You know, I’ve learned that even when something sounds good/looks good on paper, you can’t be certain until you’ve actually tried it. So was the case, long ago, when I made oatmeal sticks, and thus was the case today.
But, I mean, the recipe seemed easy enough, and wine is supposed to be good with cheese, right?
- 2 T. margarine or butter
- 2 T. flour
- ¼ tsp. White pepper
- 1 c. milk
- 4 oz (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 T. dry white wine
- ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Ingredient Note: Okay, so I’m by no means a wine expert- I know there are better wines out there, but I wasn’t going to blow a chunk of change on a cheese sauce- nor however was I going to use cooking wine on this. So, middle ground it is.
So, first off we melt the butter or margarine in a pan. Easy enough.
Now, we add in the flour and pepper…
and cook until smooth and bubbly.
Enter my first moment of hesitation, because the whole smooth and bubbly thing? Confusing, because I’m not used to thinking of a roux as ‘bubbly’. It’s normally a little thick for that… this time included. So, I double checked my amounts here and waited until, sure enough, the leftover butter kind of sizzled, and the mixture began what I guess you could call bubbling.
Next we gradually add the milk.
So far so good, although I will say it thickened much sooner than it began to boil, but that was fine. Soon enough it was bubbling away.
Now, here’s where the trouble hits.
Time to add the cheese, wine, and Worcestershire sauce.
So, the cheese melts fast and everything blends quickly and we’re left with a gooey cheese sauce. Now…. there is a problem though. You see, what the recipe does not say to do is take the sauce off the heat. Now, someone who makes sauces (not me) would know if you don’t let the sauce cool before adding the cheese it (evidently) makes your cheese separate and make the sauce grainy and meh. Woulda be great to know that Pillsbury. Thanks.
Blegh. I don’t react like that very often, but it’s the only word that fits. After stirring for a moment the pretty looking cheese sauce just ended up not so pretty. And then I tasted it. The wine… well, it was way too much. It wasn’t bad wine – enjoyed it quite well by itself- but quite frankly the flavors clashed. Badly. And even if they didn’t clash, I’m not sure there was actually enough cheese in the recipe to actually have a cheesy flavor.
And the scent… the scent is even worse. Plus, due to the whole not-taking-it-off-the-heat thing, the sauce was gritty, and kind of pasty, my initial thought being that there was just too much flour in the recipe. Even trying the sauce on another piece of food (Ham Cheese Mighty Muffins to be specific) it just wasn’t a good experience.
Appearance – 3
Odor/Scent – 1.5
Texture – 2
Taste – 2
Overall – 2/5 With better technique the texture wouldn’t have been bad, but I can’t get over the scent and the taste. Just… It wasn’t good.
Superb Cheese Sauce
Ingredients2 T. margarine or butter
2 T. flour
¼ tsp. White pepper
1 c. milk
4 oz (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. dry white wine
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Stovetop directions: Melt butter or margarine in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour and pepper, cooking until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Gradually, add the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Add cheese, wine, and Worcestershire sauce and stir until the cheese is melted.
Microwave directions: In a 1 quart microwave-safe bowl microwave butter or margarine on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until melted. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended. Add milk and beat with wire whisk or fork. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture boils and thickens, stirring after each minute. Add cheese, wine, and Worcestershire sauce and blend well. Microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until cheese is melted, and stir.