Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 16-Beer and Cheddar soup

What could be better (and more sinful)than having beer soup on Sunday, accompanied by some giant salty bagels. I stopped off at Murray's Bagels on 6 ave and 13th street before my yoga class this morning.

It seemed that this was the Sunday morning hot spot, people were lined up all the way to the door. This is not the place to dilly dally and be indecisive, or you could incur the wrath of New Yorkers, with their toe tapping and loud sighing. A word of advice, you pretty much should know what you want before you walk in the door, or decide in the two-three minutes you are waiting in line. These bagels, like all New York bagels, are massive. I might even say they are almost as good as Montreal bagels.

To illustrate the difference in sizes, the bagel on the right is a Montreal bagel (courtesy of my freezer, I bring them back each trip and freeze them) and the bagel on the left is a New York bagel. Nuf said. Montreal bagels will always be my favorite, and everything else it just a substitute for the real deal.

I love them not only because I can eat them without taking in my entire daily requirements of carbohydrates, (like some bagels out there) but also I like that they are dense, flavorful and just delicious. Darien and I used to live a few blocks away from Real Bagel on St. Catherine's street, in Montreal. For the longest time, our weekend tradition was to go there, either Saturday or Sunday,and grab a few sesame seed bagels hot from the oven. Although, those bagels were really good,the best Montreal bagels come from St. Viateur.

Cheddar and beer are two things Canadians really know how to do right. I had asked Darien to pick up some Canadian beer at the store, but he got Belgium beer instead, because that is what Emeril Lagasse used in his cooking show. In any case, I think some of our breweries have been bought out by Coors now, which means they probably taste as horrible as American beer. I am sorry to offend anyone, but as a child growing up in Canada, I was constantly reminded by the television and my parents, that Canada's pride rested on it's hockey and beer reputation -and that American beer tasted like piss water (not my opinion here). Personally, I don't like beer, and I don't watch hockey. Of course if my team (the Montreal Canadians) makes it to the playoffs, I will watch a few games on t.v., and force a beer down, anything less would be un-Canadian.

Cheddar and Beer Soup
Source: Emeril Lagasse, Food Network
4 ounces butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup minced onions
1/4 cup minced celery
1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer (we used Chimay Ale)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 pound sharp cheddar, grated
green onions for garnish

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes to make a blond roux. Add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted. Stir in the beer and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the milk and cheese. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and keep warm. Garnish with green onion and grated cheddar cheese.

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