Food - Drink
Give Your Béchamel A Flavor Boost With This Extra Step
BY HEATHER LIM
Béchamel is a versatile white sauce made with a simple one-to-one ratio of butter and flour. One spice that many chefs add to their béchamel is freshly-grated nutmeg, which adds a hint of sweetness and an earthy, nutty aroma to the creamy sauce, but adding a quick extra step makes your béchamel even better.
You can elevate your béchamel by adding the nutmeg to brown butter instead of regular butter, which lends a caramelized richness to the final sauce. The French refer to brown butter as beurre noisette, which translates to "hazelnut butter,” which is a perfect fit for the nutty aroma for this standout ingredient.
Often, chefs add nutmeg once the béchamel is almost finished, but it's better to add the spice in the very first step of making your sauce. While you carefully melt and then brown your butter in a pan, add some freshly-grated nutmeg and toast it to double the nutty flavor of the béchamel and add extra complexity.