I was hoping to find a full flavored fondue using beer as part of it's base. When you have an idea of what you hope to find, it can help or hinder your search. In this case, the search was spot on. Thanks to "Chompin the Big Apple" blog for making our holidays just a little bit better--as far as food goes. :)
Gruyère Ale Fondue (found here)
2 Tbsp butter 2 C Gruyère cheese, grated
1 Clove garlic, minced 1 C Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbsp flour
1 1/3 C beer
Chopped vegetables, bread, etc. for dipping
Toss the grated Gruyère and Parmesan with the flour and set aside. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute, being careful not to burn. Add the beer and the Worcestershire sauce and turn up the heat to medium hight and cook until it just begins to boil. Turn the heat back down to medium/medium low. Add the cheese and stir slowly until the cheese melts. Try not to over stir as this will cause the cheese to seize up. Serve in a fondue pot as soon as the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
I'm not sure who had the bug to make chili (probably food smart Jonathon), but it was a good one. Not only is it a hearty dish for cold winter evenings, but it's versatile. Especially if you get an urge for chili dogs. :) Perhaps this recipe is what gave J the idea? If so, thank you recipe!!
Our Favorite Chili ( Cook's Illustrated Jan & Feb 2011)
Be sure and check out the link above (in parenthesis). Many good tips and step by step pics are included.
Serves 6 to 8. Published January 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
A 4-pound chuck-eye roast, well trimmed of fat, can be substituted for the steak. Because much of the chili flavor is held in the fat of this dish, refrain from skimming fat from the surface. Wear gloves when working with both dried and fresh chiles. Dried New Mexican or guajillo chiles make a good substitute for the anchos; each dried árbol may be substituted with 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. If you prefer not to work with any whole dried chiles, the anchos and árbols can be replaced with 1/2 cup commercial chili powder and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, though the texture of the chili will be slightly compromised. Good choices for condiments include diced avocado, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, lime wedges, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. The chili can be made up to 3 days in advance.
1/2 pound dried pinto beans (about 1 cup), rinsed and picked over
6 dried ancho chiles (about 1 3/4 ounces), stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces (see note)
2-4 dried árbol chiles , stems removed, pods split, and seeds removed (see note)
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium onions , cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 small jalapeño chiles , stems and seeds removed and discarded, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons light molasses
3 1/2 pounds blade steak , 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (see note)
1 (12-ounce) bottle mild-flavored lager , such as Budweiser
1. Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 4 quarts water, and beans in large Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.
2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place ancho chiles in 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if chiles begin to smoke. Transfer to bowl of food processor and cool. Do not wash out skillet.
3. Add árbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor with toasted ancho chiles; process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup broth until smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer paste to small bowl. Place onions in now-empty processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalapeños and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, tomatoes, and molasses; stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups broth and drained beans; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add ½ bottle lager to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil, steak, and lager. Once last addition of lager has been added to Dutch oven, stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.
6. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat and beans are fully tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Let chili stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir well and season to taste with salt before serving.