|cheddar beer soup
||[Apr. 5th, 2012|07:51 pm]
People lately have been bugging me to post more of recipes I cook, and I always have the best of intentions to do so... but I suck at sitting down and doing it. I am going to try and get better though, the plan being on days that I am making something I will sit down and write it out more or less as I go.
So tonight's dinner is cheddar beer soup, bratwurst, steamed broccoli and croissants. The bratwurst and broccoli are leftovers from "Wednesday Sausage Night" which is a tradition in our house (we also had potatoes but those got eaten), and "leftover" on purpose to go with tonight's dinner. So I just make the (tube) croissants and cheddar beer soup and ta-da dinner!
So for this entry, we're going to cover my cheddar beer soup. Although I can hardly call it "mine" because I just modified this recipe to fit my lifestyle and how I cook. That's really what cooking is all about, isn't it?
What I use:
- 1/4cup olive oil
- 1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic (depending on their size)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (ish) of dark beer
- whatever seasonings I'm in the mood for (which is generally just my creole mix because I'm lazy, but it really does simply depend on my mood sometimes I dig around on the spice shelf and toss whatever I want in)
The major changes from the original recipe is I don't spend money on fancy infused olive oils, and just do it myself right on the spot. And I add more cheese, and often more beer. I like the extra cheesy-ness, and the texture I get from this. And then I add however much beer to get whatever consistency I want at the end. Sometimes the cheese makes it a little too thick, so I thin it out with just more beer.
A tip for both the cheese & beer, I'd set those out on the counter before so they become room-temperature. For the sake of the soup, I've found things end up smoother in the end if they're not cold when I'm adding them in...
I also always use homemade chicken stock, because I am weird about soup stocks. My particular stock is slightly different than the average, like it always has mushrooms and green peppers in it, so it's thicker and generally richer than the average stock... this does add a different layer of flavor to my soup that you might not be able to emulate, but that's okay. The important part is being happy with your soup, when you make it for you. (Oh, and if you're vegetarian, you can always use a veggie stock or a garlic stock instead of a chicken stock, that's not even a thing.)
How this works:
1. I put the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a enamel cast-iron dutch oven (but you can use any big saucepan) on medium-high heat. When it's hot, I crush the garlic cloves and toss them in. When they begin to brown I pull them out.
2. I add the 3 tablespoons of flour, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until it's all thick and bubbly and roux-like.
3. During all this my chicken stock is in another pan on another burner boiling down (as you do when you use homemade stock), so it's already VERY hot and thus I have to add it VERY slowly to the roux, whisking and whisking like a mad woman or everything will go gummy and that sucks! I suspect that if you're using stock-from-a-box and it's just room-temp this might go easier for you... but I don't know.
4. Once it's all mixed in, bring it up to a boil, and then reduce the heat so it's simmering. Then start whisking in the cheese, slowly. Take your time, and make sure your heat stays low. Otherwise the cheese will do bad things (like break apart and become grainy and gross, or clump together and make you feel stupid). This is the point where I usually get impatient and ruin things, so be better than me...
5. Once all the cheese you want is incorporated it'll be really thick, don't worry - now it's time to add the beer! Pour the beer in SLOWLY, and at an angle (as if you were pouring it into a glass and doing your best to reduce the amount of head). It'll still foam the fuck up, but whisk that in and it'll fluff up and thin the soup out. It'll be beautiful. If it's not beautiful add more beer... or more cheese... until it is. All soft and fluffy and mmmmm soupy. (Unless of course, you fuck it up, and then it's fluffy and grainy and still good but not as good as it could be.)
6. Get yourself a tasting spoon and some spices. (GOD DAMN TAST YOUR FUCKING FOOD AS YOU COOK IT. #PetPeeve) Taste, spice a little at a time, taste, spice, taste, spice until you're happy. Really fucking happy. Then ladle it into a bowl and taunt your friends.
If you're really wanting to gain weight, this goes fantastically with bacon. But you can really pair it with just about anything you want. Jim chops up his sausage and broccoli and mixes it in but that's not my thing. Or fuck, eat it on it's own. Whatever you want.
Hopefully this satisfies the "jasmine post more cooking things!" demand. And, as always, let me know if you have any questions. Happy cooking!