Dangerous Cheese Sauce

For Christmas, my brother and his new fiancee, Sarah (yay for the new title Sarah! :)) got me this.

I didn’t think it was anything special at first. Besides the fact that it was my favorite color and the thickest cookbook I own. But, once I opened this puppy up I realized it is a fantastic book! I literally just read this for about an hour on Christmas day. It has a cocktail section, meal plans for every season (including vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal plans), and it has Chinese food AND curries AND French recipes AND every kind of quiche you can think of.
So, tonight was the night I declared I would create my first meal out of this book!

I looked through the book carefully. I wanted to choose wisely. I also didn’t want to spend too much money at the grocery store since Christmas just ended and my brothers/dads/grandmas birthdays are next month. Obviously any type of seafood or steak was out of the question, and as of lately I’ve sort of O.D.ed on poultry.
I decided on this.

Hola delicious sounding recipe!
Let’s do this.

9 corn tortillas
3 large poblano peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Turn your oven on broil and put your oven rack all the way to the top
Cut the tops and bottoms off of your poblano peppers and seed them. Lay them flat, skin side up, on a cookie sheet. Broil your peppers until the skin is charred and black.
Throw them in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. This steams them so that the skin is a little easier to peel off.

When they’re cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. It should come off really easily.

Cut into 1/4 of an inch thick strips. Set aside.

Now set your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut your corn tortillas into tortilla chips.

Spread them out evenly on two cookie sheets. Put one sheet on the top rack of the oven, and the other on the bottom. Cook for 15 minutes switching the cookie sheets half way through. Set aside to cool.

Chop up your onion and mince your garlic. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and poblano strips.

Stir it up. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, remove from heat, and set aside. (this involves a lot of setting aside…I kind of ran out of “side” room.)

Now, here comes the dangerous part. The cheese sauce. It’s dangerously delicious. Melt your butter in a small sauce pan, then whisk in your flour. Cook for 2 minutes and then slowly whisk in the whole milk.

Simmer for 2 more minutes until it thickens up. Remove from the heat and add 2 cups of the grated cheddar cheese.

Sharp, delicious, creamy, cheesy sauce…

I dare you to make this cheese sauce without dragging your finger along the bottom of the sauce pan and licking your hand clean. Clean, I tell you!

Time to assemble your gratin!
In a shallow buttered baking dish throw in half of your tortilla chips, then the tomato and onion mixture, then the rest of your chips, followed by the cheese sauce, and finally sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

I made extra tortilla chips while this was baking. I just put some more on a cookie sheet and baked them below my gratin. I served it was said extra tortilla chips and a dollop of plain yogurt.

Oh, and my old friend Tapatio. This was really good, but I think it would have been better with some taco meat. So, you go make it with taco meat and tell me how it turns out!


1 Comment

Filed under Recipes

One response to “Dangerous Cheese Sauce

  1. Julia

    I have the same cookbook and love it! It has so much good info and great ideas for parties!

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