This is a super easy recipe for a cheese sauce that could be adapted to a variety of dishes. In this version, I used a Swiss cheese from Finland since I was creating it as a topping for my great grandmother’s Finnish Pancakes recipe. Gruyere cheese would be a great substitute, but any quality Swiss cheese will do.
I definitely recommend buying a whole block of cheese as opposed to anything pre-shredded, however. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti-clumping agents, that prevent the cheese from melting as easily. And since the goal here is to create a smooth and creamy sauce, you want to make sure that nothing is inhibiting that process.
I would also recommend going to the deli section of your grocery store to pick out your cheese rather than grabbing something from the dairy aisle. Lower quality Swiss cheese, in my experience, tends to be extremely mild to the point of being bland. Don’t feel like you have to splurge on the most expensive cheese, though. Ask your local store’s cheesemonger for recommendations on a good-flavored cheese that will fit your budget.
CHEESY BECHAMEL SAUCE
Use this creamy cheese sauce as a base for a variety of dishes. I love the flavor of the Swiss cheese, but you can easily substitute any good quality melting cheese that you prefer.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 c milk + more, as needed
- 1 c good quality Swiss cheese do not use pre-grated
- Pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper
Melt the butter on medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble but does not darken in color.
While continuing to whisk constantly, pour in the milk. This will prevent any lumps from forming.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat back to medium low, and continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened.
Add the pinch of nutmeg and salt/pepper to taste.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese until completely melted. If the sauce is thicker than you’d like, add a little more milk to the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.