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DIY Easy Cheese Sauce RecipeBy Vicki McClure Davidson
Make your own cheese sauce and dress up ho-hum economical pasta, potatoes, rice, beans, vegetables (especially broccoli and cauliflower), or leftover diced chicken, turkey, seafood, pork, or beef, while saving money.
This low-cost, creamy cheese sauce can also be poured sparingly over several homemade omelettes or toasted French bread or served warm as a spicy dip for quartered tortillas or tortilla chips to munch on while watching a TV football game (see additional ingredient suggestions after the recipe). It can be the finishing touch on top of grilled chicken breasts or drizzled over the top of cooked meatloaf, meatballs, or burritos.
Once you realize how quick and simple it is to make your own natural cheese sauce (with no strange additives or preservatives), you may never again buy those expensive jarred sauces. This frugal cheese sauce can make you feel like you're eating gourmet food without the gourmet price tag.
- 2 T. butter or margarine
- 2 T. flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1-1/3 c. milk, warmed
- 3 T. grated cheese (Cheddar and Swiss work well)
On stove set at medium heat, melt butter or margarine in a sauce pan. Add flour, whisk into the melted butter until all lumps are gone and a thick paste has formed. Add salt, blend. Slowly pour in warmed milk, stirring constantly to distribute paste and to prevent lumps and scorching. When sauce mixture begins to bubble and has thickened, add grated cheese. Stir until cheese has melted.
To this simple cheese sauce you can blend in various ingredients to add interest and change flavor, depending upon what the cheese sauce will accompany. Minced garlic, paprika, white pepper, pimentos, nutmeg, cumin, dill weed, tarragon, a few drops of Tabasco® or chili sauce, a diced scallion, parsley, basil, oregano, a bit of Japanese wasabi or creamy horseradish, a handful of grated dried Parmesan cheese, a tiny splash of white wine or flat beer, a tablespoon or two of sour cream—the choice is yours. Dried Parmesan cheese added to the cheese sauce is divine, but will thicken the sauce more than usual, and perhaps more than desired. If so, thin with a tablespoon or two of milk.
You can triple the recipe and make a hearty, creamy cheese soup (add a bit more milk for a thinner consistency, if desired).
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