Friday, February 26, 2010

Le Cellier Cheddar Cheese Soup

In this house, we are huge Disney fans. So much so that I am sure you have seen my various Mickey Mouse measuring tools and various Disney kitchen things. Well the hubby and I now live approximately 5 minutes from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks, even though we grew up in Ohio. Yes, we love it that much!

So naturally we love the food at the Walt Disney World resort. But it can get a little pricey at times. I decided though, to see if I could dig up the recipe for one of my hubby's favorite dishes on property, Le Cellier's Cheddar Cheese Soup!

Now if you've ever tried to get a reservation at Le Cellier, the only table service restaurant in Epcot's Canada, you know that it generally sells out 120 days ahead of time! Trying to get in there is like trying to play the fiddle naked with a cheese grater.

Or something like that.

So if you'd like to get a little taste of Walt Disney World at home, just follow this surprisingly easy recipe!

Let's get started, shall we?

As you can see, there are quite a few ingredients to this one. Everything from bacon to carrots to beer?! Yes, that's right. Beer.

Moosehead Lager to be exact. A really nice Canadian beer. You could use other types of beer for this, sure. But why would you want to? The Moosehead beer is what Le Cellier uses, and that's what we're going to use here!

Let's prep our ingredients first.

We need to finely chop about 3 carrots, or 1/2 cup.

Then a 1/2 cup of finely chopped celery...

And 1 medium red onion chopped into 1/4 inch pieces.

Go ahead and place all of this in a bowl together... and admire the pretty colors for a few minutes.

Then set it aside.

Seriously, that is pretty colors!

Okay anyway, now go ahead and chop up your bacon. Chances are you are going to get a pound of bacon and each strip will be 1 ounce.

You can measure this if you'd like to make sure, but really 4 strips of bacon will be more than enough.

Go ahead and set your bacon aside as well. You're going to want to get out a bowl now, because it's time to grate your cheese!

If you get a normal 8 ounce block of extra sharp white cheddar, then you're going to be grating 1 and 1/2 blocks, or 12 ounces.

Go ahead and set your bowl of cheese in the fridge. You actually aren't going to be needing it for a little while.

Now, get out your big stock pot. I like mine, it's stainless steel.

Now throw in your bacon. You're going to cook this until it's wilted, not crisp.

It will look a little like this:

Then go ahead and throw your veggie mix on top. Let it cook stirring occasionally. Here is where you're going to let that bacon crisp and those veggies to cook down.

It is going to look something like this...

Delicious! Now go ahead and sprinkle in your 3 Tablespoons of flour...

And stir to coat everything. Now you are going to want to stir this consistently over medium heat for 2 minutes.

If you stop stirring the flour will burn and that would be a bad thing!

Now once those 2 minutes are up, pour in about half of your chicken stock. But keep stirring!

Now pour in about half of your whole milk, and keep stirring!

Now add the other half of the chicken stock, stir and the other half of the milk, stir. Make sure there are no lumps in your soup, and stir until everything is combined.

It will look similar to this...

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.

It's gonna start smelling good though. I'm warning you!

Now once that 15 minutes is up, immediately remove this from the heat.

Now comes the good part! Go ahead and add in your 1/2 cup room temp beer (Drink the rest if you must but I like my beer cold!)...

1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire...

3 good dashes of Tabasco...

And your cheese!

Salt and pepper to taste...

And mix it all together until silky smooth.

And that's about it! Soups on!

Now me personally... I like to add pretzels on the side for the bread as a further tribute to Le Cellier's pretzel breadsticks they serve at the beginning of your meal.

Oh yes. Soup's on!

Le Cellier Cheddar Cheese Soup
Courtesy of Epcot


1/4 lb. smoked bacon finely chopped
1 medium red onion cut into 1/4 in. pieces
1/2 cup finely sliced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
3 TB all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups chicken stock
12 oz. grated white cheddar, Canadian Black Diamond
3 dashes Tabasco
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Moosehead Canadian Ale, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB thinly sliced chives

Cook the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed, non-reactive soup pot over medium heat until wilted but not browned. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook until the onion is translucent and bacon has crisped.

Sprinkle in flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and stock, a little at a time, blending well to ensure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire and ale. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with your favorite bread and top with chopped chives.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday's Post

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to throw a quick update your way. Today's post is going to be delayed until tomorrow because I am severely sick. Not even joking, I can barely hold my head up (smartphones are a spectaular thing... I am making this post from bed!) so hopefully tomorrow will look better.

Thank you for checking in though, and I can promise you that the post going up tomorrow is going to be more than worth it!!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Easy Cheddar Biscuits

I dub this week cheese week! I know I've been hitting you guys up with a lot of different sweet stuff lately, so just for a little bit of a change this week we're doing some good cheese dishes!

And I know it's easy to just go buy some biscuits in a can... just pop it open and put it on the cookie sheet. But I have to tell you, homemade biscuits are absolutely delicious. You can flavor them in so many different ways... cheese, chives, garlic... you name it!

And they're super easy too! Don't believe me?

Well let's get started, shall we?

I actually had to go out and purchase cream of tartar for this, because I didn't seem to have any in my cupboard. But everything else is pretty standard for a baking cupboard. Flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and butter.

This first thing we want to do is actually cut our half stick of butter into cubes...

Plop the cubes on a plate...

And stick that in the fridge!

Cold butter makes your biscuits flaky, and I know every Canadian ever just rejoiced about our choice of beer.

I like drinking good Canadian Beer during the Winter Olympics hosted by... Canada. Okay??

Now you're going to measure out one cup of flour, lightly fluffed (not packed).

And add 2 teaspoons of baking powder...

1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar...

1/4 teaspoon sugar...

And 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

I dump everything into a bowl and fluff it all together with a wire whisk, until it's nicely combined.

Then we're going to throw in our very cold butter. Make sure that butter is seriously cold, this will make for a nice flaky biscuit!

Now I'm not even going to lie. I don't have a pastry cutter. I haven't ever thought about purchasing one, it has never crossed my mind.

So I do what many people do... the two knives trick!

Just cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have something resembling a course crumb mixture.

Then throw in your 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese...

And slowly add in 1/3 of a cup of milk, stirring in between pours.

Soon you're going to get a nice dough going. Go ahead and stop once you do, you don't want to over mix biscuit dough!

Now go ahead and put your dough on a lightly floured surface...

And kneed it until it's smooth and combined. Really, about 10 kneeds should do it. If you overkneed your dough it's going to be a much tougher biscuit and no one really wants that.

Now from here I go a little unconventional. Just because I don't like biscuit scraps.

Go ahead and form your dough into about a 6 inch square.

Then cut into 9 squares.

This makes sure you use all of your dough, leaving behind none of the scraps a conventional cutter would leave.

Of course if you like the rounder biscuits you are more than welcome to go ahead and do that instead!

Now just spray your cookie sheet...

And place those biscuits on there, baking at 450 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes!

Just... don't be like me and forget you have them in the oven.

They're not burnt. But they're certainly not slightly brown either.

But I don't care what anyone says.

They are still delicious!!

Easy Cheddar Biscuits

1 cup flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut up
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Mix flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in Cheddar cheese. Add milk; stir until mixture forms soft dough.

Place on lightly floured surface; knead 8 to 10 times or until smooth. Pat out dough into 6-inch square. Cut into nine squares. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown.

Serves 9.
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