There are few things I enjoy in life as much as a good cheese sauce. Not only is delicious, velvety cheese the perfect addition to almost any savory dish, it also makes an amazing dipping sauce for most snacks (think pretzels, veggies, pizza sticks). You could even use it as a base to a casserole, or soup, or maybe you just like to eat it straight from the bowl (I won't judge). Whatever the case, I believe that a good, simple cheese sauce is a very important recipe to have in your arsenal, and I'm here to provide you with just that. Plus, this recipe has been elevated with the addition of brown butter. So, not only is it smooth, creamy and cheesy, but, it's also got a wonderful nuttiness to it that you can only get from the brown butter. Yum.
Look at that ooey gooey perfection in that bowl... Okay, sorry... I was mesmerized by the sauce. It happens.
One of my new food obsessions has to be Broccoli & Cheese Baked Potatoes. My kids love it, I love it and my husband tolerates it. For New Year's eve this year we had a baked potato bar with *this* delicious cheese sauce, broccoli, sour cream, green onion, shredded cheese (because you can never have too much cheese, BACON and pulled pork (recipe coming soon!) It made for an amazing presentation and everyone got to create their perfect potato, which seems to always make everyone happy... since they're allowed to pile on as much cheese and bacon as their heart desires.
If there ever comes a time in my life where I am presented with the option of cheese sauce on any food item I am going to be consuming and I don't jump for joy/and or sing a happy little tune, declaring my love for cheese sauce, you will know that I am either extremely ill, my brain is malfunctioning or I have been abducted by aliens who have taken over my body and not allowed me to have my own thoughts and/or feelings anymore.
Okay? Okay. I think you're ready for some cheesy goodness now...
Brown Butter Cheese Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3-1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Place butter in a small pan (preferably one with a light colored bottom) over medium heat. Now, you have to pay very close attention, as your butter is going to be ready before you know it. Your butter will melt, then it will become foamy and then it will begin to turn a very light golden brown and finally to a nice, deep brown. You will smell the difference! Once it reaches the deep brown, nutty stage, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a small bowl to cool slightly.
Once you're ready to make your sauce, place the brown butter, along with 2 tablespoons of flour, into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter/flour to cook for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in your heavy cream and milk.
Allow sauce to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until it has thickened up a bit. Turn off your heat and slowly mix in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.