Sunday, February 17, 2013

Framboise Poached Pears With Mascarpone

I've made this a few times and each time my guests moan. Weird? Nah. It's just that delicious. Poaching these pears in the raspberry beer makes them soft and adds a new layer of flavor. Make the poaching liquid into a syrup and serve with a little mascarpone cheese and it's out of this world. It's a good idea to make this dessert in advance too because you want to serve cold.

Pair this awesome dessert with an imperial stout. The rich, chocolately, roasty, and sweet stout would work wonders with the pear and raspberry.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Bosc pears, firm with a little give
1 355ml bottle of Lindemans Framboise lambic ale (raspberry)
2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
3 allspice berries
1 tsp of coriander seeds, cracked
pinch of nutmeg
A couple tablespoons of mascarpone cheese for plating

With a small 1/4 sized teaspoon, scoop out the seeds of the pear through the bottom. Then peel the pear.
Put the pears and spices in a pan or sauce pan. Then pour the lambic ale and OJ slowly over the pears. Add in the sugar and stir.

Turn the heat to high and bring to an almost boil. Once it gets there, turn back down to medium, and simmer for 15-18min, leaving the pears at rest. When that time is up, turn the pears over and simmer another 15-18min.

When pears are done, take out and place in a bowl, and set in fridge to cool. While the pears are cooling, bring the liquid in the pan to a slow boil, and reduce to an almost syrup consistency. Liquid should coat back of a spoon. When to desired consistency, pour liquid through a strainer into a bowl and let cool in the fridge. 

When dinner is over, pull out two plates. Place some mascarpone cheese in middle of the bowl. Place a pear on top of the cheese and pour the "syrup" over it all. Truly awesome!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beer and Lamb Stroganoff

This aint the stuff out of the box! The earthy tones of this style of beer, lamb, and mushrooms really work well together. Toss in the savory herbs and spices and noodles, and POW! You got yourself some beer stroganoff.

Great Divide Brewing “Claymore Scotch Ale”. Pours a dark reddish brown with a light head. Aromas of smoke and peat and caramel are right up front. Very nice. Great body as it’s going down. Lighter on the smoke and peat in the taste than the nose suggests. Good malty sweetness, but very balanced and not overly sweet. A bit bready and hint touch of toffee. A faint hint of cherries and a touch of hops in the finish as well. 7.7% abv

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)
1lb of lamb, ground
1 12oz bottle scotch ale/wee heavy
1 cup beef broth
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground sage
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 12oz bag of wide egg noodles
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

In a large pan or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add in some olive oil and brown the meat. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper to the meat while browning. Once browned, drain, and set aside.

Place pan back on stove and add in 1 tbsp of butter and toss in onions and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for roughly 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more until fragrant.

Add in the beer, stock, rosemary, thyme, sage, paprika, and bay leaf. And add back the meat. Bring to a quick boil, then turn temp back down to medium-low and let simmer, partly covered, for an hour.
Taste. Add salt and pepper. Taste again. Adjust anything else as you want it. Then add in the mushrooms. Cook another 20 min, covered.

While the mushrooms are cooking and soaking up some of that amazing broth, cook your noodles according to package. When done, place noodles in a bowl, and toss in the remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Turn off heat and stir in the greek yogurt. Place noodles on the plate, pour the lamb on top, and serve with some crusty bread.
Pair with a scotch ale, dubbel, American or English brown ale, or even an Irish stout. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shrimp Skewers with Spicy IPA Vinaigrette

I've made this several times and it's fantastic. Great as an appetizer or even dinner, this simple recipe is quick to make. Spicy and delicious, but not too hot. Pair this with an IPA, pale ale, or saison!

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and de-veined
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp fresh ground coriander
2-3 tbsp fresh thyme, light chop
2 habanero peppers, quartered and stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup India Pale Ale
Pinch of ancho chile powder
Canola oil (around 3/4 cup or more for emulsification)
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Quarter, stem, and seed the habaneros (keep a few seeds if you want a little more heat. I usually do). Toss the habanero, nectar, beer, vinegar, thyme, ancho, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a blender.

In a small pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add in the whole garlic with a pinch of salt. Toast for about 5 minutes. They should turn golden brown. Add the garlic in the blender. Puree until smooth. The color should be green. If not, add a bit more thyme until you get a nice green color. 

When the puree is smooth, slowly start adding in the canola oil and blend until emulsified.

Heat grill or grill pan on high. If using wooden skewers, then submerse the skewers in some water for about 15min. Sprinkle salt and fresh cracked black pepper over the shrimp. Toss in some canola oil. Skewer 4 shrimp per skewer (don’t want to overcrowd). Place on grill and cook around 2 min per side until cooked through. When done, plate the shrimp and pour the vinaigrette all over the shrimp and garnish with more thyme. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beer Brined and Roasted Chicken

Nothin like a simple, roasted chicken with crispy skin....unless, of course, it's gone through a brine first. Brining is a great way to pack moisture, and flavor, into meats. Try it with a whole chicken. You will definitely not be disappointed.

Ingredients for Brine:
1 whole chicken (3 to 4lbs)
3-4 bottles of pale ale (I used Sierra Nevada)
2 quarts of water (or 1 quart of water and 1 quart of ice reserved)
1 orange, halved
5 sage leaves
5 bay leaves
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp black pepper corns, crushed
couple sprigs of thyme

Ingredients for Roasting:
Kosher Salt and fresh ground black pepper
fresh chopped thyme
pinch or two of ground sage

Here is the really hard part! Put all the ingredients for the brine, minus the chicken, into a pot. Bring to a simmer for 10min. Take off heat and let it cool to room temp. Or, do what I do, and add in the other quart of ice to help it cool faster.

I like to put the brine and chicken in turkey bags, set back into the cooled pot, and surround the bird with a little ice before I set in fridge. Seems like work, but it's not, and it's a good way to keep the balance of beer and water in check by not letting the extra ice melt into the brine. Let sit in fridge for 12 hours. For super duper hoppy beers like Stouts and IPAs, I’d cut the brining time down to 6-8 hours. You don’t want the bird to taste like a stout or a pine cone.

Take bird out of brine. Rinse. Pat extremely dry inside and out with paper towels. Let sit 30-40min so it can come to room temp. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dry outside of the chicken again. The paper towel method is good way to ensure crispy brown skin. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Truss the bird for even cooking. Place on a roasting rack or a skillet. I like the skillet. Pop in oven on middle or lower-middle rack. Roast for about an hour till the bird reaches 164 degrees.

When done, take the chicken out and let rest for about 15min to allow juices to redistribute. Carve that thing up and done. Look at that skin!