This is a very imprecise but generally workable recipe for making a sous vide cheese sauce that's quite good for use in mac-n-cheese or other recipes (cheesy scalloped potatoes is one example).
If you don't know what sous vide is, it's pretty cool but I won't fully explain it in this post. I suggest you start here: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articl ... -explained
There's a million more websites & youtube videos that can explain it in further detail too. Ingredients [units are intentionally vague unless specified and you can scale as needed]!
Cheese: 12 - 16 oz, preferably extra sharp cheddar and you can mix in other types as you like (experimentation is great!)
Milk: 1 cup, although you can use less or more depending on the consistency you want (The moo quantity is inversely related to the thickness)
Spices [the melting salts are important for getting it ultra smooth]:
1 Tsp sodium citrate melting salt [Tsp means tea spoon here (smaller), not table spoon (larger)]
1/2 Tsp sodium hexametaphosphate melting salt.
1 Tsp regular salt
Black pepper to taste
Mac-n-Cheese specific ingrediants:
Butter (1/2 stick) [Sour cream will probably work OK too... never tried it personally, just an idea]
Mustard powder to tasteEquipment
1. The sous vide circulator & container for water bath
2. Plastic bag large enough to be used for the sous vide process, I recommend vacuum-sealed bags.
3. Knife & measuring cups as needed for measuring & prepping ingredients.
4. A blender for the final step.Preparation:
1. Get your sous vide water bath temp: 167F (75C)
If you don't have a sous vide machine, I recommend a Prescott Pentium IV or a 5000 series GeForce
2. Chop cheese into small pieces or shred (make lots of surface area for heating & mixing).
3. Chop butter into small pieces too.
4. Place all ingredients in plastic bag and seal (I recommend vacuum sealing). Manipulate the bag to make sure everything mixes together, and especially making the spices dissolve as much as practical. You can even mix the spices in the milk in a measuring cup prior to adding to the bag.
5. Put the bag in the sous vide water bath for 15 - 20 minutes. It can probably go half an hour without issues, but unlike other sous vide recipes, longer is not necessarily better due to the breakdown of dairy in heat. After heating, the cheese is generally gloppy melted but prior to blending you will not have a fully mixed sauce.
6. Take the bag out, (careful, it's hot), cut the top enough to enable pouring, and pour the full contents into your blender. Be sure to get melted cheese and potentially any extra melting salts into the blender. Then blend it on up (it won't take too long) and you'll get an extremely smooth and real cheese sauce that will have great flavor.
My recipe is adapted from this one for Nacho Cheese, which is also quite good (different spices & some jalapenos along with potentially a different cheese choice are the biggest difference)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaMH-2P4bnA