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Posts from the ‘Beer’ Category

Well, well, well… (remember me?)


This poor little blog has been neglected the last couple of months by yours truly.  Blame my new job!  I’ve been traveling like crazy and have hardly been home to cook.  So to talk you into sticking around…here’s as much of a post as I can get out there.

Let’s start with the most recent addition to our kitchen…

For my birthday, Woody gave me a baking steel, from Modernist Cuisine. Which is very cute and thoughtful…he really knows the way to my heart.  It’s through Pizza!  And a couple of nights ago…the first time, we’ve both been in town at the same time in weeks, we made one of these…

…actually we made two…and left only crumbs!

This is the closest we have come to making Neapolitan style pizzeria pizza, with a blistered crust, fresh buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil.  I can’t wait to have it again!

I recently taught a 10 day course in Chico, CA and during a free afternoon, found myself touring the Sierra Nevada Brewery, which of course finishes with a tasting.  The hoppier the beer the better!  I loved the Hoptimum – it has an IBU (International Bitterness Unit) 100.  And their dry hop cold storage room smelled amazing!

Their operation is impressive, even more so because of their emphasis on being green! (Large solar array, hydrogen fuel cells, water treatment plant, etc.)  I really enjoyed Chico…quite a fun little town.  Of particular note is Chico Chai, Avocado Peach Margaritas at this place, and breakfast at Cafe Coda.

Feeling like something on the lighter side…

I experimented with a cold Soba noodle salad with seared tofu, sautéed mushrooms, steamed broccoli and fresh snow peas with a carrot, ginger miso dressing.  It needs a little tweaking, but certainly filled our bellies!

In early May, I had a craving for Chicken Tortilla Soup and whipped this up!

Those are house-fried tortilla strips on top, and the bowl is not ready until you’ve squeezed some fresh lime juice over the top and added fresh avocado as well!

Woody ordered some chile powders from New Mexico and was intrigued by this Blue Corn Pancake Mix.  We threw a batch together one morning, and can now speak from experience…it’s delicious!

Reaching way back (like late April), we made this awesome salad with roasted golden beets, fresh hazelnuts from Oregon, bacon and goat cheese!

I’m about to hit the road again tomorrow and I’ll be gone until the end of June.  I’m SOOOOO looking forward to July, summer produce at the farmer’s market, time to cook, patio sitting and a few slow weeks!

Until July…

Cheers!

 

Black IPA and Heirloom Salsa


The month of May makes me think of sitting outdoors, enjoying the lingering light of the still somewhat cool evenings, having a beer and noshing on some chips and salsa.  What better way to do all of this than with a delicious Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and some homemade chips and heirloom tomato salsa from one of our favorites…Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock.

The word salsa almost lacks any kind of specificity…it can mean anything.  This is a perfect variation of unadulterated flavors.  Heirloom tomatoes, cilantro, diced onions peppers.  A little heat, but mostly crisp and fresh tastes of summer!

Beer.  I’m partial to IPA.  I like me some hops.  This takes me overboard.  It’s black as night without any hint of chewyness, it’s hoppy and oh so good!  It might just be my favorite beer of the moment.  It has the right match of malt and hops, along with some noticeably different floral notes.

It’s not for the faint of heart…as the alcohol is 8.7%.  An added benefit, we can find it on draught at Lucky’s up the street.

What dishes make your feel like summer has arrived?

Welsh Rarebit


You may have never heard of such a dish, but Welsh Rarebit was a standard (although not super-frequent) dinner when I was growing up.  First, I thought the name was amusing and goofy…like when children eat pasghetti and meatballs for dinner…and on top of it…even if it was called Welsh Rabbit instead, it was very confusing because there is no rabbit or meat involved in the dish whatsoever.  It is a dinner version of the typical ploughman’s lunch of cheddar and chutney with bread.  And the best and simplest explanation is straight from Wikipedia…”It might also be understood as a slur against the Welsh: if a Welshman went rabbit hunting, this would be his supper.”  Ha!

Woody has been asking me to make Welsh Rarebit for quite a while now…and if I am being totally honest…it is not one of my favorite dishes.  I’ve tried and tried and it just isn’t friends with my taste buds.  But I knew it was a dish that Woody would adore!  We compared recipes, and Alton Brown’s is shockingly similar to my family recipe and we went with his version – thinking it would be much easier for all you readers to get your hands on, if you are so inspired.

Alton Brown’s Welsh Rarebit

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup porter beer
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) shredded Cheddar
  • 2 drops hot sauce
  • 4 slices toasted rye bread

Directions

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add beer and whisk to combine. Pour in cream and whisk until well combined and smooth.

Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and sauce is smooth; this will take 4 to 5 minutes. Add hot sauce.

Pour over toast and serve immediately.

Next time:  Buck Rarebit – same dish…but add a poached egg!

Beer Review: Stone Vertical Epic


Epic Fail:  Drinking this shortly after purchasing it.  Potential epic win – what it could have tasted like if we had waited until December of 2012.

So the original idea was bottle conditioned ale, 1 batch made per year with each successive batch made 1 year, 1 month, and 1 day after the previous beer.

All of them designed to be enjoyed sometime after December 12, 2012.  This ale is also brewed with Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes as well as Chamomile.

We weren’t sure what to expect…the beer was incredibly floral, very acidic with absolutely no hop…which, to be totally transparent…is frequently what I enjoy in beers.  The hoppier the better!  Woody’s comments included sweet notes, and a bit soft.  It’s hard to imagine that after another two years of bottle conditioning that the beer would sharpen up.

Ultimately, this was not my favorite beer, but I do love me some Stone Brewery though…and I’ll continue to try anything new we see on the shelves and support the little guys!

 

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