Molly Yeh's Trick For Checking Cheese Sauce Consistency

A phenomenally successful blogger over at My Name is Yeh, Molly Yeh lives on the Minnesota-North Dakota border with her fifth-generation farmer husband, where the pair grow wheat and tend to a flock of chickens, among other activities. These two pursuits heavily inform Yeh's down-home, ultra-indulgent sweet and savory recipes, which have been popular enough to land her two critically acclaimed cookbooks, "Molly on the Range" and "Home is Where the Eggs Are," and a Food Network show, "Girl Meets Farm" (per Trib Live).

It stands to reason that a lover of rich comfort foods would have a recipe for scalloped potatoes, those creamy sliced potatoes baked in a casserole dish with plenty of hot milk or cream — and Yeh doesn't disappoint there (via Food Network). The blogger makes hers with an oozy, roux-based cheese sauce, and she has a trick for making sure it's just the right consistency for draping the tiled potatoes.

The cheese sauce has to coat the back of a spoon

If you've ever prepared — or simply enjoyed — either scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin, then you know that there's a bit of confusion surrounding these two very similar dishes. Technically, according to MasterClass, scalloped potatoes are thick and do not use cheese or breadcrumbs, while au gratin is thinly sliced and calls for layers of cheese and breadcrumbs. However, the lines between these two dishes are often blurred, and in this case, blogger and Food Network host Molly Yeh's scalloped potatoes take on a bit of nutty Gruyère cheese, some of it folded into a rich, roux-based melted cheese sauce that's poured over the sliced potatoes pre-baking.

On Food Network's Twitter account, Yeh dips a metal spoon in the simmering cheese sauce, showing how when she lifts the spoon up, the sauce clings to it as opposed to simply dripping off. "Oh, yeah, look how beautiful that is," she says. "Just like that." If you want to make doubly sure, you can swipe your finger through the sauce on the spoon; if the line stays visible without the cheese sauce immediately flooding it, then you know you're good to go and can proceed with assembling the casserole (via RICARDO).