I make BECHAMEL. I don't also make it to eat it, I make it to just slow down & think.
It works wonders, try it if you don't believe me. The slow, repetitive stirring can be both hypnotic and meditative. Attentive watching of the béchamel so that it doesn't catch at the bottom, focuses the attention on the present now. The aroma of cooked butter, flour & milk is warm & comforting.
But of course this is a food blog, you want to know what you can make of it. Other than a lasagne, you can use béchamel to make Mac n Cheese, Croquetta, Croque Monsieur, Chicken Pie, Fish Pie, Roux for Gumbo & a Spanish dessert called Fried Milk.
The formula I use for all the dishes about is:
Flour : Butter : Milk
75g : 75g : 1000ml
2 bay leaves
1/2 onion sliced
nutmeg to grate at the end
In a saucepan, pour in the milk & add the spices + onion. Bring it to up a barely there simmer.
Add the flour & butter into another saucepan.
Put it on a medium low heat and gradually let the saucepan come up to heat & the butter starts to melt.
Stir to combine and flour & melted butter. Let it cook slowly. You want to cook the flour to get rid of that small of raw flour. The longer this mixture cooks, the more the flour can absorb the milk.
When the mixture is golden in colour (the desired colour depends on the dish you are making), add 2 ladles of milk into the saucepan & whisk briskly. This might thicken quickly, if so, add another ladle of milk. Lower the heat.
Allow the mixture to cook for a couple of minutes before add the next ladle. Whisk constantly.
At some point, you might find it easier to stir with a spatula.
Keep stirring and adding milk till it's gone.
And keep cooking the béchamel for about 20 - 30 mins to on a very low heat. The longer it's cooked, the sweeter the béchamel.
The longer you cook it, the thicker it becomes.
And there you have it, my favourite de-stress hack. Have a go at it. It's better with music in the background and a glass of wine in hand. Enjoy!