Fun Bellingham videos, plus cheese sauce!

I haven’t demo’d any recipes over the last couple weeks because my administrative duties have taken precedence, so since I haven’t posted anything, I thought I’d share some fun co-op/Bellingham related web content, and, randomly,  my recipe for yummy cheese sauce.

First, the videos:

This first video is a commercial made for us in 2010 by co-op member Don Scott.  It features both co-op locations, as well as many of our local farmers.

The second video was produced by a group called Journey of Action, a duo of siblings who highlight the culture of social activism around the world through short videos.  They produced a great video about Sustainable Connections and how they inspire our local living economy.  The Co-op is a Sustaining Member of Sustainable Connections, and we are also the originators (and a  sponsor) of their Food to Bank On! program.  This short video isn’t about the Co-op specifically, but outlines how our local businesses help sustain our economy.

The third video was made by a couple of co-op shoppers called “Bellingham State of Mind”.  They forgot to mention us in the song, but we forgive them because they made such an awesome video about our little community.

The following videos are from our Community Parties.  Each summer we hold an event at Boulevard Park with music and dancing, vendors, non-profit information, a kid’s parade, and burritos for a few bucks.  The first was posted by Community Concerts (with music by Yogoman Burning Band) and the second is a performance by Maggie’s Fury.

And, because there has to be a cooking related video – here’s one from Deb Slater’s show Experience NW with local chef Robert Fong.

Now for the cheese sauce.

I am allergic to tomatoes, so when there is sauce involved (pizza, pasta, etc.), I always make this quick and tasty cheese sauce.  I based the recipe on one from Martha Stewart that she uses for macaroni and cheese, but it used three pans, and that’s just too messy for me.

Mine uses only one pan, and although I don’t usually measure my ingredients (it is purely made on instinct at this point), I did make note of them when I made it earlier this week so I could give you a place to start from!  The three cheeses I use are ones that we always keep in stock at our house as they are our favorites.  You can feel free to experiment with yours!

Melissa’s Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

~ 1 T flour (GF or wheat)

~ 1 T butter

~ 1 c milk, cream, etc.

~ 1 1/2 c total of grated cheddar cheese (I use 2 parts Organic Sharp Cheddar from Greenbank Farms and 1 part Extra Sharp English Coastal Cheddar, which is super sharp and extra tasty!)

~ 1/8 – 1/4 c freshly grated parmesan cheese (Reggiano is imported from Italy, I really recommend using a high quality parmesan.)

Instructions

1. Take the milk out of the fridge and allow to “warm up” slightly – it is important that you not use “straight from the fridge” milk as it will affect the overall sauce.

2.  Heat butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.  When butter just starts to foam, add the flour and stir constantly to create a roux.  A lot of the moisture from the butter will be evaporated, and when it is ready, it will be just on the pale side of golden.

3.  Add the milk in a slow stream, stirring constantly with a fork or small whisk.  Reduce heat to medium-low.

4.  Continue to stir periodically until you notice the sauce beginning to thicken.  You want to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t scald/boil.

5.  Once sauce has started to thicken (it will start to cling to your utensil), reduce heat to low and start incorporating the cheese, starting with the cheddar.  Add it in small handfuls, stirring in between to fully incorporate the cheese.  Once you have added all the cheddar (be sure to taste it as you go along – you may need slightly more or less cheese depending on your taste preferences), add the freshly grated parmesan and stir until incorporated.

6.  Rem0ve sauce from heat and you are good to go!

The sauce will keep for a week or so in the fridge, in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  It will get denser as it sets, so you can add a little broth or hot pasta water to reconstitute it.  If you want to reheat just the sauce, place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water and stir until warm.

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