I know there are a lot of folks these days who strive for a dairy-free & grain-free diet. And I understand that.
But if you are one of those folks–you may want to look away…
Because today I’m talkin’ about the most glorious cheese sauce you ever did see… not only does it have cheese in it, but it has milk and butter too. Yeah, pretty much a dairy explosion. In your mouth.
The average American makes cheese sauce by (a) buying a jar of Cheese Whiz® or (b) melting down a ginormous brick of the no-refrigeration-required-and-will-last-until-Armageddon Velveeta®. (And hey–I used to buy both of those things–so I’m not judging!)
But didja know you can make cheese sauce at home? From scratch? And no weird ingredients required? Oh yeah baby…
But before we dive int0 the cheesiness, it would be sad if I neglected to remind you about the little sale that’s happening right now. Well actually, it’s not little–it’s actually quite big–as in $2000 value big:
I’ve seen lots of bundles floating around the blogosphere, but never one with a value of $2000 that includes: 47 digital books, 3 online classes, 21 coupons, 2 meal plans, 15 podcasts, and 2 online magazine subscriptions. Yeah, it’s crazy.
I’m counting on it to keep me from getting cabin fever this winter, since I’ll be busy trying out all the new recipes and ideas. For only $39, you can grab the whole kit-and-caboodle too–but only this week. Then it’s gone forever.
I’d type out the whole list of all the cool stuff that’s included, but we have a cheese recipe to get too, so just go HERE to check out the line-up.
OK, enough with the money-saving stuff–on with the cheese!
Homemade Cheese Sauce (minus the “Whiz”)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Small squirt of mustard
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. First off, you need to make a roux. That’s just a fancy name for mixture of fat and flour that’s traditionally used to thicken sauces and stews.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour.
3. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour is slightly browned.
4. Reduce the heat to low, and whisk in the milk.
5. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of salt/pepper.
6. Continue to whisk and cook over low to medium heat, until the mixture is slightly thickened and smooth.
7. Add in the grated cheese, and melt & stir over low heat until everything is incorporated. Season to taste with paprika, mustard, and more salt, if desired.
Now what do I do with it?
Oh boy–lots of stuff!
- Serve on top of a loaded baked potato
- Drizzle over tortilla chips for the ultimate nacho experience
- Use it to garnish veggies (roasted broccoli comes to mind)
- Mix it with cooked pasta for quick homemade mac n’ cheese.
- Use it as a dip for veggies, or crackers, or ??
- Mix in some chili peppers or salsa for an awesomely spicy twist
Eat it out of a bowl with a spoon*cough* I did not just type that…
- You can really use any type of cheese here. I prefer sharp cheddar, or a mixture of cheddar and parmesan. Other varieties will be delicious as well–although I usually steer clear of mozzarella, since it has the tendency to get all stringy and clumpy when it melts.
- This will keep in the fridge for a while–although it will turn rather gelatinous. Just reheat it in a saucepan to get it all nice and liquidy again.
- Taste as you go and season accordingly. It’s a super flexible recipe.
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