lumpy bechamel

how to save it ( eggless version from Michael psilakis recipe)

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Sam1148
Sam1148 January 21, 2012

use a fine mesh strainer..and another pan. Use a wisk to push the sauce through the strainer into the new pan.

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porchapples
porchapples January 21, 2012

Fortunately I did not need to do this -- the lumps disappeared when I added the sauce t the spinach/cheese mixture. Thx I will keep your suggestions in mind if I run into the problem again.

sdebrango
sdebrango January 21, 2012

Have never known bechamel to have eggs but if whisking vigorously doesn't get the lumps out you might try running it briefly in the blender or you could pour through a sieve to remove lumps.

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porchapples
porchapples January 21, 2012

Thx. I will use these approaches if it happens again. Fortunately the recipe self corrects. phew!!

pierino
pierino January 21, 2012

I'm with sdebrango on this one. I've never heard of eggs in bechamel, but bechamel is a mother sauce so it's a foundation for other things. I'll guess why your bechamel is lumpy (because my sister called me with the same question in the past). First of all you need to take your time with your roux, whisking the flour into the butter. The other thing my sister was doing was adding cold milk all at once and everything would seize up. The milk needs to be heated to where it's just scalded and whisked in gradually. It's actually hard to fix after it has seized.

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porchapples
porchapples January 21, 2012

I was following a recipe from Michael Psilakis [ How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Cooking] who asserts that traditional Greek bechamel contains eggs; however, he uses a less traditionally Greek bechamel for his spanakopita, which does not contain eggs and is probably similar to the versions of bechamel with which you are familiar. I did add warm milk, and ultimately the sauce lumps disappeared when the sauce was fully blended with the spinach cheese mixture. Next time I will add the milk even more slooooowly. That might be where things went wrong -- but I am glad that recipe is self correcting.

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Esther Plume
Esther Plume January 22, 2012

When did you,add the eggs? Could it be the eggs wound up cooking too quickly if you put them in an already warm/hot sauce? Only once have I ever had anything that was bechamel/egg based... The mother in law cooked it as part of a "lighter" Christmas dinner... It turned out as leeks in scrambled egg, and really wasn't a winner....

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bigpan
bigpan January 22, 2012

Next time, often whisking in a few drops of hot water at a time helps. If the lumps are from some element being cooked, then strain - or, start all over again.

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porchapples
porchapples January 22, 2012

Interesting Thx.

Louisa
Louisa January 22, 2012

When I do a Béchamel (with egg) for the Hot Brown recipe, I make sure the ingredients are close to room temp--the milk, the eggs, the cheese--before I begin. I temper the eggs off-stove with about 2 cups of the hot ingredients (added slowly), before I add the eggs to the stove mixture, and it seems to work fine.

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sweetgcakes
sweetgcakes November 4, 2012

Hi everybody, I usually don't have a problem with lumpy bechamel, was making Greek lasagna (pastitsio), and yikes! lumpy bechamel, I did save it with the hot water, per one of the answers. Came out awsome, to answer the question about putting eggs in the bachamel, I cool it a bit whip in eggs and pour over the (pastitsio), that's the Greek recipe, when it comes out of the oven you have a luscious, creamy,cheesy light brown layer of bechamel! Almost like a souffle!!!!! Out of this world!

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mensaque
mensaque November 4, 2012

I make my bechamel out of corn starch,and it is 100%lumpy free if you heat up the milk and butter to a boil but add the corn starch mixed with some water at room temperature and stir while it thickens.I add parmesan or nutmeg now and then but had never heard of the egg thing...live and learn!

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