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

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!

  • 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
  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...



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!


• 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.)


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




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