Friday, April 15, 2011

Cooking with Beer

My challenge this weekend was to come up with a recipe using beer.  And not just any beer, but New Belgium Brewing Company brews.  I was recently the lucky recipient of a tidy stipend to try their products and I chose to buy some Fat Tire Amber Ale to cook with. I chose this particular beer based soley on the wonderful red bike on the six-pack. It's so darn fun!!  Tasting the beer by itself was delicious. I'm not a big beer fan, but this ale is just how I like it - a good malt flavor with the hops just ever so slightly coming through. A perfect beer by itself or served alongside you're favorite meal.

The two recipes I chose to make were a brand new creation and an old stand by. I made my never-fail and amazing no-knead bread which utilizes a small quantity of beer and I also devised a white cheddar cheese, beer, and broccoli soup.  For this soup I utilized a local cheese from the Willamette Valley Cheese Company.  I love their cheeses and try to buy them whenever I can.  They are so flavorful, particularly this Farmstead Cheddar and I like to buy locally made products whenever possible.
I'm not sure which dish accompanied which as they complimented each other so well.  The bread was so good dipped into the cheese soup. Almost like fondue only much thinner.  I garnished the soup with crisply sauteed and browned shallots which added a light carmelized onion flavor. 

Thanks so  much to the New Belgium Brewing Company for inspiring me to cook with beer. I will do it again very soon!

White Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup

1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tbsp. grated shallot
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. white pepper
3 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. half & half
1 c. beer
2 cups of broccoli flowerettes, steamed
16 oz. shredded sharp white Cheddar

In large saucepan melt butter; stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Add garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard and pepper; blend well.

Gradually stir in chicken broth, half & half and beer; cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheese, stir until melted. Add the broccoli. Heat gently, stirring frequently; do not boil. Serve with croutons and/or crusty bread. Makes seven (1 cup) servings. 

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a stipend to purchase products from the New Belgium Brewing Company.

1 comment:

Big Sis said...

A stipend to taste beer! Steve is jealous! The soup sounds great we will have to give it a try and we love the bread already.