Cheese Sauce

This sauce turns pasta into gourmet tucker and is the secret to cheesy quesadillas. Cheese sauce (béchamel/white sauce with cheese in it) really isn’t difficult if you observe three golden rules.

1. Only ever add ingredients when the saucepan is off the heat!

2. Add the milk carefully and stir well after every addition.

3. Never, ever stop stirring once the sauce is on the heat.

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Cheese Sauce
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the garlic cloves and remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the flour and mustard until it becomes a smooth and spreadable paste, add a bit more flour if it seems too runny.
  3. Return to heat and stir for 2 minutes until the mixture ‘cleans’ the pan. This is your roux (roo).
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat. Add 1/3 cup of milk. Stir in well until smoothly blended, then add the milk bit by bit, ensuring there are no lumps after each addition. Use the phone, pour a drink or do anything you need to, before returning the saucepan to the heat; this sauce is a 10 minute commitment to stirring.
  5. Return the sauce to stove, stirring constantly until it thickens. The first 5 minutes seem ineffective as the mixture warms, but soon it starts to change. Pay attention as it can thicken quickly; you’ll feel the spoon resisting; don’t remove the pan from the heat until you are confident it’s thick, however if it’s overcooked it will curdle (i.e. separate; which happens if you don’t keep stirring too).
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese, a handful at a time. You can add as much or little cheese as you like; personally I think lots is best.
  7. Use immediately for the best pouring consistency, but don’t worry if you leave it till later. It may form a skin and look a bit awful but if you stir it thoroughly, your cheese sauce will reclaim it’s colour and texture. (If you cover the sauce snuggly with a piece of baking paper the skin won’t form.)