Sunday Dinners: Cheesy Kale Rice by Stephanie

Stephanie has previously brought us the college comfortfood classics "Mac and Cheese Quinoa" and "Pepper Jack and Butternut Squash Risotto." Today's easy (and delicious) cheesy recipe is accompanied by a great bit of general advice for making sauce that will make you appear to be a great chef without a lot of effort. Enjoy!

Making Roux

I think a roux (roo) is the most awesome tool to have in your culinary arsenal. It’s an incredibly simple, versatile, and forgiving white sauce made from oil, flour and milk. (At least, the nontraditional version is.) Its beauty comes from the fact that you can scale it up and down with ease and with just a few alterations you can use it in a million different ways. Here’s the simple and standard protocol for a roux:

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 c milk

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the flour until a paste forms and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it’s smooth and bubbling. SLOWLY mix in the milk a little at a time. Once all the milk is in let the mixture boil for a minute while stirring constantly. Makes 1 cup.

What’s great is that you can alter a roux however you want. Add less milk for a thicker sauce or add a lot more for a base for creamy soups. At the flour stage add any seasoning from rosemary to curry powder. I most often use it for gravies or cheese sauces. Gravies use the drippings from your meat instead of butter, cheese sauces have cheese slowly melted in after the milk has boiled.