Friday, September 12, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

Another round of Four Foods on Friday, this one including one of my all-time favourite soup recipes. Thank you so much to Val for running this weekly event!

#1. Egg salad or deviled eggs. How do you prepare?
Oh, I feel quite pathetic in admitting this. I've never actually made egg salad or deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs, but have never had an occasion to make them! But I know my aunt makes a killer version with some mayo and relish and some paprika sprinkled on top.

#2. French fries. Do you make homemade or frozen?
Homemade, all the way. A couple of weeks ago I made cheese, ranch, and bacon oven fries. When you make fries yourself, they're so much better for you than processed and/or deep fried french fries (er...if you're not covering them in cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing!) and just as good.

#3. Gravy. What do you use - homemade, jar, can or from a package?
Homemade, so gravy is a rare treat for me. Living alone, I don't make roast chicken and mashed potatoes anymore, so I don't have the juices to make gravy with. My favourite trick when I do make gravy, however, is adding some wine.

#4. Share a recipe for a hot (temperature, not spice) dish.
My favourite warm-me-up dish is a Williams-Sonoma recipe for Beer and Cheddar soup. You can use white cheddar or regular cheddar, and the more aged, the better.

This soup is quite rich but the flavour is phenomenal! Beer lovers should be salivating right now.

The photo is above, the original recipe can be found here, and my preferred version of the recipe can be found after the jump.

My Take on Williams-Sonoma's Ale-Cheddar Soup
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 onion, finely diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 bottle (12 fl. oz.) light ale
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/4 lb. aged white cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste


In a stockpot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk in the milk and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Williams-Sonoma says to strain the soup through a sieve, which you're welcome to do, but the texture is still wonderful as-is, so why dirty another dish

Return the mixture to the pot and set over medium heat. Add the ale, Worcestershire and mustard and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cheese 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition melt before adding more; do not allow the soup to boil. Season with salt and cayenne.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.


Tina Kubala September 12, 2008 at 9:14:00 PM EDT  

I'm not a beer drinker, but I love cooking with beer. Beer in chedder fondue is wonderful.

skeet September 13, 2008 at 7:43:00 PM EDT  

I'm with Tina. I don't drink beer or wine, but I cook with them. I may have to try the soup- sounds like it's just right for my taste buds. Printing to file!

corrin September 14, 2008 at 12:55:00 PM EDT  

I've cooked with beer and wine, but more often than not I sip it while I'm cooking. :-P

Kait September 16, 2008 at 7:17:00 PM EDT  

Tina and Skeet: I'm a fairly recent beer convert, but I've been making this soup for much longer--beer always seems to taste great in cooking.

Corrin: That may be the best part of cooking with beer :)

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