Béchamel Sauce Recipe
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- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch fresh-ground nutmeg
Melt butter. Add flour over medium heat then stir until smooth. Cook until the paste turns a light golden-brown — about six minutes. Warm milk in a different pan, bringing it almost to a boil. Add milk to the roux, whisking until smooth. Boil the mixture, then lower, and cook about 10 minutes. Season.
Yiayia’s Pastitsio Recipe
I’m so excited to share with you my Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe. Pastitsio is a quintessential Greek dish — it’s synonymous with being Greek: large parties, plenty of food, drink, and celebration. It’s true that Greeks love to celebrate. We love to cook, feed our friends, dance, and celebrate life.
Yes, that’s me! It’s 1984 and I’m celebrating Greek Independence Day.Whenever I think of pastitsio, I am instantly transformed back to my childhood. I become the little girl you see in the photo, dressed in my traditional Greek costume, anxiously waiting to recite my poem during the annual Greek School Independence Day program at my Church, The Cathedral of the Annunciation, in Baltimore, Maryland.
It may look complicated, but it’s not too hard to prepare Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe. There are, however, multiple steps involved, so give yourself a little extra time and patience.
Greek Pastitsio is definitely a showstopper and worth the effort! Your guests are sure to be impressed.
If you need a dish to take to a potluck function or for a special occasion, Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio is the one. You can make one large dish, or you can use two smaller pans with this recipe if you’d like to make one to store in the freezer. It tastes just as delicious thawed and reheated in the oven on low heat.
What I love about Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe is the delicious combination of flavors — the hints of cinnamon in the meat sauce, the sturdy bucatini noodles, and the nutmeg-flavored, creamy bechamel sauce that just melts in your mouth.
Plus, it’s the kind of dish that doesn’t need extra side dishes. Serve it alongside a plate of fresh greens, some olives and cheese and you have a balanced, delicious meal.
I hope you enjoy making my Yiayia’s Greek Pastitsio Recipe and sharing it with your family and friends. It’s truly one of the best Greek main dishes I’ve ever had.
Yiayia’s Pastitsio Recipe
1 1/2 Pounds of Ground Beef (Or Ground Turkey)
1 lb. Pasta (I used bucatini pasta, but you can also sub penne or rigatoni)
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- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- In a 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Sprinkle in flour and whisk, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.
- While whisking, pour in milk. Whisk slightly aggressively to break up any lumps until smooth.
- Heat, while continuing to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. About 2 to 4 minutes.
- Remove off of the heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
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- 3 eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon fines herbs
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 cups milk
- ½ cup butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- salt to taste
- ground white pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Lay the slices of eggplant on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Then in a skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Quickly fry the eggplant until browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the ground beef, salt and pepper to taste, onions, and garlic. After the beef is browned, sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, fines herbs and parsley. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine, and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and then stir in beaten egg.
To make the bechamel sauce, begin by scalding the milk in a saucepan. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Lower heat gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Season with salt, and white pepper.
Arrange a layer of eggplant in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover eggplant with all of the meat mixture, and then sprinkle 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese over the meat. Cover with remaining eggplant, and sprinkle another 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the nutmeg. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.
- Stir in 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Warm the milk on low heat just until little bubbles begin to form at the edges. Then remove from heat.
Excerpted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of America's Great Classic Cookbook by Marion Cunningham. Copyright © 1996 by Marion Cunningham. Excerpted by permission of Knopf. All rights reserved.
How to use your white sauce
You can use this sauce to make a creamy pasta dish, to make creamed vegetables or to make a classic Lasagna.
For a delicious baked vegetable dish, use a cooked vegetable such as cauliflower and mix it with the Béchamel in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbly.
To use with pasta, make a half-batch of Béchamel sauce in a wide sauté pan. Place the just-cooked and drained pasta straight into the pan with the Béchamel and toss while simmering over low heat for a minute. You can add all kinds of goodies to Béchamel for pasta – fresh or dried herbs, chicken, mushrooms, onion and bacon… So simple and so good!
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Besciamella (Béchamel Recipe)
Besciamella, or béchamel, is a creamy "mother sauce" that adds deep but delicate flavor to some of our favorite dishes, such as lasagna. Keep this béchamel recipe close any time you're in the mood to whip up the famed layered pasta dish!
Besciamella (Béchamel Sauce)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly
5 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until it has melted. Add the flour and stir until the consistency is smooth. Over medium heat, continue to cook until the mixture turns a light golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until it is just about to boil. Add the milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously, until it is very smooth and is brought to a boil. Cook the sauce for 30 seconds and then remove it from the heat. Season the besciamella with salt and nutmeg, to taste and set aside until ready to use.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 large bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Salt and white pepper or finely ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon)
In a medium saucepot, warm milk over medium-low heat with bay leaf.
In a skillet, melt butter and when it foams, whisk in flour and stream in milk. Season with salt, white or fine black pepper and nutmeg, and thicken to coat spoon then remove from heat.
With this recipe you get an average density. If you prefer a more liquid bechamel, decrease the dose of butter and flour for a thicker béchamel instead, increase the dose of butter and flour. If lumps form in the béchamel sauce just filter it with a colander.
Summing Up (for 500 ml of milk):
- runny bechamel: 30 g (1 oz) of flour + 30 g (1 oz) of butter
- classic bechamel: 50 g (1,7oz) of flour + 50 g (1,7oz) of butter
- thick bechamel: 70 g (2,40 oz) of flour + 70 g (2,40 oz) of butter
For a perfect Italian béchamel sauce, butter and flour must have the same weight.
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