Traditional cheese sauce has a number of uses. The sauce can be poured over vegetables before serving, it can be spiced up and served over toast, or it can be folded into cooked pasta and baked in a casserole. It is one of the basic sauces all cooks should know.
Cheese sauce and Moray sauce first appeared in recipe booked in the 19th. Century. Moray sauce is a béchamel sauce flavored with cheese. The sauces were usually served with fish or eggs in older cookbooks. In the 1930’s cheese company advertisements featured recipes showing that cheese was an excellent means of making quick economical meals, many of those recipes used a cheese sauce. Cheese and vegetable soups became popular fir lunch. In the 1950’s recipes appeared for casseroles using cheese and cheese sauces to bind the ingredients.
This recipe will make enough cheese sauce for most uses. If a thicker sauce is wanted increase the amount of butter and flour or incorporate a well beaten egg. A child will eat almost any icky vegetable that is covered in cheese sauce.
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 4 tablespoons of all-pur5pose flour
- ½ teaspoon each of salt and white pepper
- 1 ½ cup of milk
- 1 cup of grated cheese
Grate the cheese and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Use a whisk and stir in the flour until you have a smooth roux. Stir and cook a few minutes to get out the raw taste of the flour. Add seasonings and stir. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Lower the heat and stir in the cheese. Stir and melt the cheese into the sauce. It should be thick.
Some cooks make the sauce in a double boiler or in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
The cheese can be cubed.
Cheese sauce can be served or mixed in with rice, potatoes, grits, and pasta.
Worcestershire sauce, tobacco sauce, dry mustard, paprika, minced onion, minced garlic or other seasonings can be added. A teaspoon of dry chicken bouillon per cup of liquid is an improvement.
Drain vegetables that have been cooked in water well before adding a cheese sauce.
Different types of cheese can be used or a combination of cheeses.
If making a sauce to serve over toast use part beer or wine in the sauce and add some dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and other seasonings.
The sauce is great over baked potatoes, French fries or hash browns.
Mix the cheese sauce with about 8 oz, of partly cooked pasta. Add cooked vegetables if desired. Top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake in a covered casserole or buttered baking dish in a 350 degree F. oven until cooked through. About 35 to 40 minutes. Remove cover the last 5 to 10 minutes to let the topping brown. Adding minced onion, garlic and other seasonings to the sauce improves it. Vegetables should be cooked and well drained before adding to the pasta and cheese sauce.
Cheese sauce can be served over fish or white meats.