The name of the sauce “Bechamel” was given in honor of Louis de Béchameil, a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century.
The first named béchamel sauce appears in The Modern Cook, written by Vincent La Chapelle and published in 1733, in which the following recipe for "Turbots (a la Bechameille)" appears:
There are many legends regarding the origin of bechamel sauce. For example, it is said that it was created in Tuscany under the name "Salsa Colla" and brought to France with Catherine de Medici but this sauce was totally different from modern bechamel sauce. Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9chamel_sauce
Béchamel is a creamy delicious white sauce prepared by incorporating roux with simmering milk or cream and seasoned with nutmeg or paprika, onion or onion powder and white pepper, stirred and whisked until the sauce thickens. It is best prepared in a medium, stainless steel sauté skillet or (my preference) my 11½-inch stainless steel stir-fry skillet wok. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days to use as needed.
EQUIPMENT: Measuring cup and spoons, 11½-inch stir-fry skillet wok and large slotted spoon or whisk.
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes | makes about 1 cup (16 tablespoons)
INGREDIENTS Classic Béchamel Sauce
- 1½ cups whole milk.
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg or paprika
- 1 tablespoon Classic Roux
In a medium-hot 240°F (116°C) stir-fry skillet, bring milk to a simmer. Do not boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring or whisking until the sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve sparingly to enhance the flavors of appetizers, vegetables, and entrees.
Classic Béchamel per Tablespoon: 18 Calories | 1.2g Fat (53% calories from fat) | 0.9g protein | 1.5g Carbohydrates | 3mg Cholesterol | 12mg Sodium