Béchamel Cheese Sauce
Macaroni and cheese fans, pay attention. This cheesy sauce is the preferred base for Mass Ave restaurateur Ross Katz.
Béchamel Cheese Sauce
6 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup cream cheese
2 lbs shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Dash cayenne pepper
- Measure all ingredients in advance. Once you start the process, you need to pay close attention to the stovetop.
- Melt butter over medium heat in small saucepan.
- When butter is melted, add flour and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Warm milk over low/medium heat in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Stir frequently, and do not boil (or the milk could scorch).
- Once the milk is warm, add nutmeg, cayenne, onion powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour/butter mixture to the warm milk in three stages, whisking to fully incorporate each time.
- Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it reaches the boiling point, let it boil for twenty seconds, then reduce heat to low.
- Add sour cream and cream cheese to mixture; whisk to combine.
- Remove from heat. Add the shredded cheddar in three stages; stir until smooth after each addition.
- Chill and keep in refrigerator for later use, or add to any of your favorite dishes.
Editor’s note: We like to use this creamy béchamel sauce for a big pan of mac and cheese, and encourage you to do the same. Here’s how to make your own:
1 batch of Rooster’s béchamel sauce, prepared as above
1 (16-oz) box elbow macaroni
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions, EXCEPT: only boil it for half the time instructed on the box. (You don’t want to overcook the macaroni here, because it will finish in the oven.)
- Brush a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter; set aside.
- Combined cooked macaroni and prepared béchamel sauce in large bowl; pour into prepared baking dish.
- Combine crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter in small bowl. Sprinkle over mac and cheese in baking dish. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes, covered, in oven. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until cracker crumbs are toasted.
- Serve warm.