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Video:How to Make Cheddar Cheese Sauce

with John Mitzewich

A great cheddar cheese sauce is a must for any cook's repertoire. Watch how fast and easy it is to make this delicious and versatile cheddar cheese sauce that you can use on nachos, over broccoli, or in mac' and cheese.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to make cheddar cheese sauce. I have a really easy, foolproof method for this easy and delicious sauce.

Start the Roux

So this sauce starts with a roux, so we're going to take 1/2 stick of butter, which is 4 tbsp. You're going to melt that and when it foams add 1/4 cup of all purpose flour. Stir that on med-low heat for about 5 minutes. We're trying to cook out the starch, and you'll know it's done when it smells like cooked pie crust. Be careful not to brown the butter and flour, we want what's called a "blond" roux, a very light roux.

Whisk in Milk and Spices

Then we're going to take cold milk, it's very important it's cold, and whisk in 1/2 cup. This is the foolproof method for no lumps. Because we're just whisking in a half cup, its going to thicken pretty quickly, and because we have not a lot of milk and a lot of roux, the thickness, the viscosity of this mixture allows you to whisk out any lumps that may form. You shouldn't have any anyway, because cold milk and hot roux is the secret to lump-free sauce.

Once you have the first 1/2 cup milk whisked in you can add another 1 1/2 cups, for 2 cups total. We're going to add a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne, about 1/8 teaspoon, which really brings out the flavor.

Grate the Cheese

We're going to let that simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally to make sure it's not sticking. While that is simmering we can grate the cheese. I have 8-oz of grated cheddar. Any melting cheese is going to work.

Add the Cheese to the Sauce

Once that sauce has simmered for about 10 minutes, it's going to get nice and thick - that's pretty much what you want right there. We're going to add the cheese in 3 additions. Very important you turn off the sauce. The heat is off, and we're going to dump in the first 1/3 of the cheese and whisk it in. When it disappears, add the next handful and when that's in add the last handful. And your sauce is done, except we have to season it.

Season the Cheddar Cheese Sauce

There was no salt to this point, so taste it because cheeses can vary in saltiness. Go ahead and add a pinch of salt to taste. Now we're ready to use it. Hey, what do you call cheese that isn't yours? Not-yo-cheese! Sorry.

Serving Cheddar Cheese Sauce

This is awesome drizzled over some tortillas chips. And, you say you don't like broccoli? What broccoli? That is now just a cheese sauce delivery system. Incredibly delicious, this goes on so many things. Whisk it in to some pasta and you have instant macaroni and cheese... only the good kind.

Anyway, there is your foolproof version for cheddar cheese sauce. I hope you give it a try. It's so easy. Enjoy. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit About.com.
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