(Family Features) - Ahhh. The neighborhood bistro. That small café where the aromas of wonderful home cooking - rustic salads, simmering soups, bubbling gratins and savory soufflés - make your mouth water.
Feel like the chef in your own home bistro, even on a busy weeknight, when you make dishes with bold, passionate flavors and that unmistakable taste of "homemade." To save time, let the grocery store be your sous chef. Buy pre-washed and bagged salad greens, packaged diced ham, crispy cooked bacon and chopped vegetables from the salad bar, and shredded natural cheese blends that already contain great bistro-style ingredients such as roasted garlic, minced herbs, jalapeño peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.
Start with a classic bistro recipe - an easy three-step cheese sauce simply made in minutes from butter, flour, milk and shredded cheese. This sauce becomes the basis for a brunch soufflé, a savory chowder, a hearty pasta dish and many other meals - from macaroni and cheese to a special topper for steamed vegetables. Second helpings, anyone?
Make Your Own Bistro Cheese Sauce
A classic white sauce cooks in minutes. Simply melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and let it cook for a minute, add the milk and whisk until thickened. Then add Sargento Bistro Blends Shredded Cheese to give the sauce your own unique touch.
Use a thin sauce for soups, meats, chicken or fish; a medium sauce for pasta, casseroles or vegetables; and a thick sauce for soufflés, dips or fondues. Ingredient proportions to make 1 cup of cheese sauce follow:
THIN: 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 cup milk, 1 to 1-1/2 cups cheese
MEDIUM: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup milk, 1 to 1-1/2 cups cheese
THICK: 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 cup milk, 1 to 1-1/2 cups cheese
- Using a wooden spoon, combine melted butter and flour in a saucepan, and cook for a minute.
- Add milk to cooked butter and flour, and whisk until thickened.
- Stir shredded cheese into thickened mixture, and simmer until cheese melts. Do not boil.
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