Feta Bechamel Sauce
Ever wonder what to use the leftover liquid from Feta Cheese for, instead of throwing it out? This recipe uses Feta Brine to create a Bechamel Sauce that can be used to Drizzle over Spaghetti, a Layer in Lasagna, or as a topping Sauce for Pasta Bakes and Short Pasta Bake other dishes.
This Feta Bechamel Sauce uses a few other Cheeses besides the Feta Cheese brine which adds a really nice flavor.
There are two Powdered Cheeses I buy all the time as they can be added to numerous dishes. You don’t have to add these in. But I find they do indeed offer an additional flavor that is quite pleasing.
You can also use Real Grated Parmesan, Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano as well as other shredded cheese into the mix.
Feta Cheese Brine
The leftover Feta Cheese Brine after all the Cheese is gone can be portioned into Ziploc bags or remain in the container and frozen until ready to use for this recipe here. It offers such a Flavor to Bechamel Sauce.
The Feta Cheese Brine is combined with Milk as the Liquid for the Bechamel sauce.
This version of a Bechamel Sauce also uses Butter Popcorn Seasoning for added richness and buttery taste along with salt, just a small amount that is already in the butter popcorn seasoning. Nutmeg and White Pepper are added for additional flavor too.
Add in other ingredients such as Bay Leaves, Onion and/or Garlic Powder.
The Sauce consists of a Roux (equal amounts of Flour & Butter) with Milk or Cream and Feta Cheese Brine thickened by the roux.
Cooking the Bechamel Sauce
I have two thoughts here and still trying to figure out the optimal way of cooking Bechamel Sauce.
First is to create the classic roux and then slowly add in your milk. This is your classic version. Preferably the milk is heated prior to adding it.
The second is to combine everything together and heat until thickened. Simmer a few minutes to cook out the flour taste. The Recipe below uses this technique while my other Bechamel Cheese Sauce uses the first.
Up to you which method you favor. For me, I bounce back between the two still trying to figure out if there is in fact a taste difference. Perhaps someday I’ll pit them against each other and find out for sure.
Gluten Free Feta Bechamel Sauce
It’s also good to note that the technique of combining all the ingredients together and then bringing to a boil can be used for Gluten-free Bechamel Sauce.
Add in 1 Tbl of Potato Starch or another form of starch for every 1 cup of Liquid. I like the Potato Starch cause it holds up to heat a lot better than cornstarch.
Adjust the consistency and seasoning. Use with Gluten free short pasta.
Thick bechamel Sauce
For a very Thick Bechamel that will settle much like in Greek Lasagna or Pastitsio. Use Heavy Cream and add 2 beaten eggs into the sauce after it has cooled down a bit and whisk vigorously. Then top your pasta and bake.
Add milk for a Thin Sauce and Heavy Cream for a slightly thicker sauce.
If the Bechamel is too thick add in more liquid.
If it is too thin add equal amounts of Liquid and Flour. Mix and pour into the simmering Bechamel Sauce and whisk. Simmer a few minutes longer to cook out the flour taste.
Eggs can also be added when the Sauce is cooled down a bit but still warm enough to thicken and cook the eggs slightly. Eggs add a nice richness to the Sauce.
Feta Bechamel Sauce
- 1/3 C Butter
- 1/3 C Flour
- 2 C Milk or Cream - – Milk for thin, Heavy Cream for Thick
- 1 C Feta Cheese Brine
- 1 Tbl Powdered Parmesan & Romano Cheese
- 1/4 tsp Butter Popcorn Seasoning
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg & White Pepper
- Combine All Ingredients together in a Sauce pot over Max heat. Whisking Frequently.
- Once it starts to simmer and thicken, reduce the heat to medium – medium low and continue to cook for 10 minutes whisking periodically.
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