Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Killian's / Buttermilk BEER CHEESE SOUP in BREAD BOWLS and a plea for help
First... a follow up to yesterday's Perfect BEER Simmered GRILLED SAUSAGES. I got a couple comments that should be addressed for anyone considering this cooking technique.
ANGEL IN THE KITCHEN pondered if the beer complemented the flavor of the sausages, or if it risked overpowering the flavor of the sausages with a beer taste.... I have been using beer in cooking for a long time, in many different recipes. I can not recall a time when the beer taste became overwhelming. The alcohol cooks out, so there is no overpowering alcohol taste at all. What is left is the hops and barley and seasonings that makes beer... well, beer. It is an earthy meaty taste added to a dish. If you are bold enough, I can't really think of a recipe that calls for beef or chicken stock that you could not substitute an equal amount of beer and do just fine with. Without the alcohol (that burns off), it is just flavored water (as is stock). Specifically concerning the sausages, they have a casing that is not porous. The beer only gets into the sausages if you prick holes in the casing (as I suggested). Think of it as a marinade. It does not overpower the sausages at all. It makes your kitchen smell great, and adds a flavor, but the flavor of the sausages shines through. Of course, I was cooking a flavored sausage (Chipotle for hot and Cherry for sweet). It would have taken a lot to overpower that flavor. If you are cooking a mild sausage, the flavor of the beer will come through more, but I still do not see it overpowering the taste (and a mild sausage needs to be kicked up a notch anyway).
And finally Rainey from THE PROJECT TABLE asked a similar question about Guiness Stout being too strong... NOPE! Half the fun of cooking with beer is using your favorite. I buy Killian's by the case, so I always have a bottle around the house. A stout will add a different flavor, but if you like stout, by all means, it will add a flavor you like, so go for it. Same rules though, a flavored sausage (like your wonderful sounding chicken/apple sausage) will not have as strong a beer flavor as an unseasoned mild sausage.
OK, next a plea for help... I have decided I am a blogger fan much more than a cookbook or recipe fan. I would rather cook from a blogger that I follow, or who follows me than from a book. SO, blogger buddies... I am in search of a TRIED AND TESTED AND SUCCESSFUL Grand Marnier Souffle recipe for Christmas Eve. Anyone have one of those in their archive? A souffle would be WAY out of my comfort zone, so it needs to be detailed and idiot proof... Help!!!
And now... Here's a terrific BEER CHEESE SOUP RECIPE...
This is almost a 100% steal of a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, CHRIS from NIBBLE ME THIS. Chris is also a fire cooker, but he is also very talented in the kitchen, and I was thrilled when he posted THIS RECIPE recently. Fit in well for my COOKIE/BEER EXCHANGE PARTY!
Here's what he said to do...
Ingredients, 1 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup carrot finely diced
1/3 cup celery finely diced
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
12 ounces beer
3 cups chicken broth up to 5 cups if desired.
4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
I changed just two ingredients... Be bold, I am not a Half and Half kind of guy... I used BUTTERMILK instead. And I altered the cheese a bit. Otherwise, I made his recipe exactly as he posted...
My beloved KILLIAN's went in the pot...
I used equal amounts of a sharp cheddar and a really good top quality raw milk SWISS cheese that I love.
No secret to it, mix it all together, get to a soft simmer, when all the cheese is melted (at least 10 minutes so the alcohol is cooked out), it is done!
The MASTER BAKER made a return appearance for this. I wanted to serve in bread bowls. I would have considered trying a new recipe, but when I pondered the menu, it occurred to me that the recipe I have made in the past, a FUGASSE BREAD, filled with cheese, onions and peppers in the bread, would work best. It also holds it shape very well, so I could form into bowl shapes. Click HERE to get to the recipe and technique for this wonderful bread.
Since I was making smaller bowls, and not one large loaf, I cut the cooking time by a few minutes. I also used a cookie cutter to make little candy cane shapes and put them on the side as I baked the bread.
My guests did not recognize the shapes as candy canes. When it was pointed out, they all said... Ahhh... then stared in silence... It was a bit of bling that did not work at all.
You've all seen bread bowls before, just cut the top, use your fingers to hollow out the guts and add soup!
Served it up with sausages and chicken wings.
This soup is amazing. By far the best Beer Cheese soup I have ever had, so rich and thick and full of flavors!
The above shot is lifted from CHRIS and NIBBLE ME THIS and his original post about the soup. he recommended accenting the soup with popcorn and a little parsley. I foolishly tried to be clever with the candy cane bread accent (que the chirping crickets). The bread bowls worked great, but honestly, I sooooo wish I had added a bit of color on the top with the parsley and a bit of cleaver accent with the popcorn. Chris is a genius, click THIS link to see his site... You will be back!
And if you are not yet BEER CHEESE SOUPed out, and want to see a different recipe...
The FOODYCAT was inspired by a suggestion I gave her to create her WELSH RAREBIT SOUP, with leeks and mustard and GARLIC!!! This picture is lifted from her site, and will give you a few more ideas before you start working on your own creation...
OK, I see a lot of Christmas ideas being posted now. I think my combination of BRAISED in BEER and GRILLED SAUSAGES, combined with this BEER CHEESE SOUP is a great idea for your SUPERBOWL PARTY. Since I live in Kansas City, home of the most pathetic also rans in the NFL, the food served is FAR more important than the actual game.