Words cannot describe the emotions swirling inside me right now. Witnessing one of my best friends getting married was truly an amazing experience and one that I will not soon forget.
Congratulations to Tanya and Dave!!
(In case you were wondering: yes, I did cry…. a lot!)
Now, back to the food 😉
I promised you all a delicious and cheesy recipe upon my return, so without further ado, may I present: Mama Starkey’s CHEESE sauce.
You’ll soon find out why I have the ‘cheese’ in all caps.
Seriously guys, no word of a lie, this is THE BEST cheese sauce known to mankind. No cashew or nutritional yeast based concoction will ever top this, as much as I’d like to say it could. Sometimes you’ve just gotta have a little bit of cheese and cream in your life. Yes, I said cream. Just like Mama used to make 😉
You will need:
½ c. Butter
½ c. Flour
3 Tbsp Vegetable Bouillon
3 c. Water
1 c. Cream
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Cayenne
1 ½ – 2 c grated Asiago
½ – 1 c. grated Parmesan
2 T Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Step 1: Make a roux
This is a French-inspired sauce, and like most cream-based French sauces, we start with a roux base. For those of you unfamiliar with French-style cooking, roux is a very basic and essential base that acts as a thickener to many French sauces. It’s also extremely easy to make.
Start with ½ c. butter and melt over medium-low heat. Once fully melted, slowly add in up to ½ c. flour, mixing it with the butter as you go.
You will want to have it at an almost play-dough like consistency, too wet and it won’t thicken, too dry and it will just clump in your sauce. But I find if you keep the flour and butter in equal parts you should be fine.
In a large saucepan, boil 3 c. water and add in your vegetable bouillon. Of course, you could easily use vegetable stock instead, just use whatever you are comfortable with and you should be good.
Add in your roux to the stock, mix with a whisk to well combine the two. You will notice the stock will thicken immediately.
Add in nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
If you notice that it’s not quite thick enough to your taste, you can add in more roux. I would do a ¼ c. ratio this time around.
Lower heat to medium-low
Add in the CHEESE. Make sure the heat is very low at this point; you don’t want to burn it!! If you’re leary at having it too “cheesy” add in the cheese in 1/2 cup amounts and taste it as you go. Mama Starkey and I usually throw in the full amount and then add more if we think it’s too mild.
We’re French remember? We like our cheese!
Add in your lemon juice, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Add in your cream, you can add in a bit at a time, tasting as you go, but I find that it really does taste its best when you add in the full cup.
Taste, adjust seasonings- you may decide to add in more cheese if you wish. This is very much a sauce that takes your personal taste into account- if you prefer a mellower sauce, ditch the asiago and go solely for parmesan. If you prefer a sharper cheese taste, throw some emmental in there. It’s all up to you!
Once you’ve got the sauce to your taste, make sure it’s well heated through and then serve with your favorite pasta. This would also be amazing on some veggies like broccoli!
Clearly, I do not eat this sauce on a regular basis. This is definitely a “once in a blue moon” sauce or else my stomach would protest quite loudly. As it is, I just need to ignore the stomach ache every once in a while 😉
Well, it feels good to be back in the blogosphere and to kick my return off with a fun recipe. Now, it’s time to play catch-up.
Question: What did you do this weekend? Any amazing foodie experiences?