Quick Cheese Chowder

Source: Whole Foods for the Whole Family
Date tried: March 5, 2018
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

A quick and satisfying soup for lunch or brunch.

Quick Cheese Chowder

Quick Cheese Chowder
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups medium white sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped, cooked ham
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
hot pepper sauce to taste

Prepare White Sauce
Stir 4 Tbsp flour into 4 Tbsp oil or melted butter (or blend of both) until bubbly.
Add 2 cups milk, stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Let simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes to fully cook starch.
Add grated cheese and stir until melted. Set aside.

Bring water to boil in a 3-quart saucepan, adding vegetables. Lower heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).

Add cheese sauce to vegetables. Add ham and seasonings. Mix well and heat through.


Creamed Eggs

Source:Whole Foods for the Whole Family
Date tried:October 24, 2017
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

A nice brunch dish. I found it simple to combine making the white sauce with the onion and cheese, so it was one preparation, not two. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan. Add onions and sauté. Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour, then add 2 cups milk. As it thickens, add the shredded cheese.

Creamed Eggs

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Being Creative with White Sauce

Like the author of this site I learned how to make a basic white sauce in a home economics class more years ago than I care to count.  Can’t say I was much impressed then.

But when I began to realize how variable this simple recipe can be and what a scope for creativity it offers, it became very interesting indeed.

Every part of the recipe can be modified for different uses.

The fat component can be melted butter, lard, shortening, margarine or any sort of oil. Gravies are a “white sauce” in which the drippings from the roast form the fat component.

The starch component is usually wheat flour, but can be potato, soy, barley or rice flour.  Corn starch and amaranth flour are the choices for making a clear sauce.  They have more thickening power than other flours, so use half as much per cup of liquid.

The liquid component is usually milk, but can just as well be water, broth, tomato juice, or fruit juice or a blend of several of these.  A touch of white wine is great in a sauce for seafood.  A clear sauce using fruit juice as the liquid makes a nice pancake topping. A clear sauce made with chicken broth and soy sauce often completes an Asian stir-fry dish.

Then there are all sorts of things one can add to a white sauce: vegetables, meats, cheese, tomato paste, peanut butter, a whole assortment of herbs and spices, and ,for sweet sauces, fruit, chocolate, sugar, honey or other sweeteners.

So, where do you use white sauce?  Virtually everywhere.

  • Cream soups (celery, mushroom, potato, squash, broccoli, whatever takes your fancy)
  • Cheese sauces for macaroni and cheese, to pour over vegetables.  Include beer in the liquid and you have Welsh rabbit.  (Which most people now know as Welsh rarebit.)
  • Curries (basically a curry sauce is a white sauce with the appropriate spices added)
  • Creamed chicken, tuna, etc. to be served over toast, polenta, or rice
  • Casseroles (substitute your own white sauce for canned soup)

Whatever the additions and modifications, a white sauce is basically a combination of fat, starch and liquid cooked to get a thick sauce. With that in mind, many apparently daunting recipes, like Bean & Noodle Casserole, resolve themselves into “Make a white sauce and ….”
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