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What Happened to my nacho sauce?

DuffyH Mar 3, 2013 05:45 AM

I had a very strange problem making nacho cheese sauce recently, and hope you can help me figure it out.

I started with a roux (about 2-2.5 tbls butter, 1.5 tbls gluten free AP flour), cooked it for a good 5 minutes on medium. Then I started adding half and half, about a 1/2 cup, then in went about a cup of milk. Everything was going well, smooth and clean looking.

Next I began adding cheese, pepper jack. I started with a pound, shredded. It seemed ok, so I let it cool in the pan (off heat) since we weren't ready for it yet. When I came back later, it acted fine, but tasted a bit floury. I'm known for oversensitive tastebuds so had my spouse taste it. He said it needed more cheese. Added another pound of pepper jack and a bit more 1/2 and 1/2. Now the floury taste seems REALLY pronounced to me, along with some ever-so-slight graininess on the tongue.

I can't believe it's an undercooked roux, I make roux-based gravies/sauces frequently, so I'm wondering if the milk broke (slight graininess) but wouldn't explain the initial floury taste, if it's a problem with the cheese (store-brand block) or something else. Any ideas? This is the 2nd time I've had nacho sauce fail recently. I'm at wits' end and ready to just buy the pre-made stuff from Costco.

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  1. melpy RE: DuffyH Mar 3, 2013 07:23 AM

    Was the cheese preshredded in bags or do you shred from blocks? The shredded has an anticlumping agent which is usually some kind of starch.

    3 Replies
    1. re: melpy
      DuffyH RE: melpy Mar 3, 2013 07:41 AM


      1. re: DuffyH
        cleopatra999 RE: DuffyH Mar 3, 2013 08:44 AM

        I find that pepper jack cheese tastes a bit floury to me, it has a different texture than regular monterey jack not sure why. I would recommend a combo of plain monterey jack and cheddar. Add a bit of spice in if you want the pepper flakes.

        here is my go to cheese dip recipe, it does have beer in it, still works awesome with nachos. would be great with some extra jalepenos for heat.

        1. re: cleopatra999
          DuffyH RE: cleopatra999 Mar 3, 2013 09:57 AM

          <I find that pepper jack cheese tastes a bit floury to me, it has a different texture than regular monterey jack not sure why>

          Thanks, Cleo. That might explain why it got even more floury tasting when I added more cheese. I'll try it with plain jack cheese, or perhaps havarti or gruyere and add fresh jalapeño to it for extra spice.

          Thanks also for the link to your recipe. I can easily sub club soda for the beer. If plain jack cheese doesn't work, I'll give it a try.

    2. hotoynoodle RE: DuffyH Mar 3, 2013 08:41 AM

      have you made it with gf flour in the past? a quick search for gf bechamel turns up using stuff like cornstarch and tapioca.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hotoynoodle
        DuffyH RE: hotoynoodle Mar 3, 2013 09:48 AM

        I haven't made it without GF flour. But I have made countless roux with GF flour for gravy, etc.... and never had a floury taste to any of those. My only concern with cornstarch and tapioca would be that it could lose it's thickness if refrigerated and reheated. And I'd definitely be doing that.

      2. biggreenmatt RE: DuffyH Mar 4, 2013 06:57 AM

        Invest in five bucks' worth of sodium citrate and you'll never, ever, ever look back at roux-based cheese sauces again. Seriously. This method will ruin you for all other recipes.



        1 Reply
        1. re: biggreenmatt
          DuffyH RE: biggreenmatt Mar 4, 2013 09:52 AM

          I've seen that recipe, Matt, thanks. There's no question I'll be changing over to sodium citrate sauce. As soon as I conquer the Mexican Mornay.

          It's gone way, way beyond wanting great homemade white nacho sauce. It's war!

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