you want!

An idea for you: champignon mushrooms filled with Gorgonzola Bechamel sauce

  • 1/2 liter of milk
  • 100 grams of flour
  • 30 g.of butter or olive oil
  • recently zested nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper
  • Gorgonzola cheese (30 grams approximately)
-You shouldn't exaggerate with the blue cheese, otherwise the taste will be too strong, but you can choose every cheese you want, of course!
-The roux is always made with the same amount of fat and flour, in this case I've lowered the amount of fat, but for an half liter of milk you should use 50 grams of flour and butter.
-I've used wheat flour, but you can mix half wheat, half corn flour, so to have a creamy and light bechamel sauce.

-Put a pot on the oven, preferably one with a huge base in rder to avoid the sauce to stick to the pan, and add the butter or the oil. When it is completely melted, add the flour and stir energically. We have to cook the flour, but we don't want the flour to toast!
-Once you have a well integrated roux, add the milk, previously heated almost at a boiling temperature. Now add the zest of the nutmeg, the black pepper and the cheese.
-Use a wooden spoon to stir and try to dissolve every bulk you see in the sauce. Continue this phase until the sauce starts boiling, so to have a well cooked flour.
-Remove from heat and add the sauce on our dishes whilst the sauce is still hot. We can keep the sauce warm by putting our bowl in ban-marie, or we can keep it in our fridge by covering our bowl with a plastic wrap.

Preparating the sauce with thermomix: ( mismas cantidades)

-Put all the ingredients at once in the Thermomix, program the robot for 7 minutes at 90° Celsius and Speed 1...ready? There you are your perfect Bechamel sauce!


Bechamel sauce has just a lot of variations, and we can add every cheese we want, aromatic herbs, make it sweet, with lemon, chopped spinach, adding tomato (aurora sauce), using a meat stock instead of milk (velouté) and a large list of etceteras...

Try it! It's easy!

Greetings and...put some sauce in your life!


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