Monday, November 17, 2008

Beer Cheese Chowder in a Bread Bowl

Beer. Cheese. Bread. I had my husband in mind when I chose this recipe. I figured with three of his favorite menu items, I couldn’t go too wrong. As he hovered over me while I put the final touches on this soup he asked, “Where’s the meat? What else are we having? Just soup?” To which I replied, “Well… it’s in a bread bowl.” Like that was supposed to excuse the lack of substance in our meal. “Oh.” he answered, but I could still see a little doubt in his eyes.

This was a yummy, filling chowder. Everyone left the table satisfied. Here’s how it came together.

Although it doesn’t sound terribly healthy, there are a few (4 to be precise) vegetables involved. That’s a red pepper, carrot, celery, and green onion.

Chop them up. Then you’ll add them to a cup of boiling water and cook, covered for about 5 minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, slowly add 1 cup of milk to ¼ cup of flour and stir until there are no lumps.

Now you’ll stir the milk-flour mixture into the cooked veggies and add an additional 2 cups of milk and the spices.

Oh, and don’t forget the beer! Add ¾ cup of the beer of your choice. What you do with the other half of that can of beer is up to you. I promise, I won’t judge. Does anyone else out there appreciate the aesthetic value of beer? All golden and bubbly….it kind of sparkles…

You’ll continue to cook and stir the soup over medium heat until it’s thickened and bubbly. I want to stress the STIR part of this instruction. The proteins in the milk want to stick to the bottom of the pan and the sugar (lactose) wants to burn…so keep stirring.

After the soup is thickened you will add the cheeses and stir until melted. The recipe called for both shredded cheddar and shredded American. My local grocery did not have the shredded American in stock, so I just weighed some American singles. I think that it came out to 10 slices. Which is puzzling, since according to the nutritional information on the box, each slice should weigh ½ oz. Check my math. 6 oz. should = 12- ½ oz. slices, right? Maybe I need to re-calibrate my kitchen scale.

Go ahead and prepare the bread bowl. Just cut a circle in the top and hollow it out.

Now simply fill with delicious chowder and make happy noises while you eat.

Here’s the recipe:

Beer Cheese Chowder from Better Homes and Gardens
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 to 8 side-dish servings (about 5 cups)

1 cup water

1/2 cup chopped carrot (1 medium)

1/2 cup sliced celery (1 stalk)

1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (2)

3 cups milk

3/4 cup beer

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese (6 ounces)

1.In a large saucepan bring water to boiling; add carrot, celery, sweet pepper, and green onions. Cook, covered, about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Do not drain.
2.In a small bowl gradually stir about 1 cup of the milk into the flour; stir into cooked vegetables in saucepan. Add the remaining milk, the beer, the bouillon granules, and white pepper.
3.Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Add cheddar cheese and American cheese, stirring until melted.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 311 cal.,21 g total fat (13 g sat. fat), 66 mg chol., 748 mg sodium, 13 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 18 g pro. Daily Values: 83% vit. A, 39% vit. C, 54% calcium, 5% iron Exchanges: 1/2 Milk, 1 Vegetable, 2 High-Fat Meat, 1 Fat


Katie@ThisCrazyLife said...

So did you buy everyone their own little bread bowl or was it just one big one?

Krista's Kitchen said...

Mike and I each had a bread bowl...about $1.39/bowl, "A" took the bread that I cut up when I hollowed the bread bowls and dipped it into her soup like cheese fondue and "E" ate some bread and then had leftovers from the night before, because she is exclusively (stubborn girl) self-feeding and soup proved way too tricky!

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