The Great French White Sauce (Béchamel)
In my opinion when it comes to great tasting sauces no one beats the French and their iconic mother sauce, Béchamel. Their understanding of sauces in general just sends my tastebuds into a heavenly place. When I did low carb before I did the basics. I really didn’t go out of my way to try incorporating things that would WOW my tastebuds. I was after all, only doing this to lose weight. Fast results and no game plan. I had absolutely no interest in increasing my odds at keeping weight off long term. Each time I did this I returned to the starting gate bigger than ever. That is until…
What changed this time was that I began to utilize my background in food & beverage. I took a proactive interest in making my food look and taste as exceptional as many of the places I’ve worked at. I knew deep down that I would have to do this if I wanted to stay committed long term. Staying committed meant that I could possibly reduce the likelihood of returning to a fast track lifestyle of convenience with all its consequences looming in the background.
Chef James Duke of The Cellar Restaurant where I work was the inspiration for this extremely versatile sauce. He has one of the most sophisticated palettes and creates some of the most delicious flavors I’ve ever tasted. What makes his version of this basic French white sauce (Béchamel) different is that heavy cream is used in place of milk and gluten is not used as the thickening agent. Here the thickening agent is the heavy cream itself flavored with a bit of cheese and chicken stock that’s enhanced with fresh seasonal herbs. The French call this addition of cheese to the Béchamel a Mornay sauce. I call it delicious. Chef James’ version produces a sauce of such epic flavor that you will never miss gravy again. Who knew what a little heavy cream and some cheese could do for you. From my kitchen to yours, happy low carbing. Mike