Soup, with garnish

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

Read the article here.

Ingredients:

1lb thick cut bacon – sliced and diced

2 leeks – diced

1 medium Poblano pepper – diced

3 carrots – peeled and grated (fine grate)

4 cloves garlic – chopped

1 tbsp good prepared mustard (I recommend Lusty Monk Burn in Hell*)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp sweet paprika (get a good Hungarian one for Pete’s sake)

1 tbsp dried thyme

Dash Cayenne

1 Turkish Bay Leaf

(2) 12oz beers (Sierra Nevada Porter recommended)

1qt Chicken stock (preferably homemade)

1tbsp chicken base or similar (Better than Boullion)

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (L&P recommended)

Salt and Pepper to taste (white pepper preferred)

20oz Heavy Cream

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

6oz Gouda* – shredded

6oz sharp cheddar** – shredded

chives (for garnish)

olive oil (for garnish)

reserved bacon (for garnish)

Mise-en-place:

Dice up your bacon and get it going in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat.  While that is cooking, get your leeks and your Poblano diced (and remember to ALWAYS wash your leeks well). These two ingredients will go in together.  In another bowl, you can add your chopped garlic and shredded carrots.  Measure out your spices and have them ready to add together as well. Ditto for your cheese.

Method:

Add bacon to a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.  Stir frequently.  When bacon begins to brown and foamy, remove from pan to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain.  Reserve the cooked bacon for garnishing later.

Add leeks and Poblano pepper to pan.  Cook until vegetables wilt and have released most of their liquid.  (about 5 minutes)

Add in the carrots and garlic.  Cook another 3-4 minutes.

Put the bay leaf and your spices into the pot.  Toss in some salt and grind in some fresh pepper.  Stir.  The heat will wake up your spices.  Enjoy the aromas!

Pour the 2 beers in.  Stir quickly to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  That fond is pure flavor and you want it!

Return to a simmer and reduce soup by 3/4.

Add chicken base, worcestershire sauce, and chicken stock.  Return to a simmer.

Reduce by half over low to medium heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

While the soup is simmering, make your roux.  Add flour to melted butter and whisk over medium heat.  You want your roux to thicken a bit, but not take on too much color.  More color = more flavor.  I recommend a tan roux.

Add cream and return to a simmer.  Adjust seasonings for flavor.

Whisk roux into soup a bit at a time.  You may not need it all, so do not add all of it at once.  After each addition, whisk soup thoroughly to incorporate.  Continue to simmer so the roux will activate and thicken the soup.  Add roux to desired thickness.  Aim for just shy of your ideal, as the cheese will provide a bit of thickening as well.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Bacon cooking. Drool on!

Garnish:

Ladle soup into bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over soup.  Sprinkle chives over soup.  Place some bacon on top.  Serve with Crusty Herb Bread.

Notes:

* If you can find this brand and mustard, get some.  Lusty Monk is consistently awesome.

** I use Boars Head Gouda and sharp cheddar since it’s easy to find and consistently good for the price.  This combination just works great and is easy to get ahold of.

Herbed and Salted Loaf

Herbed Rustic Loaf Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Thick Rustic Style Loaf

3 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tbsp Italian Seasoning

1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Method:

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix to combine.

Slice your bread lengthwise down the middle.  Make perpendicular slices every inch or so making a crosshatch pattern.  You want the cuts to go about 2/3 of the way through the bread.

bread, sliced

Bread, sliced for use

Next, use a brush to apply the oil and spice mixture to the bread.  Spread the slices apart to get the mixture into the interior. Spread liberally over the top of the bread.  Sprinkle kosher salt over the top of the oiled bread for added crunch and texture. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and heat at 375° for 12 minutes.

Pairing:

This bread works great with soups.  It’s super simple but makes a wonderful side dish.

Grilled cheese with bacon

My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Read the article here.

Ingredients:

8 slices Brioche (or your favorite bread)

Butter (room temperature)

3 slices thicker cut cheese (Gouda, Cheddar, American, be inventive!)

Potato Chips (I like Kettle Chips)

2 slices thick cut Bacon

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bake bacon until crisp in oven and lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Let your butter come up to room temperature.

Buttered bread

Buttered bread

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice of cheese on the buttered bread (butter side up).  Add some potato chips, covering the space from edge to edge.  Add another slice of cheese.  Break two slices of bacon up and cover the

Assembly!

space.  Add another slice of cheese.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the buttered top slice of bread and set it on top.  You want the butter on the inside again.

Gently butter the bread on the top slice of bread.

Get a large nonstick skillet or griddle onto your stove and set it for medium to medium low heat.  You want to brown your bread, but not burn it.

Into the skillet!

Place your sandwich with the buttered side down first (if you move fast, you can get two or three going at once).  Quickly butter the top slice of bread.

You want to keep your bread moving in the skillet.  Shift and turn the sandwiches a bit at a time to insure the butter melts evenly and the bread browns evenly.

Golden brown goodness!

Now, once your bread reaches the color you prefer, you want to yank them out of the pan and put them on the heated tray in the oven.  Work your way through the rest of the sandwiches you are preparing in the same fashion.  The oven will insure your cheese is melted while retaining the crispy bread you have created in the skillet.

Enjoy your sandwich!

*Sandwiches cut into triangles taste better.  Its science.  Or something.

Grilled cheese with bacon

Baked garlic cheesy bread

Cheese and Garlic Bread Recipe

Read the article here.

Ingredients:

1 loaf Italian Country (or similar) bread

1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter

1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (grated)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tsp Italian herb seasoning

Sprinkle paprika

splash Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425•. Line a  with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl mix butter, cheese, garlic, and herbs together with a fork.  Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix.  Taste and add salt and pepper.

Butter and herbs

Butter and herbs in bow

Cheese added

Cheese added

Mixed

Take your bread and make one long slice down the length of the bread, about 3/4 deep through the bread.  Now make perpendicular slices every inch or so.  Your goal is to make lots of room for that butter mixture.  Be sure and spread the slots open so the cheese and butter melt evenly (unlike in my photos, where I forgot to).  No one you actually listen to will ever complain about there being too much butter or cheese on their bread.

Next you are going to spread the garlic/butter/cheese mix into all the slots you just cut into the bread.  Try and keep it even, and don’t stress if you have extra leftover – just spread that over the top of the bread.  Keep in mind, your goal is some buttery-garlicy-cheesy goodness.

Place on baking sheet and bake until golden and delicious (about 10-15 mins).

Devour!

Notes:

I like to use an Italian Country loaf I find at Krogers near me for this.  The boys flat out demolish this every time I make it.

Cheese is good.  Add more if you like.  Your cardiologist will thank me.

Be sure and taste the compound butter before you put it on the bread – sometimes it can do with a bit of salt added.

You can also sprinkle some kosher salt over the loaf before you bake it for a neat effect.