Tuesday, October 30, 2012
All that I love best about fall.
This recipe is sort of a garbage casserole. Really. Anything goes. Particularly if it is starchy. Throw it in. The end result will probably be tastier than you expected.
3 Tbsp butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, whites sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup apple cider (NOT hard cider)
1 1/2 cups beer
3-4 small russet potatoes,cubed or quartered
2-3 red potatoes, cubed or quartered
1 small sweet potato, cubed
2-3 small turnips, cubed or qaurter4ed
2-3 carrots, cut into 1 inch coins
2-3 parsnips, cut into 1 inch coins
1-2 radishes, quartered
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic and leeks until the garlic is fragrant the leeks are tender, 5-7 minutes. Pour in the cider and beer, deglazing the bottom of the pan.
Add the vegetables and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid reduced by about one third.
Serve hot with cheddar and ale biscuits.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Last year we brewed a pumpkin ale via an extract kit. The recipe provided alternative directions for brewing the beer with added mashed pumpkin. Still feeling like novices, Ross and I opted for the simpler route.
This year we upped the ante. Two extract kits were purchased. One we brewed as is. The second batch had the additions of mashed pumpkin and 3 more pounds of grain (that's quite a bit to steep in our 5 gallon pot!)
So far both worts appear much the same. The taste comparison in six weeks should be interesting.
After the wort was strained I was left with well over three cups of mashed pumpkin infused with barley notes from the boil. Rather than see that all go to waste, I'm made quick work of it...turning the pulp into two loaves of pumpkin bread.
The title is perhaps a wee bit misleading, as no actual beer was used in the making of this recipe. But, waste not, want not. Perhaps the next batch of pumpkin bread will enjoy a little leavening from our very own pumpkin brew.
Any pumpkin puree would do in the recipe.
adapted from Elise's recipe at Simply Recipes
yields two loaves
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp baksing soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 cups pumpkin puree
Preheat the oven to 350. Throughly grease two 9x5x3 loaf pans and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk by hand until well incorporated. (do not worry about over mixing if you are doing this by hand...it is a lot harder to do than you'd think!)
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in to the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool at least thirty minutes before slicing.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A perfect storm...
adapted from Jackie at the Beeroness
yields approximately 10 biscuits
1 large sweet potato, cooked, peeled and mashed (about 3/4 cup)
2/3 cup ale (pumpkin, Oktoberfest or hefenweizen)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup chilled butter (1 stick) cubed
additional butter, melted, for brushing
for the maple sage butter
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1-2 sage leaves, finely minced
1 tsp pure maple syrup.
Preheat the oven to 425
In a medium bowl, mash the beer and sweet potato together until well combined.
In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers add the butter, mixing and cutting until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the sweet potato mixture to the flour and mix until just combined. Using well floured hands, roll the dough into a ball and turn out onto a well floured work surface. Flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle about 6x14-inches and about 1 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured knife, divide the dough into 10 equal rectangles. Transfer the biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush generously with melted butter.
Meanwhile, mash remaining butter, sage and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Form into a small pad and chill until ready to use.
Serve the biscuits warm with flavored butter.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
This recipe was served alongside yesterday's curried squash as part of a beer paring assignment. While the curry was stellar on its own, I rarely turn up the opportunity to actually COOK with the beer. Upping the ante a bit for the homework, I incorporated the beer of choice directly into the recipe.
Brooklyn's Post Road Pumpkin Ale:
I used whole cardamom pods in this recipe, but feel free to substitute the ground spice instead. Start with 1 1/2 tsp and adjust to your liking.
the recipe is my own
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 - inch knob of fresh ginger, minced
1 black cardamom pod
6-8 green cardamom pods
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
10 oz pumpkin ale
Dry roast the caradmom pods in a small skillet over high heat, until lightly toasted and very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Once cool, coasrely crush with the side of a knife or with a mortar and pestle. Combine all of the marinade ingredients into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the chicken. Refridgerate and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour (mine bathed in the beer for almost seven).
Preheat the broiler or grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the marinade. Grill the chicken for 10-15 minutes, or until no longer pink, turning once (internal temperature should read 170F). Serve.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
At our last beer session, we were treated to five samples. The one that struck me the most was Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale. As with most pumpkin ales, a heavy spice hit the nose first. I braced myself for another cloyingly sweet, wannabe pumpkin pie concoction and was humbled and shamed by what I actually tasted. First the spice hit my tongue, but not the typical pumpkin pie spice...it was warm, and familiar. The flavor lingered and danced on the tip of my tongue, toying and teasing...not quite being placed. Another sip in...cardamom. Oh, cinnamon and nutmeg joined the pas de trio, but the cardamom was star. Supported by a dry, malty backbone, I was in pure heaven. And had a serious craving for curry.
Thus this recipe was born.
Sadly, Weyberbacher was not to be had. However a similarly spiced and not overly sweet ale found its way into it's place...Brooklyn's Post Road Pumpkin Ale.
I had many squash on hand to choice from. A buttery and tender acorn squash. Robust, but mild pumpkin. Slightly sweet butternut. Nutty and melt in you mouth red kuri...
Served on its own, or with a hearty piece or two of naan to sop up the sauces, this dish makes for a wonderful fall meal.
the recipe is my own
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1 red onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2" knob of fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 vegetable or chicken stock
1 - 15 oz can coconut milk
8 cups dished squash (pumpkin, acorn, red kuri, butternut and delicacta ...)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil or ghee in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger. Saute until until soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garam maslam and stir until well combined.
Friday, October 19, 2012
My fall back became to roast them with garlic, peppers and onions and blend the mixture into an wonderfully rich sauce. I got into the habit of slicing up as many tomatoes I had to fill up two baking dishes. Whatever vegetables I deemed worthy would join the mix...usually onions, peppers, once or twice a carrot. The occasional small eggplant. Maybe some zucchini. Herbs I played fast and loose with too. And the wine? Usually a dry white, but a red occasionally made a nice change of pace. And in the end I stopped bothering with that whole seeding and skinning business. The immersion blender blade did a fair job of getting the skins stuck up in it, so I never bothered trying to strain out the few that didn't managed to get jammed. And the seeds? Well, I'm lazy and the texture and flavor they added didn't bother me in the slightest. The only thing I made certain to do was salt it well. I had a tendency to go a little to easy on the salt early on...
I believe I needn't worry about open a store bought jar of sauce for many, many more months...
adapted from Alton Brown
yields about 4-5 cups
15-20 fresh tomatoes. Romas work best
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
several sprigs of thyme
several fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and cram into two 9x13 inch pans. Divide the onions, peppers garlic and herbs evenly between the two pans. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about two hours. Increase the oven temperature to 400 and bake an additional thirty minutes.
Scrap the roasted tomatoes and veggies into a large stock pot along with the wine. Heat over medium-high heat, bringing to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring continually, for 10 minutes. Blend to a puree using an immersion blender directly in the pot, or transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with addition salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with your favorite pasta, ladle into plastic to freeze for later, or jar and process in a pressure cooker to preserve in the pantry.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
You can thank Jackie at the Beeroness. I adore her so....
As per usual, I attempted to track down her beer recommendation, but only with moderate success. She based the French toast on Stone's Vanilla bean Smoked Porter.
Ross and I hit up our favorite local liquor store and their stellar craft brew selection. We were mildly let down. On hand was a bottle of Stone's Smoked Porter, but not the vanilla bean edition. (after poking around a little more I discovered this same porter was also brewed with chipotle...oh the fiesta we could have!)
I grabbed the bottle, my mind a whirl about how to up the vanilla essence without detracting from the smoky beer notes. Lost in thought, I almost passed up the vanilla imbided beer sitting next to the porter...Abita's Vanilla Doubledog...a 25th anniversary beer based on their Turbo dog. I almost squirreled the beer away to enjoy by myself, french toast be damned!
I'm glad I didn't
Each beer offered a unique taste, and I am wary to pick a favorite. You'll have to decide for yourself. The Stone offered a deeper more rounded flavor...calling to mind campfires and toasted marshmallow. The Abita was a sweeter variation.
adapted from the Beeroness
The Ingredients1 cup milk
2/3 cup porter or dark ale with caramel notes
1/2 cup vanilla sugar*
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract**
2 tbs butter (plus additional as needed)
1 large loaf of crusty Italian bread, cut into 1 inch thick slices
*vanilla sugar is simply sugar that has shared a container with a vanilla bean or two. cooking with vanilla pods, instead of tossing the spent pod, I allow it to dry and then stick into an mason jar full of sugar. Within a few days the sugars takes on a wonderfully rich vanilla flavor
**if you do happen to find a beer with vanilla essence, reduce the extract to 1 tsp.
The ProcessHeat a large skillet over medium high heat, and add enough oil or butter to well coat the surface.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, beer, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
One at a time, dip the bread into the batter, thoroughly coating both sides. Add to the skillet and fry, flipping once, until golden brown, (2-3 minutes per side). Keep warm in a pre-heated oven and repeat with remaining bread. Serve warm. With Bacon.