Thai Curry Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe
A few months ago, I met with my friend Steve from the Milk Pail Market in Mountain view. He's better known to locals as the cheese expert. On that day, I tasted a wide variety of cheeses. Some of them made me reminiscent of my childhood in France, while others were intriguing and unusual. In particular, there was a vibrant yellow cheese I had never seen before. It's called Thai Curry Cheddar cheese. Since Steve knew that I love mixing cultures and flavors, he thought I'd like it.
Of course, like most cheddars, this cheese could be enjoyed with sliced apples and a crusty bread as a snack. But I wanted to really play up the fusion of cultures represented in the cheese, so I used the cheddar to create a Thai-inspired béchamel sauce that would pair wonderfully with any pasta. Good thing Steve gave me some of his new ravioli to bring home!
Instead of using good ol' nutmeg for the white sauce, I flavored it with melted Thai Curry Cheddar cheese, turmeric, ground coriander, ground fennel, freshly grated ginger, ground fenugreek, a touch of cumin and a fresh bay leaf. The result is an aromatic taste with the richness from the cheese. It was a great addition to sautéed ravioli.
If you're not lucky enough to live down the street from a great grocer like Steve, you should enter our Full Circle giveaway. We're going to pick one lucky winner this week to get a free box of organic farm fresh produce delivered to your home. To enter, just type your name into the box below. The winner can choose any size box. The largest Full Circle offers is Harvest, which is $42 in CA, $45 in WA/ID, and $56 in AK (shipping not included outside of Anchorage).
Yields: 8 servings1 pound ravioli pasta
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
4½ cups milk, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
6 ounces Thai Curry cheddar cheese
1 fresh bay leaf, torn in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
⅛ teaspoon ground fenugreek
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup curly parsley leaves, chopped
For the Thai Curry Cheddar cheese sauce: In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of butter over medium-low; you don't want the butter to burn. Add the flour. Keep stirring manually with a whisk for approximately 3 minutes. The flour and butter should form a thick paste. Add the milk in 3 stages and stir until incorporated. Increase the heat while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the Thai Curry Cheddar cheese and reduce the heat to low. Season with the spices, salt and pepper. Let the sauce rest until it's time to assemble the dish.
For the ravioli pasta:
Add a large amount of salted water to a pot and bring to a boil (you always need a large amount of water when boiling pasta, even for ravioli). Add the ravioli, bring back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. Cook the pasta for about 3-4 minutes total until the pasta floats to the surface.
Meanwhile, in a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until slightly golden. Using a slotted spoon, as soon as the ravioli float to the surface of the other pot, drain and transfer them to the pan. Toss the pasta by moving the pan in a circular motion (the pan should be lifted at a low angle to facilitate the movement). Season with salt and pepper. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add a little pasta water. Transfer to a large serving platter. Set aside.
Remove and discard the bay leaf from the sauce and add 2 tablespoons each of dill and parsley.
When you're ready to serve, return the ravioli to the same pan. Add the sauce and about 1 cup of the pasta liquid to thin the sauce. Cook for about 1 minute, cover and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer for about 3 minutes, so the sauce is warm.
Adjust seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Garnish with parsley.
To make the cheese sauce, all the ingredients should be at the same temperature, so be sure to heat the vegetable broth in the microwave (or in a saucepan) for about 2 minutes, so it's warm. If you get lumpy pieces in the sauce, don't hesitate to use a hand blender.
If you're a pasta lover, check out my other pasta dishes.Published By: on August 15, 2012.