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Homemade Cheese Sauce

by Jane Wangersky | April 11th, 2014 | Recipes, Simple Solutions
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kdIf you’ve ever wondered what exactly was in that little packet of orange stuff that comes with packaged macaroni and cheese (Kraft Dinner, in Canada) — well, I don’t know either. And I don’t know how it turns into cheese sauce when you mix it with milk and butter. But I have learned to make my own cheese sauce, and I know what’s in that.

Cheese sauce is more than just melted cheese — but not much more. (If you’re in a real hurry, you can always just throw a slice or some shreds of cheese on top of hot food and let it melt, though it’s not quite the same thing.) If you have milk, blending flour — or regular flour and butter — you’re ready to make cheese sauce. My version uses bouillon powder, which not everyone will approve, but you can always substitute parmesan cheese,check out non-MSG alternatives, or just leave out that part for an extra mild taste.

Whatever you do, use real cheese, not processed cheese food.

Homemade Cheese Sauce


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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups milk
  2. 1 tsp instant vegetable bouillon
  3. 2 tbsp blending flour
  4. 1 cup grated medium cheddar
  5. cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk over medium heat in a medium pot — the pot will seem too big at first, but later you’ll be doing a lot of whisking and you’ll need room to keep it from spattering all over the stove.
  2. When it’s bubbling at the edges (called scalding), carefully stir a little of the milk into the flour in a small bowl till it forms a thick liquid.
  3. Carefully add the liquid to the pot and whisk till you have a medium-thick sauce. Add the bouillon and blend well. Keep the sauce warm if it’s not time to serve yet, and stir it occasionally.
  4. When it’s almost serving time, add the grated cheese and stir till it’s all melted.
  5. Don’t let it go much longer than that, though.
  6. This is enough for a pound of macaroni (fusilli, rotini, whatever) or a lot of vegetables.
  7. You could also just pour it on toast, like Welsh rarebit without the eggs. It works in casseroles, like scalloped potatoes,too.
  8. For a variation with a slight hint of bacon cheeseburger, use beef bouillon instead of vegetable, and add a few drops of liquid smoke. You might also want to add a tiny bit of beer.
  9. Whether you get fancy with this sauce or just use it as is, it makes your meal seem a little more special.
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