Cheese Sauce


4 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
2 cups white Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1½ cups Jarlsberg cheese, coarsely grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
4 oz. mild green chilies, canned, rinsed and chopped
1 dash Tabasco (optional)
1 dash Worcestershire (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste


  • Melt the butter in a 3-4 quart heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the minced shallot and cook until translucent; don't brown it.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes, but don't let it brown. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking the whole time to prevent lumps. Simmer until thick, stirring frequently; don't allow sauce to boil.
  • Add cheeses and seasonings (and chilies, if used); stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat, cover and sat aside.  


Yellow onion can be substituted for the shallots, but shallots are so much nicer (a shallot yields a tablespoon or so, minced).

You can also add some chopped jalapenos or seranos to your sauce for heat.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Sauces in French cuisine date back to the Middle Ages. There were hundreds of sauces in the culinary repertoire. In 'classical' French cooking (19th and 20th century until nouvelle cuisine), sauces were a major defining characteristic of French cuisine.

In the 19th century, the chef Antonin Carême classified sauces into four families, each of which was based on a mother sauce (Also called grandes sauces). Carême's four mother sauces were:
    * Béchamel, based on milk, thickened with a white roux.
    * Espagnole, based on brown stock (usually veal), thickened with a brown roux.
    * Velouté, based on a white stock, thickened with a blonde roux.
    * Allemande, based on velouté sauce, is thickened with egg yolks and heavy cream.

In the early 20th century, the chef Auguste Escoffier updated the classification, adding sauces such as tomato sauce, butter sauces and emulsified sauces such as Mayonnaise and Hollandaise.