Monday, February 28, 2011

Variations on a theme

Today's post will be a little short, as it was meant to be last week's post and I'm still not completely over the cold. This is to the annoyance of my poor sweetie as well as myself because, probably like most people, I snore when congested.

Anyway, back in November, I tried Rachel Ray's recipes, specifically that of Beer Cheese Soup. I found the recipe easy to follow, no what I considered unnecessary ingredients (you can skip the chicken broth rant), and it was very flavorful and warm and went deliciously with a toasted English muffin.

At the bottom of her recipe, there was a note, "try it with gruyere!" So that's what I did. I was a little short on the exact amount of cheese, so I threw in a few slices of Havarti. It's mild, it's creamy, and I figured it would do more for texture than taste. I also used a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale instead of Harp (BTW, if you see a guy in a green windbreaker who answers to Lucas Payton, tell him I said thanks for getting me hooked on Newcastle).

The gruyere I had was pretty mild, and I wasn't left with a very strong cheesy taste the first time I ate it. When my sweetie had the leftovers, the flavors had combined to a taste that was greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe I should have left it on the stove a little longer, I don't know. This is a combination I'll try again.

I also skipped one of the carrots and added two shallots in its place. I definitely liked this better. Sweet and sharp at the same time.

I might go for the stronger beer wtih the sharper cheddar next time, and a milder beer with the gruyere. Or maybe that cheshire with onions that was so nice when I was experimenting with macaroni and cheese, the possibilities are endless. . .

Questions? Comments? Death Threats? And everyone say hi to new follower TNJ! TNJ, send a quick email to that smart blonde at gmail and I'll get your Amazon gift card right out!

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