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Cream Puffs with Browned Butter Pastry Cream and Espresso Stout Chocolate Sauce

Cream Puffs with Browned Butter Pastry Cream and Espresso Stout Chocolate Sauce

So, we’re eating our feelings this week, yes? Yes. Three-day weekends are built for long cooking projects and this week is built for emotional eating. I do this sometimes, bake really complicated things because it gives me a solid win when I need one. It also makes it hard for my mind to wonder when I have to worry about dough and baking times and if my pastry cream will set (it will, promise). 

 

It’s like this little secret that I hide behind my "I like to bring the most impressive treats to the party" persona, it’s more that I like to know that I have something that I can control that will make people happy. Beer and food make people happy, even if just for a moment. So put down the doom scrolling and just spend some time in your kitchen and make something that will bring some joy to this really messed up world. 

Cream Puffs with Browned Butter Pastry Cream and Espresso Stout Chocolate Sauce

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

Pastry Cream:

  • ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups (16oz) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream Puff Dough:

  • 1 cup (228g) pale ale beer
  • ½ cup (114g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (175g) flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Egg wash optional

Chocolate Sauce:

  • 10 oz dark chocolate 62%
  • ¾ cup (6oz) stout beer
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Flaky sea salt for finishing

Instructions
 

Make the pastry cream:

  • Add the butter to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow to melt and become foamy, stirring frequently.
  • After about ten minutes the foam will subside, and the liquid will become more translucent and you will be able to see the bottom of the saucepan and small bits on the bottom. Whisk continuously until it smells nutty and the bits have browned, remove from heat. Stir in the milk, add back to heat until bubbles start to form around the edges of the saucepan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla, cornstarch, egg yolks, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  • Whisk the egg mixture continually while slowly poring the warm liquid into the bowl.
  • Add the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat, whisking until thicken. Remove from heat, add to a storage container and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Make the cream puff dough:

  • Add the beer and butter to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and just starting to boil.
  • Remove from heat, add the salt, flour, and sugar.
  • Add back to medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly until mixture becomes one large ball and clings to the spoon (this should only take a minute and the pan may be hot enough that you don’t need to reintroduce heat).
  • Add to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, allow to cool for ten minutes.
  • Preheat the oven the 450° F.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the dough starts to come back together (after looking as if it may be breaking) before adding another egg.
  • Mix for at least 2 minutes after the last egg until the mixture looks creamy, and when you pull the mixer paddle up, it leaves a trail that looks like a bird's beak where the dough slides back down but still clings to the paddle.
  • The dough should be smooth and sticky. Add to a piping bag with a star tip.
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe circles of dough onto the parchment, about 1 ½ inches wide.
  • With the tip of a wet finger, press the tip down so it doesn’t look like a sorting hat. Brush with egg wash.
  • Bake for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to 350°F without opening the oven. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the cream puffs are golden brown, allow to cool.
  • Use a bread knife to slice the top off the cream puffs.

Make the chocolate sauce:

  • Add all of the chocolate sauce ingredients to the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water. Stir continually until just melted, remove from heat.

Assemble the cream puffs:

  • Pipe pastry cream into the center.
  • Replace the top.
  • Top with chocolate sauce, sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Serve room temperate or chilled.

 

Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls, using potato flakes instead of mashed potatoes make these super easy, light and fluff! My favorite dinner rolls! 

THESE! They are new favorite dinner rolls ever. So super soft, melt in your mouth, you HAVE to make these. And this year is the perfect year since it’ll be smaller than normal. Which means more for you, and I promise you’re gonna be glad you don’t have to share too many. 

I have to admit that I resist making potato rolls because I’m kinda lazy. This is a fact. Unless I already have leftover mashed potatoes on hand, I don’t want to take that extra step. So my laziness has brought us all the idea of using potato flakes, which is not only easier, it’s more consistent. Mashed potatoes have varying levels of moisture and dairy, flakes are always consistent (as long as you always buy the same brand). See, look at how good I am at justifying my laziness and finding legitimate reasons to continue to indulge it, if you need any help with this I am at your service. Just don’t expect me to get back to you right away. 

Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (114g) butter
  • ½ cup (114g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (114g) wheat beer
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet 2 ¼ teaspoonsRapid Rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • cup (40g) potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • Egg wash 1 egg, 1 tablespoon water, beaten
  • Flakey sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the milk and beer. Heat until 120°-130°F (if your yeast packet mentions a different temperature, use that temperature instead).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar and potato flakes.
  • Add the beer mixture, stirring on medium speed until most of the flour has been moistened. Add the salt and egg, stir until well combined and the dough gathers around the blade.
  • Oil a large bowl. Using wet hands, move the dough to the bowl. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
  • Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • On a well-floured surface add the dough. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll into tight balls, add to a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Cover and allow to rest until doubled in size.
  • Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake uncovered until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots, your new favorite side dish! 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

No offense to turkey, but it’s not the star of Thanksgiving, that honor goes to the side dishes. Fight me. Because if I had to choose between a plate full of turkey and a plate of any one side dish, the turkey would get shoved to the side, especially if I could also include a buttery dinner roll on my side-dish-only plate. 

THESE ARE THE THINGS I THINK OF NOW! Thanks, 2020. But we finally have something to look forward to, right? Thanksgiving is coming up, and even if that means only a few people this year at your table (and a LOT of food), we need it. We need something to look forward to. I will be focusing on a menu plan because it’s better than stress eating spoonfuls of peanut butter and trying to escape the news. 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

This Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots is worth stress eating, though. It’s sort of like that green bean thing with the crispy fake onions, but only vastly superior. You also get an excuse to open a beer, so that brings it to a level above Vastly Superior, whatever that is. And your mom will be happy that you’re eating vegetables, so that’s another win. So drink a beer, eat your veggies and avoid anything that stressed you out, even if just for a day. 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

Ingredients
  

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup (30g) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large shallot bulb sliced into rings
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup (23g) shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter

For the casserole:

  • 2 tablespoons (28g) olive oil plus additional as needed
  • 1 shallot blub chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 lb. wild mushrooms, chopped*
  • ½ lb. asparagus chopped (ends removed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup (4oz) beer Brown ale, porter
  • ½ cup (45g) shredded gruyere cheese, packed
  • ¼ cup (2oz) cream cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a small bowl stir together the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the shallot rings, toss to coat. Remove the shallots from the flour (a small strainer or slotted spoon works well).
  • Heat 1 inch of oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the shallots to the oil, cooking on both sides until golden. Remove from oil, allow to drain, and dry on paper towels.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallot and mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms have softened, and let off their water and the shallots have browned. If the pan dries too much, add additional oil a teaspoon at a time. 
  • Add the asparagus, cook until slightly softened (it will soften further in the oven).
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle with flour, stir until the flour has turned brown. Stir in the beer, simmer until thickened.
  • Add the cream cheese, stirring until it has melted and is well combined.
  • Stir in ½ cup gruyere cheese.
  • Spray an 8x8 baking dish cooking spray. Add the mushroom mixture in an even layer.
  • In a small bowl stir together the panko, ¼ cup gruyere cheese, and melted butter.
  • Add the panko mixture to the top of the pan in an even layer.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the panko has browned and the casserole is bubbly.
  • Top with fried shallots, serve warm.

Notes

I used golden chanterelle mushrooms, but feel free to use what's available near you, including a mix of different types of mushrooms. 

Overnight Yeasted Beer Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

Overnight Yeasted Beer Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

This is really because I love you. And waffles, obviously. My favorite waffles of all time are the Sourdough Beer Waffles, they are gorgeous and amazing but do require the wild-fermented magic of a sourdough starter that takes at least a week to coax into existence. 

And when you don’t have one, or you neglect it and it refuses to magic for you, you can’t have the waffles. This is FINE. Sourdough starters are not actual pets, it’s totally fine to neglect them until they stop working and then flush them down the sink. It’s also totally fine to not have them at all, it’s not everyone’s bag. But this should not impede your ability to make a batch of the best waffles in existence, and those waffles have to include yeast, this is a non-negotiable. 

Yeasted waffles are just better than all other waffles and this is a fact. The crispy outside, light yet chewy insides, it’s just pure breakfast gold. You do have to be aware and functional enough the night before the waffle consumption to throw it all together, but that’s easy. You will ALWAYS want waffles in the morning so just do it, you’ll thank yourself. 

And "night you" needs to do something to make amends to the "morning you". Since "night you" gets all the beer and "morning you" gets all the hangovers and the "what did I drunk buy on Amazon last night" buyer’s remorse. These waffles will go along way to make reparation for all that "night you" has done. 

 

Overnight Yeasted Beer Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

5 from 2 votes

Ingredients
  

For the waffles (night before):

  • ½ cup (114g) butter
  • 2 cups (228g) whole milk
  • ¾ cup (171g) beer, room temperature pilsner, wheat beer, brown ale
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet, or ¼ ounce) dry active yeast
  • ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
  • 3 cups (380g) all-purpose flour

For the waffles (day of):

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

For the syrup:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water or beer
  • 1 ½ cups blueberries
  • Splash vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Heat the butter until almost boiling*, remove from heat stir in the milk and beer. If the mixture is at room temperature or just above, continue with the rest of the recipe. If it’s too cool, heat it for a few seconds, if it’s too warm, let it cool for a few minutes. You want to trigger the yeast (if it’s too cold, this won’t happen) but not fully activate it or the rise will happen too quickly.
  • Stir in the yeast, brown sugar, and flour until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about ten minutes (you will start to see just a few bubbles form).
  • Refrigerate for 8-18 hours.
  • Remove from fridge add the salt, eggs and baking soda, stir until combined.
  • Cook in a waffle iron according to manufactures specifications.

To make the syrup:

  • Add all ingredients to a pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently until thickened, 10-15 minutes. For a smoother sauce, puree in a blender once the sauce has cooled to room temperature.

Notes

*You can melt the butter on the stove in a pan or in the microwave. Just be aware that butter will pop in the microwave if microwaved too long. Stop and stir every 20-30 seconds if using a microwave.

Spanish Beer Chicken

Spanish Beer Chicken

What are you doing to feel normal? To forget that we use phrases like "the virus" and "pre-pandemic" and "social distancing" more often than ever thought possible? For some people, it’s routine that brings comfort, and for others, it’s the lack of it. I have never been a schedule keeper, so that was never really an option for me. Cooking makes me feel normal, it just makes everything feel ok. 

One-pot meals feel like normalcy, it makes me feel like I have better things to do than the dishes, even if I don’t. Because really, I don’t. This particular one-pot meal reminds me of traveling, of Spain and even of Brazil for some reason. It reminds me to trust that I will someday get on a plane again, and that the world is out there waiting for us to visit once it’s safe. 

For now, this is as close as I can get to leaving town. It’s as close as I can get to travel, and it will just have to do for now. For now, we just sit back and appreciate the healthy people in our lives, and a job if you have one, and know that the rest is out there to enjoy later. For now, it’s one-pot chicken, beer, and Netflix. There are far worse fates. 

Spanish Beer Chicken

Ingredients
  

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 bone-in and skin-on pieces of chicken legs, thighs
  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • ½ of one large white onion chopped
  • 1 cup (180g) uncooked white rice
  • ¾ cups (6oz) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup (8oz) pale ale beer
  • 1 (14oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (4oz) link Spanish chorizo* chopped
  • ¼ cup (45g) chopped Spanish olives
  • ¼ cup (6g) chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and salt.
  • Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with the spice mixture, reserve any remaining spice mixture.
  • Add the chicken, skin side down to a large, shallow pan with a lid (off heat). Add to medium heat, add the lid at a vent or add a splatter guard. Cook until the chicken skin has browned and a significant amount of fat has rendered (cooking chicken at a lower temperature for a longer time helps to render more fat and crisp the skin much more effectively than searing in a hot pan).
  • Once the chicken skin has crisped, remove from pan (the chicken does not need to be cooked through). Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat. 
  • Add the chorizo, bell peppers and onion to the pan over medium-high heat
  • Once the vegetables have softened and started to brown, add the beer, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan.
  • Add the broth, and tomatoes bring to a low simmer, stir in the rice.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot in an even layer.
  • Cover and add to the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the rice is softened and cooked and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Top with Spanish olives and parsley. Serve warm.

Notes

*Spanish chorizo is very different from Mexican chorizo. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, a good substitute is linguica, or Andouille sausage.

Brioche French Toast with Beer Caramelized Peaches

Brioche French Toast with Beer Caramelized Peaches

Breakfast is my favorite meal. Mostly because I get to make and eat it in my pajamas without judgment, but also because most of it is basically dessert we eat as an entree. We should do this with more meals, dinner cake should be a thing. Lunch brownies, too. 

French toast has always been my favorite, and it should always be made with brioche. It’s really the best bread for French toasting and all other breads are vastly inferior. This is a fact. Challah will also work but don’t, even for a second, think you can make this with presliced bread and get away with it, I’ll know and I’ll be sad. 

Just get yourself a loaf of brioche and slice it yourself, you’ll be glad you did. Because I certainly won’t judge you for drinking beer at breakfast but I won’t make the same promise if you break out the sandwich bread to make French Toast. Just trust me. 

 

Brioche French Toast with Beer Caramelized Peaches

5 from 1 vote
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the topping:

  • 1 lb about 3 large sliced fresh yellow peaches
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (36g) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons beer Belgian, wheat beer, pilsner, pale lager

For the French toast:

  • 1 large loaf Brioche (or Challah)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (120g) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (180g) beer Belgian, wheat beer, pilsner, pale lager
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Whipped cream for serving

Instructions
 

  • Add the peaches, lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt to a bowl, toss to combine.
  • Add the butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted, add the peaches and lower the heat to medium-low.
  • Pour in the beer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches have started to brown and caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  • Slice the bread into thick slices about 1 to 2 inches in width.
  • In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, beer, vanilla, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the bread slices, a few at a time, allowing to soak for about a minute or until the bread is fully saturated.
  • Heat a skillet or griddle to medium-high, add the butter, allowing to melt and coat the surface. Add the slices of bread a few at a time, cooking on both sides until golden brown.
  • Add a few slices to a serving plate, top with peaches, and whipped cream.

Overnight Maple Beer Pecan Croissant Bread Pudding Muffins

Overnight Maple Beer Pecan Croissant Bread Pudding Muffins

Let’s talk unpopular opinions again, shall we? It’s fun when we pretend to fight. I’ll start off this holiday edition of UO with these little gems: Love Actual is a terrible movie. It’s about people who hardly know each other and aren’t really in LOVE but just horny, it should be called Lust Actual or Let’s Be Honest I just Want to Be Naked With You, and I hate it. Also, this one:  Die Hard is a feel-good Christmas movie about complicated family dynamics and bad things happening to bad people and I think that we can all relate to that. 

Bread pudding and French toast casserole are the same thing. Muffins are unfrosted cupcakes. Cinnamon rolls should be served for dessert as often as they are for breakfast.  Are these unpopular opinions or a rarely spoken truth? It’s a toss-up. What do you think?

I like my croissants used in things like bread pudding or as sandwich buns rather than plain. Unless they are filled with chocolate and I’m in Paris, which rarely happens. 

Overnight Maple Beer Pecan Croissant Bread Pudding Muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large croissants day old or dried out in the oven
  • 1 cup (240g) milk
  • 1 cup (240g) cream
  • ¼ cup (2oz) beer Holiday ale, pale ale, hefeweizen, pale lager
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup (85g) real maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (60g) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (46g) chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Syrup or powder sugar for serving

Instructions
 

  • Chop the croissants into bite-sized pieces.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, whisking until well combined.
  • Stir in the croissant pieces.
  • Spray the wells of a muffin tin or add cupcake papers.
  • Scoop the croissants into the prepared wells until just below the rim, making sure the liquid is evenly distributed between the wells.
  • Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight, up to 24-hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the muffins have puffed and no longer look wet (if they are removed too early, they will deflate while cooling, but will still be fine to eat).
  • Serve warm with syrup or powdered sugar.

Chai Chocolate Chip Beer Cookies

I’m glad chai is making a comeback, aren’t you? I didn’t know chai was making a comeback, you think to yourself. Maybe it isn’t "making a comeback" in the traditional sense as much as I want to chai-ify all the things right now. It’s like pumpkin spice, but without the societal eye roll. Which is just better for everyone. 

These are also the result of Seattle dipping in temperature. Because I can’t make soup like a normal person, I make cookies when it gets colder. Maybe I’m just trying to fatten myself up for hibernation. This is a viable possibility. Stay tuned. 

I may or may not be making cookies to bring to my book tour events, I’ll keep you posted here.  Because I might not be able to decide on which cookie exactly I would want to use as my signature book tour cookie and this might make me avoid the task altogether. I can be like that, don’t judge me. These chai cookies are a strong contender since I’ve already made them three times. 

Chai Chocolate Chip Beer Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Servings 12 large cookies, or 24 small

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) molasses
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz) beer (brown ale, pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest or other malty beer)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups (210g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups (9oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Add the melted butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, beat until well combined, at least 5 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolk, beating until the mixture resembles frosting, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the molasses, brown ale and vanilla, beating until well combined.
  • Stop the mixer, add the flour, spices and baking powder, beating until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Add a sheet of parchment paper to a baking sheet. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out balls of dough, placing evenly spaced on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges have started to brown. Remove from oven, pull the parchment off the baking sheet and onto a flat surface to cool.

How to Throw a Beer Tasting Party + Soft Pretzel Rods with Beer Mustard Recipe

 

I’ve teamed up with World Market to bring you an easy guide to throwing your own craft beer tasting party. Complete with recipes, printable beer tasting sheets, and beer recommendations. I was able to get everything I needed, from the table side cooler, to the glassware, to the meats and cheeses at my local World Market in Woodinville, Washington.

This is a sponsored post, all ideas, words, and opinions are my own.

How to Throw a Beer Tasting Party

  1. Invitations: Choose a diverse mix of people, but keep it on the small side, too many guests and the party isn’t manageable. Eight to ten people seem to work best. Don’t let the “doesn’t drink beer” designation deter you from inviting anyone. Tell all guests to keep an open mind, sample everything that’s poured and reserve judgments for after sampling, not before. Most likely, your guests will like something, and it will surprise them.

Teardrop tasting glassesWood Charcuterie Board

  1. Beer selection. Choose a theme, pick beers that correspond. There are more beer styles in the world (over 100) than are manageable in one tasting, having a variety is important but don’t try to offer every style in existence. For instance, if you have an Oktoberfest theme, choose beers that are brewed in Germany, or in a German style and try to be diverse in what you choose to serve. Try to grab at least one beer in each of these categories that fit your theme: malty, hoppy, wild fermented, barrel aged, clean (pale lagers, pilsners, cream ale, Kolsch).

Teardrop tasting glasses

  1. Glassware. A small but massively important detail that shouldn’t be overlooked, glassware can make a monumental difference when serving beer. Choose small glasses that offer just enough beer for each guest to sample the beer. Your goal is for each beer to be sipped, savored and considered, not chugged. I use these Teardrop tasting glasses from World Market, the shape is perfect for beer and the size works well for sampling.

Assorted Crackers, Cheddar Wheel , Brie Wheel, Smoked GoudaCharcuterie SamplerCheese Knives, Wood Charcuterie Board,  Blue Villa Table runner,  Appetizer Plates

  1. Food. It’s incredibly important to any party, but essential with a beer tasting. It’s a way to balance the flavors and explore pairings. More importantly, eating is essential when drinking as a way to stay in control. You want to serve a few things that pair well with a variety of beers and that can sit at room temperate for a while. Cheese, crackers, charcuterie, and pretzels are simple staples to add to your table. Instead of trying to make everything yourself, strive to just make one or two dips or dishes to serve and plan to buy everything else. It’ll ease the stress of the party considerably.

Retro CoolerBlue Villa Table runner

  1. Serve. Give each guest a glass, a notes sheet, and pour the beers one at a time. Allow the guest to sip, record notes (like with this PRINTABLE SHEET!), nibble on food and enjoy before moving on to the next beer. Have each guest pour any unfinished beer and rinse the glasses (a large bottle of water and an ice bucket will do the trick) before moving on to the next beer.

Dimpled Steins

  1. Pints. Once all the beers have been samples, pass out larger pint glasses for your guest to pour a larger amount of their favorite brew. Compare notes, linger over food, and enjoy the rest of the evening.Soft Pretzel Rods with Beer Mustard Recipe. Perfect recipe for Oktoberfest!

Weck Jar,  Charcuterie BoardLeaf Napkin

Throwing an Oktoberfest party? Check out my Oktoberfest Party Post on the World Market blog!

Beer Soft Pretzels Rods

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) rapid rise yeast
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 10 cups water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, sugar and yeast to a stand mixer. Mix until just combined. Heat the beer to 120°F (always defer to the liquid temperature listed on the package of yeast, regardless of what the recipe says. Your yeast package says 105°F? Heat the liquid to that temperature) add the beer to the stand mixer, mixing until all the flour has been moistened.
  2. Add the salt and oil, beat until the dough comes together and gathers around the blade. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size.
  3. Add the dough to a lightly floured surface, cut into 12 equal sized portions.
  4. Roll each portion into an 8-inch log, add the pretzel rods to a large baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  6. Add the water to a large pot, bring to a boil. Stir in the baking soda.
  7. A few at a time carefully add the pretzels to the boiling water for 30 seconds, place back onto the baking sheet.
  8. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown.
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I used: World Market Brown Mustard Seeds, World Market Ground MustardDe Nigris Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With Honey, Coarse Sea SaltWeihenstephanBeer

Weck Jar,  Charcuterie BoardLeaf Napkin

Beer Mustard Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard powder
  • ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cups malty, low hop beer such as a Belgian ale or brown ale
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir together both types of mustard seeds, mustard powder, vinegar, and beer. Cover and set in a cool, dry place for 12 to 24 hours or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Add to a blender, pulse until blended but some whole grains are still intact.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate until ready to use.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-tasting-party/

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Instant Pot Duck Ale Chili

Instant Pot Duck Ale Chili

People ask me a lot of questions. Obviously, I have a weird life and weird job that warrants question asking from strangers and well-intentioned people at dinner parties that can’t wrap their brains around this being a real job.

I get it, I still have a hard time believing that this is an actual job. After all, I just made it up. Then I figured out how to get paid for it. It was after hearing the advice, "it’s better to invent a job than to find one." Challenge accepted.

The question I never had a good answer for is: "What’s your favorite beer?" Nope. I don’t have one. I never will. Ever. But I do have a favorite meat. Duck. By far my favorite meat is duck. It’s tragically underused, deliciously fatty, rich and fantastic.

So, once I was gifted this Instant Pot I obviously needed a beer-duck-instant-pot recipe. And seeing as how must of us will soon be watching the Super Bowl (rooting against rather than for a team? No?) Chili seemed a good fit.

The beer is the saddest part. It’s an incredible brown ale that I instantly loved. It was sent to me by Odell Brewing. The sad part? It’s not distributed in my state. So now that it’s gone, it’s out of my life *sad face* until I can make it to Fort Collins to stock up.

If you can get it in your own town, you’re very lucky. Make some Duck Chili to celebrate.


Instant Pot Duck Ale Chili

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs duck breast
  • 1 teaspoons salt (plus additional for duck)
  • 1 cup white onions, diced
  • 5 large cloves garlic, mined
  • 1 large can (28 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15oz) kidney beans(rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can (16 oz) great northern beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 12 ounces brown ale (stout will also work)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Garnishes:
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup parmesan or mozzarella cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Score the fat of the duck breast, sprinkle liberally with salt, place inside the instant pot, off heat.
  2. Turn the instant pot to sear, sear the duck breast, fat side down (no additional fat or oil is needed), until golden brown and most of the fat has been rendered.
  3. Remove the duck, add the onions, cooking until they have softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the duck back into the pot along with the remainder of the ingredients (other than garnishes).
  5. Turn instant pot to pressure cook, cook for 30 minutes. Allow the instant pot to release pressure, then open.
  6. Remove the duck, shred using two forks, return to pot.
  7. Serve along side garnishes.

Notes

**To make in a slow cooker, sear the duck breast in a pan (start the duck in a cold pan off heat to render the most fat), cook the onions in the duck fat. Add everything other than the beans (and than garnishes) to a slow cooker on low for 6 hours, add the beans in the last hour of cooking. If the chili looks dry, add broth or water.

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Fiery Thai Kettle Chips and Sweet Potato Burgers with Beer Sweet Chili Cream Sauce

Fiery Thai Kettle Chips and Sweet Potato Burgers with Beer Sweet Chili Cream Sauce

I was a vegetarian for 3 years. Mostly because I grew up on a farm, and I saw how the sausage was made. It didn’t stick, but what did stick is my true and complete love for non-meat burgers (and yes, I still love burgers of the meat-based variety, I just see them as two different things).

The flavors you can get from a patty made with a bowl full of produce is rather staggering, and this burger is easily my favorite.

Fiery Thai Kettle Chips and Sweet Potato Burgers with Beer Sweet Chili Cream Sauce

I’d love to take credit for the depth of flavors, but it’s due in no small part to these chips. Even when turned into crumbs and buried in a ton of other bold flavors, you can taste the heat and the lemongrass from the Kettle Brand Fiery Thai potato chips!

The burger also just so happens to pair beautifully with a winter ale. The malt and spices of a good winter ale will taste fantastic with the flavors of sweet potatoes, smoked paprika, and lemongrass.

I’m not going to lie to you, you can always see right through me. I ate these burgers for three meals in a row. I even put an egg on a patty, added some avocado and sweet chili sauce and ate it for breakfast. And I’m not even sorry about it.

Fiery Thai Kettle Brand Chips and Sweet Potato Burgers with Beer Sweet Chili Cream Sauce

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

    For the Burgers
  • 1 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus more as needed)
  • 1 (4.2 oz) bag of Kettle Brand Fiery Thai Potato Chips
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa (red or black), cooked (1/3 cup pre-cooking volume)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons beer (winter ale, rye, Bock)
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Additional potato chips for garnish, if desired
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beer (winter ale, rye, Bock)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, then cut into cubes. Add to a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes (boiling the potatoes will add too much moisture to the filling).
  3. Add the potato chips and the oats to a food processor, process until just crumbs remain.
  4. In a large mixing bowl add the chip crumbs, sweet potato cubes, cooked quinoa, black beans, cilantro, onions, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and beer. Mix until well combined. Form into 6 large patties, about ¾ inch tall.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, cook the patties until golden brown on each side, adding more olive oil to the pan when it starts to dry.
  6. In a small bowl stir together the sauce ingredients.
  7. Plate burgers in the buns topped with avocado slices, tomato, sauce and potato chips (if using), serve immediately.
  8. To make in advance, make the burger patty mixture, add to an air tight container, chill for up to three days before using.
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Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes

Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes, an easy one pot dish that tastes like doughnuts and beer!

We all like to tell the same lie to each other when we’re preparing for Thanksgiving. We pretend like the turkey is the hard part. It’s not, it’s just the main part.

But, in reality, it’s pretty easy. Especially this Turkey (my favorite).

The real beast are the side dishes. Do you go traditional (boring but safe), do you try to take on Grandmas recipes (which, in my family is basically just a diet coke and pretending you invented Watergate Salad), or do you branch out to make something new (risky)?

You know me well enough to know what I do. Of course I do something weird, something with beer.

If you want to weird up your side dish, make sure to keep something familiar and safe, like sweet potatoes and brown sugar. You can even call them yams if you want, (but in reality they are actually sweet potatoes) but it will be the beer that will sell them to the crowd.

Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup brown ale
  • 4 medium garnet sweet potatoes (or garnet yams), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Stir together the cream and beer in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  3. Stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and flour in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the sweet potato slices to a 9-inch cast iron skillet in overlapping concentric circles.
  5. Drizzle with cream mixture, them sprinkle with 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Repeat with two more layers of potatoes, cream, and brown sugar mixtures making sure to use all ingredients.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, press down firmly on the potatoes with a large spatula to submerge the potatoes.
  8. Bake for another 20 minutes, press again.
  9. Bake until the potatoes are fork tender and the liquid has thickened. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
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BBQ Beer Tex Mex Chicken Sliders

BBQ Beer Tex Mex Chicken Sliders in just 20-minutes 

Hi, my friends. I made something for you, something that seemed a bit of a necessity this week. A repurposing of things we’ve made in order to make it new. After those Beer Pickled Jalapeños we made, and the beer BBQ sauce, it just felt like I needed something that brought it together.

Two seemingly unconnected elements making sense in a new context. For reasons I have yet to pinpoint, I feel like I need that somehow. Like this is an obscure min-sandwich-metaphor for my life right now. I know, you can eye-roll that, I won’t hold it against you. I just needed to make order out or randomness, to connect dots, to make peace with two opposing forces.

I’m getting too deep for a sliders post, I appreciate that you’ve stayed with me in the midst of that, and for your graciousness, I have a recipe for you. A 20-minute-slider-metaphor to remind you that sometimes things don’t seem to connect, until they do. And then you wonder why you never saw it before.

Make some sliders, drink some beer, and let life fall into place this weekend. And then report back, I could use a little good news right now.

For this recipe, use Beer Pickled Jalapeños, and Beer BBQ Sauce

BBQ Beer Tex Mex Chicken Sliders

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce (recipe link above)
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, sliced
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos (recipe link above)
  • 12 slider buns

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add the chicken thighs, searing on both sides.
  4. Add the barbeque sauce and beer, lower heat to maintain a simmer. Turn the chicken over periodically. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from pan, shred using two forks, return to sauce, simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. In each of the slider buns add chicken, avocado slices, cilantro and a few pickled jalapenos. Serve immediately.
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https://domesticfits.com/bbq-beer-tex-mex-chicken-sliders/

Slow Cooker Beer Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Beer Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches slow-cooker-beer-caramelized-onion-grilled-cheese3

There are things you learn when you decide to chase the knowledge of an entire industry down an ever-expanding rabbit hole. You learn the lingo; at first just to keep up in conversation and translate what is being said. Then you learn it enough to speak intelligently about it, with terms like "lactobacillus," "back sweetened," and "TTB."

You learn that in this world, "Micheal Jackson" is a famous beer author, not a pop star and you only make that mistake once. You learn the major players, the awards, and who’s winning them. Eventually, you find your place. Or you fight to make one for yourself because there was previously no void for you until you created one.

The thing that takes some getting used to isn’t so much the void you’ve created in this world, it’s the one that has been created in you. It’s how you spend the weekend chasing down the beer you’ve only just read about, not for anything other than to quench your own curiosity. You find you’ve spent two hours googling "kettle souring" and figuring out where and when it started. You wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, and spend your vacation looking for breweries no one has ever heard about. Not because it helps your career, or because you need it for work, but because you want to. Because the industry you tried to make your job became your hobby and your most fascinating interest.

slow-cooker-beer-caramelized-onion-grilled-cheese2

You want to figure out if you can make caramelized onions in a slow cooker because that just seems like it makes sense, but you can’t do it without immediately wanting to add beer. Because craft beer is always an app open in your brain that is running somewhere in the background. because it’s more than just beer, it’s a community, a knowledge base, an art and you can’t stop thinking about it.

Or maybe that’s just me.

slow-cooker-beer-caramelized-onion-grilled-cheese4

I used Lagunitas WTF for these onions. It also pairs really well with this little sandwich. Perfect for a football game, even if you might have to share.

Slow Cooker Beer Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

    For the Onions
  • 2 sweet white onions (Walla Walla, Maui, Vidalia)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup beer*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Sandwiches
  • 1 French baguette, sliced on the bias
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar, sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Butter for cooking

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the onions.
  2. Add the onions, butter, brown sugar, beer and salt to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until soft and dark. Stir occasionally, if possible.
  3. Use the onions immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  4. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Add a few slices of cheese to the non-buttered side, top with a tablespoon or two of the caramelized onions, a few teaspoons of goat cheese, then more slices of cheddar. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side out.
  5. Cook in a pan over medium high heat until cheese has melted and butter is golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

Use a darker, malty beer. A brown ale, stout, porter or Belgian ale will work really well.

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I use this slow cooker (affiliate link).

slow-cooker-beer-caramelized-onion-grilled-cheese1

Brown Sugar Barley and Belgian Ale Peach Skillet Crisp + What Does Barley DO for Beer?

Brown Sugar Barley and Belgian Ale Peach Skillet Crisp9

Let’s say beer is a rock band. Hops are the loud front man that gets all the attention. The ingredient that everyone talks about and no one can ignore. Yeast is the rowdy, wily, drummer who’s hard to control but sets the tone for what’s going on, without him you have nothing. Barley is the bass player. It’s the backbone and deep thread that runs through it all. Barley is the John Paul Jones, the Flea, the Bootsy Collins. Barley drives the van, and books the shows and rarely gets the credit deserved.

Barley Field Trip2

I rode around Wyoming and Idaho with Let’s Grab A Beer for a Barley Field Trip to learn more about barley, see where it grows and to make it the star of the show, even if just for a few days.

Barley Field Trip P

So, what does barley do in beer? Barley gives you a little sugar, which is more important than you realize and allows two other main players to do their jobs. Hops are loud and awesome with their kick-you-in-the-teeth bitterness, but barley provides the sugar that balances that bitterness into something you actually want to keep drinking. The sugar in barley is also what yeast feeds off of in order to do it’s job. Without barley and the sugar it gives off, the yeast would die and the beer would have no alcohol in it. Barley is also nearly 100% responsible for the color of your beer. A light-colored beer uses barley that was very lightly roasted, whereas that blacker-than-your-ex-wife’s heart stout is made with barley that has been roasted to a deep, dark brown.

Barley Field Trip5

So, how does it work? Barley, right from the field, doesn’t have any developed sugars yet. Throw it into your beer-makin’ and you’ll be outta luck. It first has to sprout (also called germinate, or chit), and that takes a little water. Once it starts to sprout, you have to stop that chit right away. This is a delicate process, too much or too little and it’s no good. It’s stopped with heat more than 90°F. From there, it can be roasted for additional flavors or colors, but it can also be used right away.

Barley Field Trip7

Barley can also be eaten. It’s a versatile little sucker, something you may not have thought a lot about before now. I made a dessert using barley and beer, an homage to the sweetness it brings to the beer in your glass. I also toasted the grain before using it, a nod to the heat used in the malting process. It gives off a nice nuttiness in the topping. I hope you’re able to see how one ingredient can offer a substantial range of flavors depending on how it’s treated. From beer to dessert, this grain can do so much.Barley Field Trip8

Brown Sugar Barley and Belgian Ale Peach Skillet Crisp

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

    Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (53g) pearled barley
  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 2/3 cup (120g) brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (113g) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
  • 2.5 lbs yellow peaches, (about 6 large) sliced
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1/3 cup (78mL) Belgian ale (or brown ale)
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Add the barley, cooking until the barley is toasted and golden brown (it should smell nutty). Remove barley from heat. Add to a small bowl and chill until ready to use (barley must be cold before it’s used in the topping or it will melt the butter and prevent the topping from cooking properly).
  2. Make the filling while the barley cools. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, peaches, brown sugar and salt to the same skillet you used to toast the barley. Bring to medium-high heat, stirring until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is well combined with the peaches. Add the beer and bring to a strong simmer. Simmer until the liquid in the pan starts to thicken and become syrupy, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  4. In a food processor add the toasted and cooled barley, flour, salt and brown sugar. Process on high until the barley starts to break up, but some chunks still remain.
  5. Add the butter and pulse until just combined. Add the topping to the top of the skillet in small handfuls until the top is mostly covered. Bake at 425°F until the top is golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Serve warm, topped with ice cream if desired.
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Goose Island Sophie is easy to find and will work well in this recipe.

Brown Sugar Barley and Belgian Ale Peach Skillet Crisp8

Let’s Grab A Beer sponsored this post. They have a mission to educate the public and raise the consumer knowledge base about beer. All ideas, words, recipes, photos and opinions are my own.

Pumpkin Ale Cornbread

Pumpkin Ale Cornbread

Pumpkin Ale Corn Bread1

There is a moment in the year that every food becomes both necessary and then irrelevant.

Ice cream becomes a necessity, and absolute brilliant idea, sometime around mid-May when the weather spikes up past 80 degrees for the first time in months. When the sweaters get shed like downy feathers, and scarves feel more like a noose than a comfort, a cold bowl of sweet creamy dessert feels like salvation. And then the tide turns. A few months later, a season and a half has past, and that shed outerwear becomes vital to survival and desserts become warmer and crispier.

Then there are those foods that never turn. There is no pendulum swing. They are always welcomed, always have a place on the plate.

This is cornbread. There are summer barbecues and paper plates sagging under the weight of sticky-messy ribs and baked beans, begging for the crumbly square of cornbread to take up the space in the corner. When the summer gives way to the fall you have steaming pots of chili. There are spicy, rich, beans-or-no-beans pots of fight-over-the-right-way-to-make-it bowls that are perfect for everything from football viewing to lazy Sunday suppers.

Cornbread is as season-less as beer. It’s always a good idea.

Pumpkin Ale Corn Bread5

Pumpkin Ale Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ (242g) cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (8g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (6g) baking soda
  • 1 (3g) teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (6g) pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup (244g) pumpkin purée
  • ¼ cup (66g) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (184g) brown or pumpkin ale
  • 3 tbs (38g) olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 with a cast iron skillet in the oven.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, beer, olive oil, and eggs.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, add the butter. Swirl around the pan until the butter is melted and the pan is well coated. Pour the excess butter into a small bowl.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan in an even layer, pour the excess melted butter on the top.
  7. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 16-18 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, slice, serve warm.
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Pumpkin Ale Corn Bread2

Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders

Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders

Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders-2

This is a sign.

It’s fall. I realize that the calendar technically disagrees with me, but the calendar is wrong. Often. Calendars will frequently tell you that the week starts on Sunday, and that Summer starts the end of June. But according to our guts, the week begins on Monday, and Summer starts the first time it gets over 80 degrees in May. Fall, along these lines, starts with September and football season.

This slider is sign that we really don’t care what the calendar tells us, it’s fall. Sigh for a second, leave your sandals out for one more week, but summer is behind us. Let’s look at the good side of this, not the silver lining. Silver linings imply that there is only a thin layer of good on an entire crap cloud. This isn’t the case, fall is an incredible season. Pomegranates are back in season, football is back on, football food is back in consumption range, you can again wear boots and scarves without getting the side-eye from some Lululemon chick at Starbucks, and you can make sliders in your slow cooker.

Stouts are also back in season. Fall kicks off the releases of my favorite beer, the dark and roasty beast that I wait all year for. Even though I’ll still drink them in August, wearing boots and a scarf, no matter who side-eyes me.

Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders-4

Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp red chili sauce
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
  • ¾ cup beer (porter, stout, brown ale, or wheat beer)
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 12 slider buns

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl stir together the honey, vinegar, red chili sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
  2. Add the chicken to a slow cooker, pour the mixture over the chicken.
  3. Pour the beer into the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours, or high for 3 hours. Remove the chicken, shread with two forks, set aside.
  5. Add the sauce and cornstarch to a pot over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently until thickened, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken to the sauce, stir to coat (you can add to a slow cooker on a warm setting until ready to serve, if needed).
  7. Add to slider buns before serving.
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I use this slow cooker (affiliate link).

Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders-5

Beer Brined Faux-tisserie Roast Chicken

Beer Brined Faux-tisserie Roast Chicken -1

Fill your glass. Fill your stomach. Fill your heart.

Roast chicken, accompanied by an opened bottled of hard to find beer, is the way to communicate comfort from the kitchen. It’s a dish that’s been made billions of times, with just as many variations, a dish that can grace the silk covered tables of the finest dinning establishments, as well as the wobbly legged formica tables of the humblest of houses. It’s beautiful, perfect in its simplicity, comforting, and elegant without being pretentious. It’s a last meal, a lazy Sunday supper, and a first date dish. It’s a meal I’ll make over and over until I’m hardly able to lift myself into a kitchen to cook anything, well into my 90’s. I do, after all, plan to live to be 100, cooking the entire time.

Roast chicken is a classic dish that every home cook should master. It’s a recipe to make in a traditional fashion, and then after you’ve master the preparation, find your own variation. Maybe the first recipe you invent all on your own. The recipe that you’ll become known for, the one you’ll pass on, as you make your way towards living to be 100.

Beer Brined Faux-tisserie Roast Chicken -3

Beer Brined Faux-tisserie Roast Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbs whole peppercorns
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups ice
  • 22 oz wheat beer (or brown ale)
  • 1 (5 lb) whole chicken, inside cavity cleared
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp baking powder (this will help crisp the skin)
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt (plus additional for potatoes)
  • ½ tsp black pepper (plus additional for potatoes)
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lbs red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Instructions

  1. Add the water, cloves, peppercorns, and salt to a large stock pot or Dutch oven (this will eventually be the brining vessel for your chicken, make sure it’s large enough to accommodate). Bring to a simmer, stirring just until the salt has dissolved, remove from heat. Stir in the ice, and ale. Allow to cool to room temperate.
  2. Add the chicken to the pot (make sure the liquid has cooled first), cover and refrigerate for 12 hours and up to 3 days (to save time, this step can be done as soon as you return from the market with the chicken, and the chicken can be stored in the brine until ready to use, up to three days).
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse well, inside and out, pat dry. Allow to sit at room temperate for 20 minuets, to drain and dry.
  4. Preheat oven to 300.
  5. In a small bowl stir together the paprika, baking powder, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and brown sugar, set aside.
  6. Add the potatoes and Brussels sprouts in an even layer in the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet, cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the chicken to the skillet on top of the vegetables. Rub chicken well with the spice mixture on all sides, coating the skin.
  8. Cook the chicken at 300 for 40 minutes (this low heat will help render fat and crisp the skin).
  9. Turn heat to 425, cook for 20-30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperate of the chicken reaches 165. Remove from oven, allow to rest for five minutes before carving.

Notes

The vegetables act as a rack in this recipe, as well as a nice side dish. If you are going to skip them, cook the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet, or in a roasting rack in a roasting pan. This will keep the bottom of the skin from getting soggy.

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Beer Brined Faux-tisserie Roast Chicken -4