Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beer and Cheese Soup

This is what we had for dinner last night along with homemade soft pretzels, which made for a perfect taste combination.  I used a pale ale and feel like anything darker would have been way too overpowering.

3/4c carrots, diced
1/2c onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2c vegetable broth
3/4c light beer
2 TBSP butter
2 1/2 TBSP all-purpose flour
2c milk
3c sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard

1.  In a large saucepan, combine the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, cayenne papper sauce, sea salt, black pepper, vegetable broth, and beer.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

2.  Add the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and yellow mustard; stir to combine and set aside.

2.  In a separate large pot, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring until thickened.  Whisk in the milk and continue stirring until thickened again.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.

3.  Add in vegetable mixture and simmer to heat through, about 10-15 minutes.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

White Wine and Herb Mushrooms

If you are ever in need of a nice, super fast and easy, mushroom side or just want to jazz up a steak, these little guys are absolutely fabulous:

1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. butter
1lb. fresh mushrooms
1/4c onion, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4c white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
1.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
2.  Add the mushrooms, onion, and Italian seasoning.  Cook and stir for about 10 minutes.
3.  Add the wine and garlic amd  cooking until most of the wine has evaporated.
4.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook another minute or two and serve hot.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Beer Mac and Cheese

Oh, yes I did.  Here's the recipe:

2 1/2c pasta (I prefer the more swirly rotini to the classic elbow)
2 TBSP real butter
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1c beer ( I used a pale ale)
1-1/2c mild Cheddar, shredded
1/2c grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2c Panko breadcrumbs

1.  Preheat oven to 375*

2.  Cook the pasta until just under al dente; drain and set aside.

3.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat.

4.  Add flour, whisking to form a roux.

5.  Add beer and continue whisking until incorporated.

6.  Reduce heat to low add add cheeses, stirring until melted.

7.  Add paprika, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir and remove frm heat.

8.  Pour cheese sauce over pasta in an 8x8 baking pan; toss to coat.

9.  Top with breadcrumbs and bake about 20 minutes, or until nice and golden on top.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mushroom and Vodka Soup

Getting back into the routine after a long, relaxing holiday weekend with the family.  This is the soup I referenced last week:
2c chicken broth
2c Basic Vodka Sauce - recipe here
1c half & half
2c. mushrooms, rough chopped
2 TBSP fresh basil, chopped

1.  Make the vodka sauce. 

2.  In a medium size pot, combine the broth, vodka sauce, and half & half.

3.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

4.  Stir in the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirringoccasionally, for about 15 minutes.

5.  Garnish with additional basil and serve immediately.
Served with Sourdough and Havarti w/dill paninis.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Basic Vodka Sauce

This is my second post about vodka sauce.  The original one, here, is a heavier sauce and great for a hearty pasta meal.  This one is lighter in taste and texture, which made for a wonderful base for last night's soup (that's my next post).  For now, here's the sauce recipe:

1/4c butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1/2c vodka
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1c heavy cream

1.  In a medium size pot, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until soft and aromatic.

2.  Add vodka.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

3.  Add crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to low. 

4.  Allow to simmer approximately 20-30 minutes.

5.  Pour in heavy cream and cook for another 20-30 minutes.  
Once you start making your own sauce, you'll never buy the jarred stuff again!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

White Wine and Portobello Tortellini Skillet

This was a great dinner on a cold and rainy day.  The flavors afre rich and pair really well with a light salad.

1/2 - 3/4lb. cheese tortellini
2 large portobello mushrooms
1/4c white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. Alfredo sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/3c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Cook pasta accordin gto package directions, drain, and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare mushrooms by removing stems and slicing thin.         

3.  In a medium skillet over low heat, combine wine, parsley, garlic, and mushrooms; stirring frequently, saute for approximately 5 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through.               

4.  Remove skillet from heat and slowly add Alfredo sauce, stirring to blend; season with salt and pepper to taste.               

5.  Add tortellini and stir to coat.

6.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.               

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

White Wine and Herb Mushrooms

I am loving mushrooms lately and these were absolutely fabulous over grilled steaks.

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2lb. fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8c white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh chives, chopped

1.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.

2.  Add mushrooms and season with Italian seasoning; cook approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently.               

3.  Add the garlic and white wine.  Continue cooking and stirring another 5 minutes or so.

4.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste and sprinkle with chives.  Serve immediately.           

Monday, April 23, 2012

Venison and Tequila Chili

My husband was recently gifted two pounds of ground venison.  I made burgers with one pound and this chili with the other:

1 TBSP vegetable oil
1lb. ground venison
1 stalk celery, diced
1c white or yellow onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 TBSP chili powder
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4c gold tequila
1/4c orange juice
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained
2 TBSP chili seasoning

1.  Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground venison and cook through.

2.  Mix in the celery and onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes.

3.  Add red pepper flakes, garlic powder and chili powder. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.         

4.  Pour in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tequila, and orange juice; simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 2 hours. 

5.  Add the beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.   
 Serve topped with Cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and jalapeno slices. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Red Wine and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Served these last night as an appetizer to our pasta primavera dinner:

6oz. package ground sausage
12 whole mushrooms
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1/4c + 1/8c. Italian dry bread crumbs, divided
1/4c red wine

1.  Preheat oven to 325*

2.  Brown sausage in a skillet.  Drain and set aside.

3.  Remove stems from mushrooms.  Chop and set aside.

4.  In a madium bowl, combine cream cheese, mushroom stems, 1/4c bread crumbs, sausage and 1/8c red wine.

5.  Fill mushrooms with mixture and top with remaining bread crumbs.

6.  Place in an 8x8 pan and pour remaining red wine around mushrooms.

7.  Bake approximately 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Guess I could have thrown a little chopped parsley over the top before serving. 
You know, for color.  No matter though, these were yummy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beer and Cheese Dip

This dip is amazing with pretzels!  Don't think about the calories, just eat it!  But wait a day or so, if you can.  While the dip is good right away, it's even better the next day. 

The first time I made this, I used Guinness.  Today, I used a pale ale.  Both are good, which just goes to show, whatever you have on hand is probably fine.  Also, this is one of those recipes that can be very easily adapted to suit personal taste.

1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 of 10z. pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1/4c beer
1 1/4c Cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8c green onions, chopped
1.  Mix everything together in a small bowl and
(after taste testing until it's just the way you like it)
cover and stick it in the fridge.
2.  Give it a few hours (overnight is good)
for the flavors to really blend before serving.
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