Making a basic cheese sauce with roux.

No “Processed American cheese food product?” No Problem!

UPDATE: 

According to my friend (and soon to be guest blogger regarding all things gluten free) Hillary, you can use gluten free flour to substitute the wheat flour in this recipe.  (You can also use cornstarch mixed with water to thicken, with reservations.  Corn starch will yield a more gummy or gelatin result, whereas the flours will yield a more creamy texture.)

I’m not gonna lie. I love me some “processed American cheese food product.”. I really do. I love it in sauces, on hot sandwiches. It’s melty goodness really can’t be beat. But on days like today, when travel is dangerous, and we have to use what we’ve got in the house, I’m glad to have the Internet and a basic knowledge of sauce making.

When I was young, I used to loathe the white sauce my mom slathered everything with. From hamburger gravy, $hit on a shingle (chipped beef in white sauce over toast), biscuits and sausage gravy, new potatoes and peas, it seemed my mom made this white sauce all.the.time. and it made me gag. Until I realized just what exactly she was making and how to tweak it. She started with a roux, also called a “mother sauce.” It can be used with milk or broth to thicken cream soups or gravy. It can also be used as a base sauce or combined with cheese to make a cheese sauce.

The basics are: equal parts fat and flour and milk or broth. Types of fat vary, types of flours vary. Here is the version I used today:

2 Tbsp butter (real butter-not margarine)
2 Tbsp flour
(the butter and flour mixture is the thickening agent)
3/4 C milk
2 C shredded cheese

Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Once melted, add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk and heat on low until the sauce thickens.
20120123-144812.jpg

(Now at this point, you can use the white sauce as is, and add salt and pepper, veggies, meat, etc. At this point, I will add my cheese for a cheese sauce.)

Stir in cheese, whisk or stir until blended and melted.

20120123-150341.jpg

20120123-150354.jpg

20120123-150405.jpg

That’s it! Really and truly. The kind of cheese you add will determine the kind of cheese sauce you make. I added a three cheese blend of mozzarella, colby, and monterrey, because that’s what I have. You can also add a chunk of “processed American cheese food product” if that’s what you want/have.

This is a very valuable recipe to have. You know those awesome gravies the church ladies make with roast beef? It would be my guess that they use a basic roux (butter and flour) and add the juice from the roast to make the gravy.

Now you know my secret ingredient…

_______________________________________________

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s