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Category Archives: Beer & Food

Beer recipes and pairings.

Brux

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Hola fellow beer drinkers, we are gathered here today to talk about the recent bottle of suds I explored, Brux, as in the Brettanomyces Bruxellensis yeast (don’t name your kid that!). Brux is a Belgian-style ale collaboration between Russian River Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing and I’m sure all of you are acquainted with these two breweries. Russian River Brewing continues to be highly regarded among craft beer circles whereas Sierra Nevada Brewing’s success at times gets them brushed as a macro brewer. I enjoy drinking beers from both breweries, in fact I like that Sierra Nevada is so accessible and I can walk into any grocer and pick up a case or six of their beers. Russian River beers on the other hand, can be a pain in the ass to find because of their limited availability and distribution.

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The ale had a very simple aroma of citrus and banana mixed with the wild yeast funk. An aromatically pleasing ale that has a refreshing sip of bright citrus notes with banana and pear flavors, these last two add subtle hints of sweetness. You also get a bit of a grassy flavor with enough tartness to finish the sip; very enjoyable. The ale’s moderate carbonation wraps your tongue in all those pleasing flavors I describe. I enjoyed drinking this beer very much and turned out to be a nice pairing with the dinner I made that day. I have additional pictures below.

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This Belgian-style ale has nice bright flavors, but nothing too overpowering and can easily be paired with lots of your home made dishes. For dinner this day I made a balsamic vinegar roasted chicken and a side dish of roasted root vegetables seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary, a very earthy dish that married well with the ale flavors. Overall the beer had great flavors but I was left hanging, wishing, waiting for those faint notes of pear and banana to crash the party. Four Beer Caps, it’s almost an excellent beer and I shall be buying one to cellar; let’s see if age will grant the extra Beer Cap.

Rating4

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Beer & Food, Empty Bottles

 

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Negra Modelo & Shrimp Tacos

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Negra Modelo is a Vienna lager-style beer made by Grupo Modelo and in produccion since 1926; first brewed by Austrian Immigrants. Negra Modelo has become one of Mexico’s popular beers next to Corona, the latter being one of my least favorite and one I drank for years. This beer is one of my favorite Mexican beers and I like to pair it with Mexican dishes. Mexico is currently experiencing a craft beer renaissance, if we can call it that, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those beers brewed in that country. I’ve contemplated a trip to Tijuana just to get a few of those beers; maybe one of these days.

The pictures above and below are of a panko breaded shrimp taco, a recipe I put together with a delicious chipotle cream sauce; keep reading for the beer review and recipe.

The beer has a nice funky yeast aroma mixed with malt. The body of the beer is light, watery if you will.  In the sip  you’ll taste a bit of  citrus, biscuit and malt with a faint hop aftertaste . Carbonation in the beer is light and coats the tongue. The alcohol is so low for the beer, that you don’t get to taste or smell it, making it easy quaff down a few. It’s a good tasting beer, nothing fantastic, but as I mentioned above, it’s one of my favorites and if you’ve never had it, I’m sure you’ll like it. This is also safe beer you can bring to a backyard boogie, I’m sure you’re neighbor wont mind a six or case of it.  Don’t forget to grab your sombrero!

Three Beer Caps on the Kalifornia Beer Scale.

Chipotle Crema

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Shrimp Taco Recipe:

I’ll assume most of you already know how to bread shrimp, just add panko for my version of the taco. If you can find La Tortilla Factory tortillas, I recommend you buy them, they are like handmade! If you’d like the recipe for the shrimp, leave me a comment and I’ll update the post with it.

You’ll need three shrimp per taco, so keep this in mind when making the panko breaded shrimp; below is the recipe and the rest of the ingredients.

1 can of chipotle in adobo sauce 7oz
1 container of Cacique crema 17 oz
2 to 4 tablespoons of brown sugar – depending on taste
1/2 a cucumber sliced – more depending on total of tacos
1 bunch of cilantro
1 avocado sliced
Tortillas

For the chipotle crema:

In a bowl add half of the creama, about 1 cup.

Open the can of chipotle and drain about 3/4 of the adobo sauce and mix with the crema.

With a knife, carefully half the chipotles and try to scrape out as many seeds as possible; be gentle with the chipotle as they can tear easily.  After seeding, chop length an crosswise, they’ll become like a paste and add to the bowl with crema and adobo.

Add 2 Tb of brown sugar to the bowl and mix all ingredients.

Sometimes the chipotles can be spicy other times just sweet, add a few pinches of salt and taste the cream sauce.  If you like how everything tastes you don’t have to add more brown sugar, but if it’s still too spicy, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons to balance the flavors.  Depending on how it tastes to you, you might need to add more crema.

Putting the taco together:

After heating tortillas, add 2 slices of cucumber, 2 slice of avocado , 3 shrimp, drizzle the chipotle cream sauce, and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro. ENJOY!

*If you can’t find the cacique brand, any Mexican sour cream will do.  You might end up with extra cream sauce, store in fridge and you can use it for breaded or grilled fish tacos too; the possibilities are endless!

Throw one back for me with each taco bite ~ cheers!

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Beer & Food

 

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Abita Amber and A Po’boy

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post an entry where I list a recipe and pictures to go with it. Just like most of the beer folks out there, I have a beer with my dinner. I sometimes cook a meal with a beer in mind and other times, I open the fridge and grab whatever is stocked in the ice box. I asked the family what they would like for me to cook over the weekend and immediately the wife said, Po’boys! It was a great idea and a good excuse to go out and grab a six of Abita to wash them po’boys down.

This Amber has sweet aromas of malt and caramel. The sip is crisp and has good flavors from the malt, just enough hop shows up to give you a bit of bitterness and balance. Nothing in the beer overpowers the flavors of the po’boy, the crisp sip is perfect for the fried shrimp and hot sauce; the flavors marry really well.

I’m giving this beer Three Beer Caps. Often times a simple beer gets a bad rap from me, but this time I like it. As with plenty of dish and wine combinations, often times you want to get something from the region, so if given the chance and availability, check out the line up from Abita when you make a dish from New Orleans or the state of Louisiana.

Step one, pour yourself a beer!

Simple Ingredients

Crunchy Skrimpseses!

Ready!

Can’t forget the hot sauce!

People in my house love the other kind of beer.

You should eye ball the recipe according to the number of po boy’s you plan to make. With the recipe below we made four po’boys. I found this easy recipe over on a blog about New Orleans cuisine; check out the site here.

Recipe:

3 Cups Vegetable Oil for Frying
1/2 Cup A.P. Flour
1/4 Cup Corn Flour (Masa Harina)
1/4 Cup Corn Meal
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning, in all
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Water
30 Shrimp

Heat the oil to 360 degrees
Season the flour with 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning in a bowl.
In another bowl, Mix the egg well with 2 Tbsp of water.
In another bowl, Mix the Corn flour and Corn Meal and the remaining 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning.

Dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour, then the egg wash, then the corn product mixture. Fry in batches in the 360 degree oil until just golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan, and let the oil come back to temperature before frying another batch.

Spread the creole mustard on a french roll, add the lettuce, tomato, shrimp and a dash of some hot sauce!

ENJOY!

Throw one back for me ~ cheers!

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Beer & Food, Empty Bottles

 

Second Annual Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

A few of the participants.

The month of Oktober came and went. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to participate in any of the LA Beer Week events, but I was still able to host the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at my place. This year I decided to have it the same day of the USC v Notre Dame football game. I and most of my friends root for the Irish, with only a few rooting for USC. It was an event full of beer and burgers and although I had fun, I think next year, we are going to host it on a day where a sporting event is not a distraction. We’ll get to sit and sip while talking about the beers and picking a definite winner like last year, oh and we can’t forget about some good food. This year for food, I decided to make a bratwurst burger with spicy kraut and gruyere cheese. They turned out to be like a slider, but it was great, we had enough food for everyone and leftovers.

I started my day with bacon preparing all the ingredients.

Just like last year, I asked everyone to bring a six pack or a few bombers of the same beer so we could all sample. This years event grew by four people, not a lot, but I think it will remain at about 11 members for the upcoming years.

Here are the burgers I made. I’ll post the recipe for the burgers below, I liked them, however I’ll say add mustard so the burger won’t be as dry. The recipe I found only asked for sauerkraut and nothing more, which made the burger buns a bit dry, however my grill skills were fantastic on the bratwurst patties no complains, haha! The event turned out great, full of friends, beer, and food – what more do you need?! I was so busy with the grill that I only managed to take pictures with my phone, but I captured the essence of event, beer, with a side of bratwurst burgers .

Bratwurst Burgers with Spicy Kraut and Gruyere.

Here are the burgers put together.

A day after; much better with mustard.

Lots of leftovers that I’m still drinking, even after people took some home.

Like I mentioned above, we didn’t sit and rate these, I handed a small paper for people to add the beer and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. You can see there were a few favorites and others where they weren’t too imperessed by it.

La Citrouille Celeste (collaboration) 4 6
Sudwerk 7 7 7
Sam Adams Octoberfest 6 8
Hoptober 6 6
Kern River BC  Pumpkin Ale 0 2
Bootleggers 4 8 8
Paulaner 6 6
Stone 7
Weihanstephaner Festbier 7 7
Spaten 6 7
Blue Moon 6
Hofbrau 7 8
Ayinger 9
Rogue Maierfest 6

Below you’ll find the recipe for the bratwurst burgers. To make it easy for myself, I bought the bratwurst and removed them from casing. To get a nice size, you’ll want to use one and half bratwurst and mold into a patty, or follow recipe from scratch below.

Brat Spice Mix:

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon ground celery seed
  • 1 3/4 pounds pork shoulder, diced
  • 1/4 pound fat back, diced
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brat spice mix

Spicy Kraut:

  • 1 cup store-bought sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon diced bacon
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-chili paste

Garnish:

  • 8 slices gruyere cheese
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • Large hamburger buns, toasted

Directions:

Combine all the spice mix ingredients.

To make the burgers: Toss the pork shoulder and fat back with the salt and the spice mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Grind through the coarse die of a grinder and form into 4 (8-ounce) patties.

To make the spicy kraut: Soak the store-bought kraut in water for 20 minutes, drain excess water. Render the bacon; add the onion and saute until translucent. Add white wine and cook off the alcohol. Add sauerkraut and spices and enough water to cover. Simmer for 1 hour. Cool. Mix in garlic-chili paste.

To assemble: Cook burger patties until medium-well. Melt 2 slices of cheeses on top of each patty. Place on toasted bun and top with spicy kraut.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Beer & Food

 

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Hazelnut Brown Nectar by Rogue Ales

Hazelnut Brown Nectar – Brown Ale Style

I don’t remember where I read this, but the article mentioned that the beers by Rogue would probably never make it to the Chinese market and it’s all because of the name. If I were a part of their marketing team I’d be all over that and put out some propaganda posters about the beer; it would be a good way to make fun of the whole thing, but you would continue to spread the word on these good beers; don’t you agree? I’ve had a number of Rogues ales and stouts now and I must admit that they brew good stuff. Not all of their beers have become favorites, but none of the beers on their lineup are sub par; I know eventually whatever I try from them it will at least merit Three Beer Kaps. They brew some standards and also brew one that has chipotle in it and I thought that was off the wall; I’ve had it and thought it was a crazy idea to add smoked jalapeno flavor to a beer, but it works.  Another thing I like from Rogue is their bottles, they are silk screened, fancy, and if you are into collecting bottles it wont eventually fade so you can always be proud to display them.


When I decided to pour this beer I had a cold and it made it difficult to sniff out some of the ingredients.  I was able to get a bit of coffee and roasted malt, but not much more.  The initial flavor was of citrus, I don’t think it has any but my cold was interfering, it was the only flavor it was able to focus on.  It had a bit of a metallic taste as well; it was the first time tasting that in a beer, but again, could have been my cold.  Lightly bitter, refreshing and cleansed nicely.  When I first had this beer years back, I expected it to taste like the creamer you put in your coffee, but of course I was wrong.  When the beer warmed I tasted the ingredients from the aroma, the coffee was there and the nutty flavor from the hazelnut.

Three Beer Kaps, nothing fantastic, but it is one that is rated high among beer drinkers so judge for yourself.  I’ve had it a few times now and although I don’t think of it as a great beer, it’s still a good one.  I’ll never go to the store to specifically look for this ale, but it’s something I pick up on rare occasions.  Pour yourself one and let me know what you think of it.

Throw one back for me ~ Cheers!

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Beer & Food

 

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Oktoberfest = Beer, Brats, & Pizzas

On October 16th a few of my close friends and I celebrated Oktoberfest and spent the evening trying different Oktoberfest lagers and pumpkin ales. This turned out to be a good excuse to drink beer and eat pizzas with good friends, but also an opportunity to rate some beers and put together a post for the blog. We used a simple rating system that we broke down to four simple sections, aroma, flavor, mouth feel, and an overall impression; all rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for each section. We each had four Oktoberfest lagers and one pumpkin ale; next year we’ll have to do more pumpkin ales.

Oktoberbucket

@NuttyAroma kicked off the celebration by opening his cooler and surprising us all with a growler of Oktoberfest from Hangar 24, which was followed with a Hoffbrau, Paulaner, Ayinger, and we saved the pumpkin ale from Shipyard for last.

Hangar 24 Oktoberfest

Hofbrau Oktoberfest

Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Here’s how they scored.

The winner was clearly Hangar 24 Oktoberfest, everyone was nodding in agreement on how good it was after the first sip. @NorwalkPhil mentioned to me days later that by drinking Hangar 24’s beer first, it had set the bar high for the rest of the beers; I agreed, it was a tough act to follow and the rest of the beers didn’t satiate the palate quite like we would have liked. @NuttyAroma and I ran into someone from Hangar 24 at LABeerWeek (new post in a few days on LABeerWeek) and told him about our little Oktoberfest gathering and how we really enjoyed their Oktoberfest brew, and even before I tallied the score I thought hands down they were the clear winner. He was pleased to hear this and proceeded to tell us that it was brewed with malt, hops, and yeast which all came from Germany; I’m all for it, Heil to the Fatherland!. @NuttyAroma, thanks for picking this one up; good call!

My usual pizzas were grilled, BBQ Chx and White, but made a new one with Bratwurst and apples that had good flavor and was perfect for Oktoberfest, but needs some tweaking.

A big thanks to all that attended, @Diskedo, @NuttyAroma, @Hecs14, @MCL8KRZ, @NorwalkPhil, @MetalFaceTrebor, we have to do this soon, maybe a BYOGrowler?

 

Next post… LABeerWeek at LA Union Station.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2010 in Beer & Food

 

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Gumballhead & Pan Seared Lamb Chops

I’ve looked forward to having this beer, or any for that matter from Three Floyds brewery. This is a brewer that doesn’t ship to Kalifornia or Michigan, but since Indiana is just south from my beer bud Steve, he made magic happen and shipped me a couple of these; the one man team from CervezaPlease thanks thee.  I’ll take the time before I get into the beer, to inform Steve that in about a week or so, a small thank you package will be in the mail.

This is my second wheat ale I’ve had, the first being Oberon by Bells, which I mentioned would be next to review but Gumballhead is still fresh in the brain and I don’t have anything prepared for Oberon.  The aroma is of a pine hop, like when you pick up a pine twig in the forest and smell it.  For me, the aroma of wheat was not there, it was all hops, a bit of sweet notes, and a citrus hint.  I served myself the beer to pair it with a lamb dish I had prepared, but after the first sip, I actually thought I tasted bubblegum; I stopped drinking it after that first sip as I thought it wouldn’t go well with the meal. I’m sure tasting bubblegum was all in the name and had a psychological effect on me, but I didn’t want to ruin a nice meal, one that was prepared with strong herbs and feta cheese.  I was done with the meal and guess what happened? The bubble gum flavor was gone!  The beer had a good mouthful of carbonation with a slight bitter taste, fruity sweetness, and a citrus finish.  The dish below would pair well with the Gumball Ale or any Ale of your choice.

Now I force you to look at food porn from my lamb dinner, I’ll follow it a recipe, and I’ll end with my thoughts and rating of the beer.

Pan Seared Lamb Chops with Fresh Mint Salad

Recipe:

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 ounce)

1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

8 lamb chop ribs chops or loins (about 2 lbs) cut 1″ thick

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 ts ground black pepper

1 tbs olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

In a bowl combine mint, parsley, feta cheese, and pecans; set aside.

Rub chops with 2 ts olive oil; sprinkle salt & pepper. Cook lamb on a skillet to desired doneness.

To serve, sprinkle chops with mint mixture.

Drizzle additional olive oil and lemon juice over mint mixture.

Serve with your favorite side dish or with salad greens.

This is a good medium bodied summer beer if you have an opportunity to try it don’t pass on it.  Too bad I can’t drive somewhere and pick this beer up as I really enjoyed it.  The beer is good and has a nice balance to it, but I think it’s missing a little something to make it a perfect five caps.  I have one more of these beers in the cellar so I’ll have to have it soon and savor it.  I’ll rate it four beer caps on the new Kalifornia Beer Rating System, KBRS for short.

Throw one back for me – cheers!

PS

Much love and thanks to my baby mama @Hvnlydlite who assisted me with taking pictures while I cut the lamb.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2010 in Beer & Food, Empty Bottles

 

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