If 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. If you want a different cheese sauce recipe, check out this creamy version.
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp instant vegetable bouillon
- 2 tbsp blending flour
- 1 cup grated medium cheddar
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When it’s almost serving time, add the grated cheese and stir till it’s all melted.
- Don’t let it go much longer than that, though.
- This is enough for a pound of macaroni (fusilli, rotini, whatever) or a lot of vegetables.
- You could also just pour it on toast, like Welsh rarebit without the eggs. It works in casseroles, like scalloped potatoes,too.
- 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.
- Whether you get fancy with this sauce or just use it as is, it makes your meal seem a little more special.