Friday, July 6, 2012

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce


Below is my recipe for awesome (and awesomely cheap) homemade vegan cheese sauce. I have been sharing it from time to time with interested parties, but since I have it all spelled out I thought I would just post it for all to enjoy.

This recipe is for the "nacho" variation of my cheese, but all you do to make it regular is skip the hot sauce! It looks long, but it's really simple and takes like 10 minutes total. I spelled it out in (almost excruciating) detail for one of my non-cooking-friendly friends...and I admit that I need new recipes spelled out clearly for me too...

Here goes:
Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
2 T olive oil
1/3 cup flour
½ t dry mustard
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
½ t garlic salt
dash black pepper
dash paprika
dash turmeric
pinch cayenne
1 ½ - 1 ¾ cup pre-heated non-dairy milk
½ cup nutritional yeast
splash of hot sauce, to taste

Here is what I do…specifically:
1. Start heating up your milk be it microwave or stovetop (I confess…I use my microwave)
2. Begin heating olive oil over medium-low heat.
3. Combine all dry ingredients (EXCEPT nutritional yeast which is added LAST) together so they are well mixed.
4. Add dry ingredients to heated oil and mix (I use a whisk and think that is critical) until you have a wad of floury/seasony oil forming. It more than likely will form the wad inside of the whisk, but that is okay. As it heats, it will come out.
5. Add the pre-heated milk and whisk and whisk and whisk until smooth. It can take a few moments. The fact that it is still over the burner helps with this as the heat helps break up the clumps it also helps thicken the sauce. Some days this de-lumping is an easier task than others…I don’t know why as I use the same
recipe each time…and some days I just accept a few tiny lumps that won’t go away…overall it won’t matter as long as it is mostly smooth. You just really don’t want a bite that still is dry flour and mustard on the inside. That’d be pretty unsatisfying. The sauce may still be kind of liquidy as we have not added the nutritional yeast yet and that is okay, too.
6. Once it is (relatively) lump free remove from heat.
7. Add nutritional yeast and whisk until smooth and well blended. If at this point it still looks too runny for your liking add a little more nutritional yeast or flour and whisk again.
8. Add as much hot sauce as you enjoy and mix again until well combined.
9. Rip open the bag of chips and go to town!

This sauce also works well on top of enchiladas and as in tacos and quesadillas. Without the hot sauce (or I suppose with it if that is your fancy) it also works super well for grilled cheese sandwiches and mac-n-cheese. We have also put it on pizza, but I personally was iffy about that use.

As with all things, practice makes perfect. However, if you are avoiding dairy and think this sauce is half as good as I do, you will get plenty of practice!

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