Thursday, November 15, 2012

Theme Thursday "Possibilities"

This song comes from a really bad Broadway show from the mid-60's called "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!"

And when I'm saying it was really bad, I'm not kidding! The show never had any "possibilities" whatever!

But... enjoy the groovy fashions!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Polish Beer Soup

Well, hello all you huppy pooples, from me... "The Soused Chef!" (Already "half-soused," and hoisting his 32-ounce plastic "Big Gulp" cup filled to the brim with "Wild Blue Premium Blueberry Beer, "toasts his gentle readers. Takes a big swig.)

 
I found my thrill...

This week's "Theme Thursday" topic is "Soups", so having thought long and hard on the topic (roughly three seconds) I've decided to make "Polewka z Piwa," which when translated means "Beer Soup." It is a bit of a sour soup, and great on hot days when served cold. (This week's recipe comes to us from everywherefare.com.)


Yum yum!

The Polish people seem to like to consume beer. Lots of it. That's why I seem to have an affinity for the Polish people.

(Toasts the Polish people and takes another swig out of the "Big Gulp" cup.) Wow! This stuff is 8% alcohol by volume, and I've already got a comfortable buzz!


Roll out the barrel!

So let's start cooking! (Turns to the prep table, and trips over the wastebasket. Picking himself off the floor, he checks the 32-ounce cup.) Hah! Didn't spill a drop!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 liter (not dark) beer (just under 3 12oz. cans, but screw it, throw 3 cans in!)
  • 3 egg yolks, preferably from a Polish chicken
  • 3 tbs. sugar, preferably brown sugar
  • ½ cup cream (sour cream for a more Russian, sour flavor)
  • 1 cup of curd cheese
  • 5 cloves
  • A pinch of cinnamon
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a pot. Mix for a few minutes, until mixture changes to a brighter color.
  2. While stirring, pour the half cup of cream.
  3. Turn the burner on low heat, so that the cream heats slowly.
  4. When the mixture becomes slightly warm, pour the beer in.
  5. Add cloves and cinnamon to taste.
  6. As it heats, the soup will start to thicken. When it reaches a medium consistency, turn off the burner.
  7. Cut the curd cheese into small chunks.
  8. Lay out some bowls and put some curd cheese chunks into the bowl, then pour the beer soup into the bowls on top.
  9. Garnish with rye croutons, if desired.
And that's it! Enjoy your freshly made Beer Soup!

Your friend in cooking!
The Soused Chef

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Having Fun With Your Belgian Waffle

Well, hollo all you Heppy Poople, from me... "The Soused Chef!" (Already "half-soused," and hoisting his 32-ounce plastic "Big Gulp" cup filled to the brim with Vella® "Delicious Blush" out of a box, toasts his Gentle Readers.) This Delicious Blush has a lighter body with enticing flavors of fresh, red berry fruit layered with sweet caramel and vanilla aromatics. Plus... it's cheap!

(Downs the entire 32-ounces. Pours another from the convenient plastic  pouring spigot.)
 

The Good Stuff
 
Today, it's my great pleasure to introduce you to my guest, Chef Elise... who will assist me in making Authentic Belgium Waffles. The main reason that she's with me today, is that she's an authentic Belgium!

(Toasts Elise with his cup filled with wine, and takes a hearty drink.) BOO-YAH!!!
 

Chef Elise - An Authentic Belgium
 
Now, we'll utilize Chef Elise's years of schooling, hard work and experience, by having her clean the kitchen. (Chef Elise looks shocked.)
 
Now... take a look at this baby! Doesn't she look yummy?
 
 
Nom nom nom

Yep. All covered in Fresh Strawberries and huge dollops of Whipped Cream! This is Belgium eating at its best! I... excuse me for a minute... Chef Elise is shaking her head. That's not an authentic Belgium Waffle? Well, how the hell would YOU know? Oh yeah... you're Belgium.

Oh... so it's pronounced "Belgian." Well, excuuuuusssee me!!! (Takes a big gulp of wine.)

Okay then, Miss Know-It-All... what is an Authentic "Belgian" Waffle supposed to look like???

(Chef Elise holds up a flash card.)


Authentic Belgian Waffle

Hmmm. Doesn't look like anything I ever had served to me at IHOP! (Finishes entire 32 oz. cup of wine.)

Tell you what Elise-ee... why don't you take a break from scrubbing the floor, and start mixing together this list of ingredients?

(Chef Elise looks at list.)

You're shaking your head again.

Look... I really don't care. Make yourself useful, and mix me a Martini wouldja? Ahhh... that's a good girl! (Downing Martini in one gulp.) It's good to see you smiling, Chef Elise.

Okay... now to get back to... to... to...



toot




***************













Hello everyone! This is Chef Elise!

It appears that The Soused Chef is temporarily indisposed, so I am happy, and extremely relieved to finish today's recipe.
 
 :)

To start with, according to the website:


"The vast majority of recipes found online and in cookbooks are appallingly bad. Some are over-yeasted. Many are just leaden or grainy. And, due to one factor or another, virtually all of them lack the smooth and complex flavors of a true Liege waffle."

And for the true flavor of Belgium, it's the Liege waffle recipe we're going to follow today.

Before we begin, it's obviously important to have a waffle iron. You can use an inexpensive one fom Wal-Mart...

 
Typical Waffle Iron

Or you can purchase a 35 lb. Krampouz Liege Waffle Iron for between $800-$1800.


Really Expensive Waffle Iron

Unless you plan on making waffles for three meals a day, every day for the next fourty-seven years, the inexpensive one works just as well. However many do not hold the heat very steadily... so heat the iron to 420 degrees, place the dough on the iron, and immediately unplug it or turn the temp dial all the way down. Otherwise, your sugar will burn.

Let's begin by making the dough!

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
• 1/4 cup scalded whole milk at 110-115 degrees
• 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. of water at 110-115 degrees
• 2 cups King Arthur Bread flour
• 1 large room temperature egg, lightly beaten
• 1Tbsp. + 1 tsp. light brown sugar
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 8 1/2 Tbsp. soft room temperature unsalted butter
• 1 Tbsp. honey
• 2 tsp. vanilla
• 3/4 cup Belgian Pearl Sugar (If you can't find it locally, you can order it online from Amazon.)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place yeast, milk, and water into the workbowl of a stand mixer. Stir for a few seconds to moisten the yeast.

2. Add the egg and 1/3 of the total flour. Mix to blend. Scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Sprinkle remaining flour over the mixture, but do not stir it in. Cover and let stand 75-90 minutes (at the end of that time, you’ll notice the batter bubbling up through the cover of flour).

4. Add brown sugar and salt to the workbowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed – just to blend.

5. With machine on low, add honey and vanilla. Then add 2 Tbsp. of butter at a time. Mix 4 minutes at medium-low speed; scrape down sides once or twice in that period. Let the dough rest for 1 minute and then continue to mix for 2 minutes. If you measured your ingredients perfectly, the dough will be sticking to the sides of the bowl in the last minute of mixing and then, in the last 30 seconds of so, will start to ball-up on the paddle. If this does not happen, let the dough rest for 1 more minute and mix for another 2 minutes. Whatever the outcome of the extra mixing, proceed to Step 6.

6. Scrape the dough into a large bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 4 hours. This step is crucial for developing the flavor.

7. REFRIGERATE FOR 30 MINUTES BEFORE PROCEEDING TO STEP #8. This is essential. The yeast respiration must be slowed before continuing.

8. Stir the dough down (meaning: gently deflate the gases from the dough, by pressing on it with a rubber spatula), scrape it onto a piece of plastic wrap, and then use the spatula to press the dough into a long rectangle. Fold that rectangle over on itself (by thirds – like a letter) so that you have a square of dough. Wrap it in plastic, weigh it down a bit (I put two heavy dinner plates on top of it) and refrigerate overnight.

9. The next day, place the cold dough (it will be quite firm) in a large bowl and add all of the pearl sugar to a bowl. It will seem like a lot of sugar, but it’s supposed to be :) Mix it into the dough by hand until the chunks are well-distrubuted. Once mixed, divide the dough into 5 pieces of equal size.

10. Shape each chunk into an oval ball (like a football without the pointy ends) and let it rise (covered loosely in plastic wrap) for exactly 90 minutes.

11. If you have a professional waffle iron (meaning: it’s cast iron and weighs over 20 pounds) cook at exactly 365-370 degrees (the max temp before sugar begins to burn/decompose) for approximately 2 minutes.
 
Give each waffle a few minutes to cool slightly before eating. No syrup or toppings are needed, unless you’d like to add some fruit or a dusting of powdered sugar; they’re quite sweet on their own.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed today's recipe. Now I must run off before The Soused Chef wakes up... I mean gets back!
 
Your Best Friend In Cooking,
Chef Elise

 





 
 
 
 


 



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cooking Prime Rib - Part Two (A Theme Thursday Post-"Stormy")

PART 2 (PART ONE IS BELOW THIS)
 
In the last segment, we painfully watched, as "The Soused Chef" treated us to Festive Music, and we suddenly found ourselves "mysteriously craving" Prime Rib, while at the same time viewing images of snow from the latest stormy weather (this week's Theme Thursday Topic). He also did a lot of product placement, started feeling bitter and nostalgic, and began drinking heavily. He also gave us valuable tips on buying a Prime Rib Roast. In other words... you really didn't miss anything, except one man's sad descent into self-pity and loathing! We continue our post, already in progress...
 
(Picks himself off the floor, and ready to cook up a storm.)
 
So all in all, and take it from me, OMAHA STEAKS is the way to go! Especially when you're locked inside your house in the middle of stormy weather dumping lots of snow!
 
(Sips his Martini.)
 
Plus, they ship it in Dry Ice, and it comes packed in this really nice Styrofoam Container, which is perfect for holding the extra stuff you never really had a good container for, anyway. So... while the Kids are playing in the corner with the Dry Ice, and the "Better Half" is sneaking off with your beautiful Styrofoam Container, carefully place your six-pound chunk of frozen, grain-fed Nebraskan Beef on your kitchen table, pour yourself a big glass of Booze, and stare at your purchase for a very long while...
 
Get to know it. Talk to it. Make it your Best Friend!
 
(Finishing off the last of the Martinis, he makes a Pitcher of Mimosas for himself, humming "Frosty The Snowman.")
 
Now... way before you fire up the ol' Oven, (you DO have an Oven, don't you?) you'll need to thaw out this Bad Boy. The best results are obtained by thawing in the Fridge, (and you DO have a Refrigerator, don't you?) for approximately 8-15 hours per pound. Doing the math means... that damn thing will be residing in the lower section of your Fridge, for between 48-90 hours! (Note: It is not necessary to sit in front of the Refrigerator the entire time, monitoring the progress. You might want to use this free time however, to brave the stormy weather, and pick up a Meat Thermometer at Wal-Mart. Trust me... you're going to need it! If you are lucky enough to already own a Meat Thermometer, take a tip from me. Use this time wisely, get good and drunk, and watch the snow falling outside (or pretend you're watching the snow falling outside).
 
It's kind of like waiting around for that cute chick you met at the bar to ever call... (beginning to feel really depressed at this point.)
 
Now comes the day we cook and eat our Best Friend...
 
● Pour yourself a strong shot of Booze. Cry a little if you have to.
 
● Preheat the Oven to 325°F. (If you live in a country that's on the Metric System, such as you're really screwed, because I don't know how to convert temperatures into Celsius. My good friend and fellow chef Elise does, but she's not the the kitchen today. She's only scheduled to be in for our forthcoming "Having Fun With Your Belgian Waffle post.)


Chef Elise

● Place the damn thing fat side up, (think "Uncle Louie") on it's "built-in Rack" in a shallow Roasting Pan. Rub (the Beef, not yourself) with freshly ground pepper and garlic powder... plus if you wish, a little parsely, sage, rosemary and thyme. (Starts humming "Scarborough Fair.") Or better yet, throw on some seasoning from "Mrs. Dash," and no one will ever know the difference!
 
● Simply roast to an internal temperature of 115° - 120°F for "Rare," or 125° - 130°F for "Medium Rare," (approximately 1½ -2 hours). This is where your "Handy Dandy" Meat Thermometer comes into play! Jab it into the Roast, thinking all the "Slasher Films" you ever watched. If you want it "Well Done," I wash my Hands of You! Begone!!! NO BEEF FOR YOU!!!
 
● Allow the freakin' thing to stand (help it to its feet, if you have to) ten minutes before carving.
 
● Gather six to eight people together, (including yourself, of course) pour some more Booze, and enjoy!
 
 
 Yum Yum
 
● At the conclusion of the meal, surprise everyone with festive "guest checks." This thoughtful touch, will especially surprise that freeloading "Fat Uncle Louie!" The money you collect before you allow your Guests to angrily march through the front door, should greatly help offset the costs of that Expensive Roast!
 
Making the Tasty Au Jus:
 
It's important to accomplish this step beforehand. Not while your Guests are hungrily seated at the Dining Room Table, mouths wide open like starving baby birds, screaming "Hey!!! Where the hell is my freaking Au Jus???"
 
● Get in the car. Fasten your lap belt. Adjust your mirror. Change the radio station from when your oldest kid had that "Rap Station" cranked up. Put the key in the ignition. Carefully looking all around you, back out of the driveway. If there's a lot of snow on the road from that damnable stormy weather, drive extra carefully. Avoid any and all Wild Moose that may be crossing the road.
 
● Drive to the nearest supermarket. In the "Soups & Gravy Aisle," you'll be astounded to ultimately find a damn can marked "Tasty Au Jus." At this point, you should feel like "Indiana Jones," when he finally discovered "The Lost Ark Of The Covenant!"
 
● Go to the friendly, smiling teenaged gal, with a name badge reading "Buffy," at the front register, and pay for it. While scanning your purchase, Buffy will invariably ask you, "Did you find everything okay?" If you want to be a real smartass, you can answer, "Well, Buffy... I can't figure out for the life of me, why you have the Tasty Au Jus in the Jelly Aisle," leaving Buffy with a very confused look on her face, and giving yourself a cheap chuckle as you walk out. NOTE: Don't ever try sneaking it out under your coat! Buffy will tackle you to the ground in a heatbeat! After all, you wouldn't want your Big Bad Cellmate in that "Maximum Security Prison," to find out the real reason you're doing time, is for "boosting" a delicate French Beef Sauce!!!
 
● Drive home. If there's snow on the road from that damnable storm, drive extra carefully. Park in your driveway. Don't forget to set the brake, shut off the engine, and take the keys out of the ignition! Also undo your lap belt, or you'll be stuck in that freakin' car the rest of the winter!
 
● When ready to serve, open the damn can, and pour the contents into a small saucepan (which hopefully, you had the foresight to already place on a burner). Heat the Tasty Au Jus up to a nice simmer. Throw the empty damn can away. Or better yet, use a Recycle Bin. (You do have a Recycle Bin, don't you?)

HELPFUL TIP: If you had the foresight to save any of the pan drippings from the Prime Rib, feel free to add some to the Tasty Au Jus at this point. You can also throw in a little wine.
 
● Serve the Tasty Au Jus alongside the Prime Rib... preferably in that cute little China Gravy Bowl, (you know... the one that annoyingly plays "It's A Small World," every time you pick it up) you received as a Wedding Present, and never had any use for until today!
 
I raise my glass to you, my Gentle Readers! Congratulations on your newfound cooking skill!
 
(Drains his Mimosa, and smashes the empty glass into the fireplace with a loud, "Oopah!")
 
Your Best Friend In Cooking,
The Soused Chef


We off the web now?



Good. I need a Drink!



Hey! Is that stormy weather brewing outside?

Vootie.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cooking Prime Rib - Part One



Press the play button to hear the music and sing along!



Well, Hello all you Happy People, from me... "The Soused Chef!"

(Already "half-soused," and hoisting his 32-ounce plastic "Big Gulp" cup filled to the brim with fine Wine, toasts his Gentle Readers.)

I can actually see you through your computer screens! Scary, huh? Just be careful where you get dressed... I mean... well... if videos start mysteriously popping up on "YouTube..." I don't know a thing about it!!!

Anyhoo, With "Old Man Winter" finally here, some of you will be facing (or have already faced,) the inevitable "Old Man Winter Snow."
 
It also means, that those pesky "Holiday Seasons" are fast approaching!

(Thinking back to bitter remembrances of past "Holidays From Hell," quickly sudders... and takes a really stiff drink of fine Wine out of "Big Gulp.")

So... why not treat Yourself, and your Guests to something really special this year?
Tell them to stay the hell away!!!

(Chugs the last of his fine Wine... thinking, "Man, I know a lot of people!)

But... if you absolutely insist on feeding those ingrates that you got stuck with, and now have to call "family," out of some warped sense of duty, one of my favorites, that I love to make and eat, is "Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus!" Now, for those of you who have never attempted this delicious selection, let me assure you... THIS IS AS SIMPLE AS SHOVELING SNOW!!!

Well... maybe not all that simple... but simple enough!

Prime Rib refers to the "King" of Beef Cuts. As Michael Flatley is to "The Lord Of The Dance," this is "The Lord Of The Roasts." (Excepting of course, your Roast can't "Irish Step Dance!")

Yes, my friends... THIS is the "Famous Standing Prime Rib Roast!"

"Standing," because in order to cook it properly, you have to be standing!

(He frantically begins searching for a bottle of Vodka that his best friend "The Fox," has cleverly hidden, in order to "mess with his head." Finally locating it in the "relatively unused" dishwasher alongside a half-empty bottle of Vermouth, he discovers an accompanying note reading, "BwahaHA! T.F.," and a crudely drawn picture of a hand holding up a middle finger.)

Sorry folks. He's been pulling that crap, ever since he yelled at me for drinking all the vodka, that he keeps buying for when he visits.

(Collecting his thoughts.)

Ahem. You simply position the Roast on its own Rib Bones in the Roasting Pan. Isn't that cool? THIS damn thing comes with its own Rack! Sure saves a trip across town to Wal-Mart! (Especially if you live somewhere where there's a lot of snow.) That alone, should be worth the price of admission!

Estimate Two People served for every Rib... or ONE "Fat Uncle Louie," served per entire Roast!

Now, just because you are ordering a Prime Rib Roast, doesn't mean that you're actually getting USDA Prime. This is important! Most "Prime Ribs" we get from market are actually USDA "Choice Quality." That's one step up from the crappy grade they serve in Maximum Security Prisons! So as consumers, we wind up getting screwed over as always!

(Pours a nicely chilled Martini into a crystal glass with a twist of lemon peel.)

You may, in fact ultimately wind up with something slightly tenderer than "Beef Jerky," effectively pissing off your entire Family, and quite possibly causing your "Better Half" to seriously start considering divorce proceedings...

(Thinking back to his past three divorces, lets out a deep sigh, and downs a BIG sip of his Martini, getting the lemon peel lodged between his teeth.)

If you want "USDA Prime Rib," which has more fat marbling throughout the meat, and which can easily cost 50% more per pound, you will likely need to "special order" it from your Butcher, or better yet... Online!

Now, I'm not a paid Spokesperson for OMAHA STEAKS, but it seems every time I mention OMAHA STEAKS, a nice Package of Frozen Meat "mysteriously appears" on my doorstep within three days (even if it's snowing)! I have ordered from OMAHA STEAKS before, and have never been disppointed. Yeah... at $139 a pop, (plus shipping) it's pricey. So what? Aren't you worth it???I say, screw the "Kids' College Fund," and live for LIFE, you betcha!

(Gives a little "Sarah Palin condescending wink," and toasts Gentle Readers with his Martini. Finishing it, he pours another.)

END OF PART ONE.

Join us for Part 2, wherein "The Soused Chef," finally gets around to actually making the Prime Rib Roast, and also gives his top-secret recipe for Au Jus!

Vootie.

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