Cheese Sauce

When you make your own cheese sauce, you know exactly what went into it, and that can be important if you are sensitive to preservatives.  Also, you can use the best cheddar or other type of cheese, if you prefer. If you happen to have some extra cream on hand, substitute it for the milk for extra richness. Or, you can use non-fat evaporated milk, which is handy to have on hand--and low in fat!
Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

2 tbls butter

2 tbls white flour

tsp salt

1 cups milk

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

white pepper, optional, or ground mustard

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Over low heat, melt the butter in a small sauce pan and blend in the flour, salt and white pepper, if desired.

Add 1 cups milk gradually, stirring to prevent lumps. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens and bubbles.

Stir in the shredded cheddar and heat, stirring, until the cheese melts.

If you enjoy a smokey flavour in your cheese sauce, there are a few ways you can achieve this. Smoked Spanish paprika added to the melted butter will add a mild, warm undertone if you use about a quarter teaspoon. Replacing some of the butter with bacon drippings, especially from double smoked bacon, will add a recognizable smokey bacon flavour. Replacing some or all of the cheddar cheese in the recipe with double-smoked cheddar (Balderson) will produce a delightful enhancement for special occasions!

Thinning the sauce with a splash of honey lager or Vidal white wine will add other unique flavours.

Cheese sauce is popular served over broccoli, cauliflower, pasta, salmon, and steak, among other things! Served with spinach, the flavors work well together but the tannic coating the spinach leaves on your tongue interferes with the appreciation of the smooth texture of the sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

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