Béchamel sauce, which is a French sauce that is well-known for its simplicity, is made from white roux mixed in milk. Roux is a mixture of melted butter and flour whisked well together. Also known as white sauce, Béchamel is used as the base many other sauces and has been considered since the seventeenth century one of the mother sauces of the French cuisine.
Lebanon’s culture is heavily influenced by that of the French, primarily due to the French colonization of Lebanon back in the day. Not many people know this, but Lebanon is actually a Francophone country despite Arabic being the first spoken language. My mum has made this dish using Béchamel sauce for as long as I can remember, and I remember my brother and I were obsessed with it. She usually served it with steak but the dish itself is a vegetarian meal and what you choose to serve it with is up to you!
This recipe serves 2.
- 4 medium sized red potatoes
- 4 cups vegetable oil — for deep frying potatoes
- 1 cup peas; boiled
- 1 cup diced carrots; boiled
- 1 cup milk (warm)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups of water (for broiling)
- Peel and pit the potato using a corer.
- Heat the oil to medium, wait until hot. Add the potatoes two at a time, until well browned – around 1-2 minutes
- Take the potatoes out and pat them dry with paper towels; put aside.
- To make the béchamel sauce, begin by melting the butter at low heat.
- Once it starts to bubble, add the flour and whisk in well until it forms a golden paste – around 3-4 minutes.
- Slowly, add the warm milk while stirring consistently, then add the nutmeg.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring for another 10 minutes or until it thickens.
- Add the boiled peas and diced carrot; mix in well.
- As it cools to room temperature, spoon the béchamel mix into the potatoe holes so that they are all stuffed evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 365 degrees Celcius.
- In a shallow pan, place the potatoes in the water so that just the base of the potatoes are submerged in water.
- Bake potatoes for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are baked thoroughly and the béchamel sauce has settled.
- Serve with sides of your choosing.