Paul Bonge's Sauce Blanc d'Ail au Fromage (White Garlic and Cheese Sauce)
-pour être faire le bonheur ! So eat your heart out Brillat Savarin…
6-8oz. Sharp White Cheddar (most of one 2x2x6 inch block)
½ Pint Heavy Cream
1-1 ½ Cups Chicken Stock (de la maison) or vegetable broth for you vegetarians out there and yes Campbell’s canned is ok too.
6 (or more) Cloves LARGEST & SWEETEST & EARTHIEST Jumbo or Elephant Garlic (Sliced thinly in medallions but not too thinly-you want the garlic to have some meatiness to it after it cooks)
¼ Tsp White Pepper
(fresh ground if possible)
¾ Stick or a little less of Sweet Cream Butter
NOW PAY ATTENTION! The tiniest TINIEST pinch of dried Tarragon rubbed into a powder in your palm as Tarragon has an amazing tendency to overwhelm even the strongest flavors. When you get too much of it in a dish or sauce, you might as well have coated everything with Campho Phonique or Mentholatum.
In a saucier or deep sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat and add all the sliced garlic, sweat the garlic for about 3-5 minutes or until tender and you notice a thick, gelatinous, and creamy exudation emanating from the garlic. This is the good GOOD stuff. This is when you add the chicken stock and the pepper and tarragon. Raise the heat a little to medium high and simmer for about 5 minutes to boil off some of the liquid and concentrate the flavors. Add the cream, DO NOT substitute with milk, soy milk, rice milk, low fat, 2% or any other dairy or pseudo-dairy excrescence as the sauce will not become homogenous and you will battle separation anxiety. You can use Half and Half and sometimes get away with it. Bring the sauce up to a gentle simmer again and add the 6-8oz of White Cheddar that you’ve sliced into squares about ¼” thick spreading them out over the surface of the sauce so that they readily melt. You can add about ½ cup of a good chardonnay at this point as well, but beware as sometimes the wine can make the sauce a little bitter. Be sure you allow the sauce to simmer about 2 minutes longer to flash off the alcohol in the wine. Wines or cooking alcohols such as Marsala's and Sherry's only marry, enhance and bind flavors in a favorable way once the alcohol has burned off. If you don’t do this, then bitterness and other disharmonious conjugations of flavor will ensue. This sauce generally is one of those self thickening sauces, however it won’t be a clinging and unctuous one. Also there is no way this sauce is ever not REALLY good although when it gets cold and congeals it will not re-warm in a visually pleasing reincarnation.
Suggestion: Although wonderful on everything from pizzas to polenta cakes or filet mignon, it is not suggested as a topper to your Special K or Frosted Flakes. It is best served over Angel Hair pasta, and will induce visions of your chosen deity when mixed with Elbow Macaroni and browned under the broiler for a few minutes before serving. If the godless heathen that cherishes those “American Standby’s” such as Mac n Cheese, Tuna Casserole and Meat Loaf, tries this version of Macaroni and Cheese and doesn’t see Jesus and the Holy Trinity,there really is no hope for him. Enjoy and remember “Never Enough” and “Nothing exceeds like excess!” especially where garlic is concerned.