Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cheddar Cheese Sauce and the Best Cheese Joke EVER!

This video recipe is my foolproof method for your basic cheddar cheese sauce. The cheese sauce is one of those sauces that every cook must have in their repertoire. During a recent trip to the supermarket I saw that they sell cheese sauce in a can. The list of ingredients was as long as it was phonetically challenging. If I had a nickel for every ingredient on that label, I would have…well, about 85 cents.

But, unlike many canned goods (like potatoes!!), I can understand why people would buy a canned cheese sauce. There is nothing worse than a grainy, separated, failed attempt at the homemade version. The security of the possibly toxic, yet perfectly textured, canned sauce is very alluring. But, once you see how easy it is to make this almost-impossible-to-screw-up recipe, you will no longer need the safety of the "can o' goo."

As a special bonus, at the end of the clip, you'll be treated to what I consider the greatest cheese joke of all time. By the way, I should mention that I only know one cheese joke. Enjoy!
Click here for the transcript and ingredients.

46 comments:

Kevin said...

Mmm, that brocoli and cheese looks great. Im not usually a big fan of cheese, but I might try this.

Question: Do you have to use butter ? I see all these reciepes and it tells you to use butter, and butter is soo unhealthy.. Isent there anything else you can use that tastes just as good but healthier ?

Oh and I heard that joke last week here in the UK. Seems like jokes travel fast :P

Chef John said...

First,you can use any oil, including olive oil.
Second, butter is NOT sooo unhealthy! Everything in moderation.

Chef John said...

I forgot to add the obvious point that you are using 1/2 of cheese in the sauce... what's a little delicious butter going to do. :)

seryph07 said...

As always, looks really good chef John!
How does one turn off a sauce though? :P

Chef John said...

touche

Kevin said...

I guess I'll have to make this once a year then... :P

Any other recomendations on things to put it on ? (Something reasnobly healthy)

hkfreak said...

That joke came out like your sauce: cheesy. Very versatile sauce!

Chef John said...

its great on any veggie

Jason F. said...

It ain't easy being cheesy.

Anonymous said...

Can i use blue cheese? Would that procedure make a nice blue cheese sauce?

Chef John said...

you can, but you probably don't want to use as much, would be too strong i think. Also, sometimes the color looks a bit odd.

Sal said...

How do "they" get that strong yellow color in like stouffer's mac and cheese, and velveeta. Yellow and red food coloring? Or more chedda?

Chef John said...

its usually Annatto seeds, a natural food color

kp said...

Hi Chef John! Thanks for commenting in my blog about the Oreo truffles. You are welcome to use the photos and recipe, I really appreciate the asking!

I saw the Philly Cheesesteak video you made, they look delicious and I can't wait to try the recipe.

Bill W, NH said...

wow - your site is loading faster, thanks!

Julie said...

Your videos are so entertaining! Love it!

Jairus said...

hey chef would using margarine work for this? cause im out of buttah

Chef John said...

yes that will work

Anonymous said...

Why is it important that the milk is cold? I mean, why does that ensure lump free sauce?

Chef John said...

not sure of the science, but it works

John said...

I've worked in a number of kitchens but only became comfortable with sauces a few years ago.

I'm sending this entry link to my son and wife. Very good Chef John!

Anonymous said...

Love the site. So many good recipes I don't know which one to try first. Will this sauce store in the fridge at all? It looks like the recipe makes more than I could possible use in one sitting.

Chef John said...

sure, just re-heat it slowly

Christian K. said...

I picked up a tip from a friend when making mac-n-cheese sauce: add a few dashes of worchestire sauce.

I enjoy the way it brings out the cheddar taste more than just salt.

Sam said...

Hey Chef John, does yours come out completely smooth? Mine is lump free, but it's got kind of and odd texture. I would say it's a little bit gritty, if that makes any sense. I used pre-grated cheese both times I made it, and I also put in a bit extra cheese because my husband wanted more cheese flavor. Any ideas? Thanks Chef!

Chef John said...

It's the pregrated cheese, it's covered with cellulose powder to prevent sticking and that goes in the sauce. do not use. grate fresh

Jake said...

Hey Chef John,

Can I use this to make a broccoli cheese soup? If, so...how? Would I need to multiply it enough to make enough or could i use this as a base and add some chicken stock?

Chef John said...

Should work, but you'll need a good amount of stock. Let me know!

Razors Edge said...

Hi Chef John... another annoying question. In many videos you'll say to turn the heat off but on an electric stove top would you move it off the heating element because of the residual heat?

Chef John said...

yes... and that's a great question!

Urit said...

As always, great video. You are just too funny.

Hkitty383 said...

u r amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Two questions!

First, this has a lot of milk in it...is it more creamy tasting than cheesy tasting? If I want it cheesier can I just add more cheese?

And second, do you happen to know how long this would be good for in the fridge?

Chef John said...

can't answer the 1st question, too subjective, try it and see.

It will keep for about a week maybe, but not sure exactly

Blood Red Roses said...

The French even love Chef John recipes! I studied abroad in France this summer and made mac & cheese using this sauce for our international picnic. I used emmental and gouda cheese and proudly watched normally-composed French teachers sneakily getting 3rds! This woman from Greece admitted she grabbed four servings, taking the last spoonful even.

This recipe rocks!!

Anonymous said...

hi, i am a very busy working mom
i like to prepare meals ahead of time. is it possible to freeze the cheese sauce so all that is needed when i get home is to add thawed cheese sauce to my cooked pasta.
J

Non-Chef John said...

Thank you very much for demystifying cheese sauce. Few things taste worse than cheese sauce from can or jar, and your video makes it so easy. Thumbs up from a certified cheez-a-holic!

Layne said...

Chef John, if I'm entertaining a crowd, will this sauce hold up in a slow cooker set on warm? Thank you.

Chef John said...

Yes, on very low!

Anonymous said...

I cannot see the video on about.com. It says its unavailable?

Anonymous said...

chef..1 quick question..is the butter salted or unsalted?

Chef John said...

I only use unsalted butter. enjoy!

Anonymous said...

ok thx :D

Anonymous said...

I can't watch the video and I don't get to hear the greatest cheese joke in history. :(

Theang said...

Chef, the video here seems to be unavailable :(

Would you remind checking the link?

itsbaxter said...

Hi Chef,
My sauce came out a lot thicker than yours. Can I increase the milk or will that throw off the ratios?

The kids liked it anyway, by the way. But I'm wondering also when I reheat the sauce, can I add milk at that point to thin it a bit?

Thanks