National gourmet macaroni and cheese month is now behind us, but it doesn't mean we have to return to eating those irradiated looking cheese sauces and powders you find lining grocery aisle shelves.
Your basic cheese sauce is cheap, easy and quick to make. It can be as thick or as thin as you like, and because you choose the cheese the sky is basically the limit. Hello blue cheese sauce with bacon.
After the jump we'll show you how to make your own basic roux and reveal the Tipsy Boar's Lobster Mac 'n' Cheese recipe.
We grabbed some science and Michael Blum, chef at The Tipsy Boar, to help explain how butter, flour, milk and cheese become delicious. We've also posted step-by-step guide on how to make your favorite nuclear-orange cheese sauce at home.
The first step is to make a roux, a basic and important cooking technique, that's a simple paste of flour and butter (or any fat you like).
"The purpose of the fat is to coat the flour particles, to keep them from clumping together so they swell independently as the liquid is gradually added," according to the Exploratorium's Science of Cooking blog. "When a sauce begins to thicken, the starches within each flour particle take up liquid... When the starch granules initially swell by absorbing liquid, you've basically made a thickened paste. Once they've been exposed to liquid and dampened, starch granules are primed to swell more as additional liquid is added."