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Old 11-06-2004, 08:05 PM   #1
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Cheese sauce for broccoli and cauliflower

Most of us are famiar with basic cheese sauce recipe, and probably have one on call at the drop of a had...however, changing up the base ingredients can result in extremely attractive new tweaks...so, after getting so terribly bored of Velveeta, and subsequently Cheddar I started to buy and try some of the weirder types at our "ethnic Italian" Fortino's superstore...and ran across the wondeful "Asiago" cheese, which pretty much finished my buying Parmesan, Romano and mozza, unless there is a really driving reason...

Anyways, 2 big scoops of margerine, melted gently (I imagine this would be better with butter, but I'm trying to cut fat/chlorestral!)...add two tabelespoons of flour and mix thoroughly, to get it really smooth...

Quickly, add a quarter teaspoon of seasalt, a quarter teaspoon of freshly ground mixed peppercorns, a teaspoon of Worcestshire Sauce, and a tablespoon of fiery Dijon mustard, mixing well (and be doing this very quickly!)

Now, as this starts to bubble, add a cup of creammilk (I use half and half; you can use whipping cream if you are young and skinny!) and stir/whisk frienziedly, as it thickens and comes to a near boil (about a minute or two!), then add one cup of shredded fresh asiago cheese, stirring vigorously, until the last bit appears to melt...

Remove from heat immediately and decant to a bowl, where people can spoon how much they want over their broccholi or cauliflower, which will have been steamed after you make the sauce...about three minutes, so its not soggy, but crisp...

My lactose intolerant daughter will "cheerfully" pay for her pills if I serve this stuff up, and her best girlfriend "the carnivour" will even deign to consume this in quantity (in fact made off with what "leftovers" there were, last time she was here)...haven't had any complaints...

Of course it will work with any cheese; an aged Cheddar will taste better than a mild or medium one; Guyere could be a lot of fun with this, as would the venerable Gouda and Edam...

Have some fun and give it a shot!


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Old 11-07-2004, 06:03 AM   #2
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Thanks, Lifter. I have been wanting to try the Asiago cheese. I'll get some next time I am at the market and will definitely make your sauce recipe.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:50 PM   #3
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Lifter; I love Asiago as well. Even mentioned it in the "Most Versatile Cheese" thread. It has a bit sharper flavor than does Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Have you tried it in manicotti, or ravioli? It is great with tomato on bruschetta, or with pasta. It's even great with a good whole-wheat pasta, drained and drizzled with a bit of EVOO, a touch of truffle paste, sliced ripe black olives and the Asiago. Stir together and serve hot.

Next time you're in the mood for some homemade mushroom soup, make your cheese sauce, saute mushrooms on the side, in butter, and add to the sauce. Let cook until the flavors blend.

As for the cholesterol thing, margerine is made from trans-fats, which have been found to be more damaging than butter or lard. There are margerines out there made from olive, or sunflower oil, that contain no cholesterol, and no trans-fats. They are pretty soft though. The do work in sauces and make great roux. Ya just gotta look around a bit. I know this because I'm always looking for healthier ways to prepare food, as I'm diabetic. I've got a very good working relationship with a couple of dieticians, and make recipes for them to present at diabetes meetings and such. They're assisting me with info as I write my next cookbook, the one for diabetics (coming along very slow as I have too many irons in the fire right now).

And if your daughter is lactose intollerant, the milk sugars in cheese (lactose) are gobbled up by the critters that produce the acids that curdle the milk into cheese curds. You might try other liquids such as a light chicken broth instead of milk to make your cheese sauce from. Then your daughter will be able to eat it without the pills. It might not give you the flavor you want though. But it's worth a try.

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Old 11-08-2004, 12:41 PM   #4
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Anyways, 2 big scoops of margerine, melted gently (I imagine this would be better with butter, but I'm trying to cut fat/chlorestral!)...
Just FYI -- butter and margerine have exactly the same amount of fat.

Butter, obviously, has more cholesterol, but is, in general, MUCH better for you health-wise than margerine.

Regarding cheeses, think about aged gouda nad aged jack, too. They taste entirely different that regular gouda and jack.

And gruyere -- that's the best of all, IMO.

P.S. the more aged a cheese the more likely a lactose-intolerant person can eat it w/out problems. Aged parmesan, for example, has virtually no lactose left after the aging process.
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Old 11-10-2004, 12:35 AM   #5
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Am morte that aware of the transfat thing Goodweed my friend...we use Becel margerine which is transfat free, and believe we'll give their "olive oil" based margerine a spin next week...

Our family members have chloresteral issues, as well as the lactose thing, and thus margerine is "better for us" in every respect...again, I'm aware that "fat is fat", regardless of whether you cook with lard, butter, margerine or olive oil, but certainly there are some "strengths" to the low chloresteral, and "plant sourced" oils....

My thanks for a neat point on the aged versus "young" cheeses...will definitely mention this to Beth!

She is more than willing to take the pills if I make this sauce, on those occaisions when we all get to eat together (I work days, she works evenings; she's a social butterfly and out more often than in..dinner together is getting depressingly seldom!), and so I do it up as good as I can make it come out, which means creamer, and she is happy with this...

And, of course, Asiago has gone into the Bruschetta, but the family still favours Provolone...admittedly, they can be the opposite of "epi-curious"...

Am thinking of dropping into a farm about 15 or 20 miles from here that advertises 7 year aged cheddar, as that would re-define "sharp" cheese!

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Old 11-10-2004, 07:20 AM   #6
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Interestingly, yesterday I had drawn out one of my cheese-sauce recipes to make this weekend. (Synchronicity, I suppose.) One of my favorite ways to eat cauliflower, and it’s prepared in my kitchen by this exact method:

In a saucepan over low heat, melt 2 oz. butter; add ¼ cup plain flour and cook, whisking, long enough to remove the grainy flour taste. Keep checking the consistency. Add about 1 cup whole milk; blend with the whisk until smooth. Next, add two egg yolks, individually; whisk, and be alert to keeping the flame on low – otherwise your sauce will burn or thicken too fast. Then add 1/3 pound freshly grated genuine semi-firm Gouda cheese (it has a piquant taste with a sharp edge). Season with salt & fresh-milled white pepper, to taste.

Slowly ladle the sauce to coat a whole, cooked head of cauliflower. Add a few sprinkles of Gouda and place the dish in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese forms a golden-brown crust.
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lifter
My thanks for a neat point on the aged versus "young" cheeses...will definitely mention this to Beth!
Have you ever read Jeffrey Steingarten's fabulous books? If not .. highly recommended. Anyway, in his most recent one (either "The Man WHo Ate Everything" or "It Must Have Been Something I Ate ... I forget which came first) he has a great scientific discussion of lactose intolerance and dairy products, specifically cheese. Many aged cheeses besides parm have no or only trace amounts of lactose.

There are charts on the internet that will tell you which cheeses have little or no lactose.

Try AGED provolone, too. It's IMO much better tasting than regular.

Also, in the recent Steingarten book is a really interesting article debunking the differences in types of salts.
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