Try This At Home

October 02, 2005

Have cheese with your beer

John Shields, chef / owner of Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art and host of Maryland Public Television's Coastal Cooking With John Shields, calls Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and Lager Soup "a fantastic soup for the cooler weather, especially good served with a hearty loaf of crusty bread."

"A thermos full of this creamy soup would be a sure crowd-pleaser at a Ravens tailgate party," he says.

TILLAMOOK CHEDDAR CHEESE AND LAGER SOUP

SERVES 4 AS A MAIN DISH

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon crushed red chiles, chopped

2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

3 / 4 cup dark beer

Heat butter in saute pan. Add flour and cook on low heat. Stir mixture until it starts to bubble. Do not allow it to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat milk in a saucepan until it is just about to boil. Add garlic, salt and pepper and crushed chiles. Stir mixture until just before boiling.

Add half of flour / butter mixture and stir with wire whisk until it reaches a low simmer.

Add more butter-flour mixture as needed to thicken. Stir constantly to avoid burning.

Turn down the heat and add cheese and beer. Stir to allow cheese to melt. The soup should have a smooth, consistent texture.

May be reheated at a low temperature. (Do not boil.)

Per serving: 453 calories, 21 grams protein, 34 grams fat, 21 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 103 milligrams cholesterol, 523 milligrams sodium

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