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September 1998 Issue
Sauces Supreme
by Philip R. Gantt
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Basic Cheese Sauce

Presented here is a basic cheese sauce recipe which can be served over steamed vegetables, fish, chicken, or even meat. The color and flavor will be dependent upon the type of cheese used to make the sauce. Processed cheeses may also be used with good results. Strong cheeses, such as Limburger, should be avoided as the sauce will overpower the flavor of the food. The spices are not required, but add a little something to the sauce to make it unique.

This sauce is excellent on broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or steamed squash. You may also use it on broiled chicken or on cooked pasta. The use of cream or half and half will make the sauce much richer than when using milk.

  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • Sliced cheese
  • Dash of pepper (white pepper for a light sauce with white cheese)
  • ¼ tsp. marjoram
  • ¼ tsp. tarragon
  • ¼ tsp. savory
  • 1½ cups milk, cream, or half and half (a little more if necessary)
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and add the flour. Blend the flour into the melted butter thoroughly and allow to lightly brown, forming a roux. A roux is the basis of many sauces, so this one step is the first thing to learn in sauce making. Slowly blend in the milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly to maintain smoothness. The milk should be added until the sauce is the consistency of a very thin pancake batter. Once all of the milk has been added and the sauce has thickened somewhat, add the spices and cheese. The cheese will make the sauce thicker. Continue stirring until all of the cheese has melted and serve with the course of your preference.
  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
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