Mornay Cheese Sauce

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This is a basic cheese sauce that can be served over vegetables, on open-faced sandwiches, or with pasta. Parmesan, Monterey jack, or any other cheese you prefer may be substituted for the Cheddar.

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 whole cloves
  • ¼ small onion, peeled
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  • Poke the cloves into the quarter onion.
  • Put the milk in a saucepan with the onion and bay leaf, heat to scalding (not quite boiling), and then turn off the heat. Let steep for 15 minutes. Remove onion and bay leaf.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add hot milk; whisk to smooth out lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 10–20 minutes. Stir frequently during simmering to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom. Remove from heat.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Quickly whisk in the egg yolk and shredded cheese. Allow time for the cheese to melt, then stir before serving.