This is a great, flexible recipe for cheese sauce that goes with, well, just about anything. Pour it over vegetables, mix it with refried beans for a great dip, pour it over pasta. It’s very cheesy without being too thick or overpowering. And, as you can tell by how everything is “two”, it’s WICKED easy to double or halve.
Makes about four cups.
- Two cups shredded cheese – a cheddar or cheddar/colby/jack mix is good. Basically, you want a hard cheese, not a soft cheese
- Two cups milk – whole or 2% is fine. Heck, you could even use half-and-half if you’re feeling especially decadent. I usually use 2%. I wouldn’t recommend skim.
- Two tablespoons salted butter
- Two tablespoons flour
- Two egg yolks, lightly beaten (discard the whites or use them for another purpose)
- Two tablespoons Worcestershire
- A dash or two of paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour a little bit at a time, whisking constantly until the flour and butter are completely mixed, creating a roux.
Very slowly add the milk, a little bit at a time, whisking constantly until the flour/butter mixture is completely dissolved into the milk. Allow the mixture to warm and thicken for about one minute, then gradually whisk in the egg yolks (you don’t want the milk to be too hot or the egg will cook upon contacting the hot liquid, which is, well, gross). Keep whisking and allow the mixture to get hot, about two minutes.
Gradually add in the cheese a little at a time, whisking constantly, until it’s all incorporated and melted. Add the Worcestershire, paprika, salt and pepper, whisk and allow the mixture to become hot, but not simmering or boiling, which will curdle the milk.
If the mixture is too thin, add another handful of cheese. If it’s too thick, add a little bit of milk. You can also add other spices – cayenne pepper works well, for instance.
Pour over whatever needs some extra cheesy goodness, and enjoy!