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View Full Version : White Cheese Sauce a la Lots of Mexican Restaurants


OLS
01-27-2011, 08:15 AM
The Pierogi King of Michigan asked about this yesterday, and I'd hate to say it, but I am sure I
over-sold it. This is NOT going to be just like the mexican restaurants, unless you get luckier
than I did. It will TASTE just like it, but I do not use a double boiler, which results in a grainier
texture (that I do not mind). If you have a double boiler, you should do fine. At the outset,
for those who do not know, a double boiler is a nested, two-pot system in which a small pot
"floats" atop another slightly larger pot with boiling water in it, giving a consistent, low heat to
melting chocolate, cheese, etc. Keeps it from burning or melting too fast, having oils separate out, etc.

OK, cooking 101 out of the way, I bought an 8 lb block of white cheese, labeled at El Supermercado
as "Queso para Quesadilla" or Cheese for Quesadillas. It is not unlike a Meunster or a saltier version
of mozzerella. You can look online to find the various cheeses that are appropriate. If it's called
"Crumbling" or "Grating" cheese, you don't want it. "Part Skim" is not a terrible phrase to see.
However cheese sauce is not just melted cheese. It is said online that you can approach the second
ingredient from a few difft angles. I chose to use an addition of milkfat through...milk. But not
just milk, I picked up "Crema CentroAmericana. This is a stage between buttermilk and Sour cream.
There is Crema Hondurena, Crema Salvador, it seems every country thinks they do crema best and
has a legit market of people who agree. So in a true SuperMercado, it is staggering how many of
these bags of cream there are. At the risk of offending somebody ethnic, they are all the same, lol.
You can also use whole milk. You can use American Cheese with especially good, but salty results.
Something in this poor excuse for a national cheese REALLY makes the sauce work. But I am not
advocating one or the other, I just like the Crema. (Velveeta has not been personally tested, but I bet
it works, too.)

Additionally, get a bottle of hot sauce and a bottle of green sauce, which should be labeled as containing
Tomatillos, Jalepenos and maybe green chiles. You want a fine chop, not a chunky green salsa. Luckily this
seems to be the way most of it comes. FOR ME, I find about 4 tablespoons of the green per pint works well.

Now you have it. In a pint container or small bowl (useful in maintaining consistent melt) mix 85% cheese,
15% thinning agent and the pepper sauces to taste. The green is especially well suited. Melt on medium
stirring about every 45 seconds, then take it out and stir the crap out of it. A cake mixer MIGHT work here,
on kind of a low setting. I THINK too aggressive a beat might keep the cheese chains from properly
separating, making a lumpy sauce. To me as long as I can dip a chip in it, I am OK with the consistency.
Some people will demand pure silk. The stirring/mixing as the cheese slowly heats should be the necessary
step in making the sauce creamy. You will find it takes 4-6 melt sessions to get it close to right. 45 seconds a pop.
In a double boiler sitcho, stirring fairly constantly once melting has begun should yield excellent results.
As I said, in a perfect world, you would want a double-boiler.

I know a lot of people hate reading my recipes cause it's just a long, stream-of-conciousness type deal.
Now you know why I am the way I am on other subjects.

If you can control the chunkiness, bigger bowls are fine, but I find I get the best heating action in
small batches. The slower you melt, the better your silkiness in the end. The $hi+ is good.
Last night I made up 4 24oz containers full to bring to work, where people pay me 6 bucks a pop
for it. I make a thick sauce that could easily be extended almost double at home with the addition
of milk or half and half. Some of that restaurant stuff is awfully thin.

Superbad
01-27-2011, 08:44 AM
Sounds great Brad! The fact that you sell it at work had me :r

I often use "queso fresco" a white cheese with some other things. Mine isn't really like restaurant queso, but it's good. A lot of the restaurant stuff seems more like plastic than cheese.
I make Cheese fondue often, so maybe I have it down, but I use a little bit of a hot liquid as the base and add my ingredients into it. I also flour the cheese.

kelmac07
01-27-2011, 09:04 AM
Like Bobby...I LOVE the white cheese/queso at my local place. They make theirs fresh as well. Sounds yummy Brad. :dr

OLS
01-27-2011, 09:19 AM
Well Bobby, I appreciate the thoughts on that, since as I stated, I have no idea of how to make it silky.
I have plenty of cheese, I will be trying more things.

Kreth
01-27-2011, 09:27 AM
Well Bobby, I appreciate the thoughts on that, since as I stated, I have no idea of how to make it silky.
I have plenty of cheese, I will be trying more things.
It's probably your heat. Whenever I try to rush a cheese sauce it tends to get gritty. Start low and bump the temp up.
It does sound delicious, though. I'll have to give it a try. :tu

OLS
01-27-2011, 09:47 AM
I might just go ahead and make myself a double boiler, or buy one outright.
I use the microwave because I hate to wash a lot of extra dishes, haha.
And I have no double boiler.

Kreth
01-27-2011, 09:54 AM
I might just go ahead and make myself a double boiler, or buy one outright.
I use the microwave because I hate to wash a lot of extra dishes, haha.
And I have no double boiler.
I keep telling myself I need to get one, too. Usually right after making a cheese sauce... :r
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Superbad
01-27-2011, 09:55 AM
I might just go ahead and make myself a double boiler, or buy one outright.
I use the microwave because I hate to wash a lot of extra dishes, haha.
And I have no double boiler.

I don't have a double boiler either, but just like smoking food, low and slow works.

357
01-27-2011, 10:24 AM
Brad, I love that stuff at our local Mexican restaurant. They call it queso blanco. I found a similar version sold in a can. It's not bad, but not quite right either. The can says the only ingredients are cheddar cheese, cream, and water.

Not sure if this is the same stuff your recipie is trying to produce. I was thinking I'd love to make some at home, then tweak the recipe to our liking. Might have to give yours a try.

Zeuceone
01-27-2011, 12:00 PM
The local mexican seafood restaurant makes one that goes so well with the shrimp tacos. I can't figure out what's in it exactly but I think they add lemon to it.

Starscream
02-17-2011, 09:51 AM
This sounds awesome! I'll definitely have to try it out!

icehog3
02-17-2011, 11:35 AM
Waiting for the Cliff notes. :r

ucla695
02-17-2011, 12:05 PM
Waiting for the Cliff notes. :r

:tpd: :r :r

Chainsaw13
02-17-2011, 03:12 PM
don't know how I missed this post since I requested it. Thanks for posting though. Might have to whip some up this weekend.

OLS
02-20-2011, 07:04 PM
In an update, I have found that the much more killer ratio is 2 cups of cheese to 3/4 cup or so of crema.
Man the batch I made Friday night was smooth as silk, with the microwave and stirring like a maniac method.