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Pilsner/Pale Ale

Pumpkin Ale Cheesecake with Beer Pecan Caramel Sauce

I conducted a very non-sientiffic study on my Facebook page about pumpkin beer. To be honest with you, I have always been a touch hesitant of fruit flavored beer. And although pumpkin is a squash, therefore  not a fruit, it seems to fall under the same umbrella in my mind since I make pies out of them.

But I love nothing more than trying new and exotic beers. And I always want input and feedback from other craft beer fans. So, my very un-scientific study yielded the final conclusion: based only on comments and likes, I want to search the town for the following Pumpkin Beers for another non-scientific Beer Tasting Study:

Dogfish Head, Pumpkin

Avery, Rumpkin

St Arnold, Pumpkinator

Southern Tier, Pumpking

If you have any suggestions, please chime in. I’m looking to expand the reach of my non-scientific study.

Pumpkin Ale Cheesecake with Beer Pecan Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

    For The Cheesecake
  • 9 standard sized graham crackers
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin ale
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs flour
  • For The Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup pecans

Directions

  1. In a food processor add the graham crackers and brown sugar, process until only crumbs are left. While the food processor is still running, add the melted butter and process until it resembles wet sand. Dump into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Press into the bottom until well compacted.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the brown sugar, white sugar and cream cheese. Mix until well combined. One at a time, add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined, scraping the bottom, before adding more.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon nutmeg and salt, mix until very well combined.
  4. Add the beer and stir until combined.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the bowl, stir on medium speed until just combined.
  6. Pour over the crust.
  7. Bake at 350 for about one hour or until the center no longer jiggles when you shake the rack the cheesecake sits on, it will still look wet in the center. The secret to a great cheesecake is not to over bake it, it's better to slightly under bake it for a smooth mousse like texture.
  8. Chill until set, about 3 hours.
  9. To make the caramel sauce, add the sugar, beer and corn syrup to a pot and stir over medium high heat for about 1 minute. Stop stirring and allow to boil, untouched, until it turns an amber color, about 10 minutes (230 on a candy thermometer). Add the butter and cream, stir until combined. Add the pecans and stir. Allow to cool to approximately room temperature before serving over chilled cheesecake.
https://domesticfits.com/pumpkin-ale-cheesecake-with-beer-pecan-caramel-sauce/


Pumpkin Ale Waffles & How To Roast A Pumpkin

 Although most of you are in the giddy early stages of fall, here in Los Angeles it’s still over 90 degrees. So what the rest of the country is referring to as "Fall," I am calling Pumpkin Season. And to curb my near constant urge to shove as much pumpkin into everything I consume, I have elected to only make pumpkin from scratch, no cans.

It’s only really helped a little. It’s pretty easy to roast a pumpkin and turn it into massive quantities of pumpkin treats.

If you haven’t roasted your own, don’t be intimidated, its pretty simple.

Start with a pie pumpkin. They go by various other names, but they are not Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins used for carving. They are small, about the size of a cantaloupe.

Preheat oven to 375.

Remove the stem by running a butter knife around the edges and then prying it off. The most stubborn one I removed by whacking it on the edge of the counter. Popped right off.

Cut the pumpkin in half, right through the hole left by the stem.

Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pumpkins on baking sheets, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast at 375 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until a fork can easily slide into the skin.

 Allow to cool and sccop the flesh out.

For a smoother texture, process in a food processor for about 3 minutes.

See, that’s not so hard. You can totally do that.

Pumpkin Ale Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Ale
  • (Makes 6 to 8)

Directions

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Get out three bowls.
  3. In the largest bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, stir until well combined.
  4. Divide the eggs between the last two bowls, egg whites in one, yolks in the other.
  5. In the yolks bowl, add the milk and pumpkin puree, stir until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir.
  6. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined, don't over mix. Add the beer and stir until combined. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  8. Spray waffle iron with butter flavored cooking spray. Cook waffles according to manufactures directions.
https://domesticfits.com/pumpkin-ale-waffles-how-to-roast-a-pumpkin/

 

 

Beer Braised Chicken Tacos with Beer Corn Tortillas

 

When it seems like your entire life revolves around a food blog, small things make you really excited.

Like making homemade tortillas with beer and realizing how much better they are than any other tortilla you’ve ever had.

Or getting a shout out from The Cooking Channel as if they knew just how to fuel your obsession with them.

Or realizing that because Foster Farms is willing to fly you into Napa a few days early for the National Cook-Off Finals, you get to visit the following breweries: Laguanitas, Russian River, and Bear Republic.

And then your Aunt tells you that your Grandma and Guy Fieri’s Grandma where roommates in college, which sounds like a Mad Lib, but turns out to be true.

Small wins that make me so excited, you’d think I won a Beer Cooking Oscar. This is what keeps us playing the Man Behind the Curtain on these little blogs we are so dedicated to. Bloggers are easily excitable, which maybe why we spend so much time on the other side of these computer. Sometimes our excitement isn’t fit for public consumption.

Back to these tortillas. Homemade tortillas are a completely different animal from those cardboard disks they sell in supermarkets. Soft, slightly sweet, and they only take 5 minutes to make. To use a beer analogy fit for an SAT exam:

Coors Light is to Pliny as Store Bought Tortillas are to Homemade Tortillas

I’m not kidding, that much different. If you don’t believe me, and really, why should you, I’m just the overly excited girl behind the screen, try it and report back. I really think you’ll be amazed.

For this recipe, I used Lagunaitas IPA. And like I’ve mentioned before, IPA’s give you a huge punch of beer flavor. If you want a milder beer flavor, grab a traditional Pale Ale, a Blonde or a Wheat Beer.

 

 

Beer Braised Chicken Tacos with Beer Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

    For the Tortillas
  • 2 cup Masa
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup room temperature beer
  • 2 Tbs melted butter (or olive oil)
  • For the Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup beer
  • Recommended Garnishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, chopped

Directions

  1. Chop Chicken thighs into small, bite sized pieces. In a bowl, place all spices and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  2. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. Add the pieces and sear quickly. Reduce heat, add beer, cover and cook until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, add the Masa and the salt, stir to combine.
  4. Add the beer and butter, stir to combine. If the dough is too dry to hold together, add additional beer or water. If it is too wet, add more Masa.
  5. Form into balls a bit larger than golf balls.
  6. Prepare a tortillas press by wrapping in plastic wrap or covering with parchment paper (you can place tortilla ball between two sheets of parchment and use a rolling pin). Place one ball in the center.
  7. Press, rotate and press again until thin.
  8. Heat a griddle (or cast iron skillet) to a medium high heat (about 350 for electric griddles).
  9. Cook until slightly brown on the bottom (about 30 seconds to a minute) flip and cook on the other side. Don’t overcook.
  10. Fill tortillas with chicken, garnish and serve.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-braised-chicken-tacos-with-beer-corn-tortillas/

 

 

Chili Beer Chicken Wings

 

 

Last Friday I was able to visit the Los Angeles CBS studios. They even let me do a cooking segment. Originally slotted for 4 to 5 minutes, the loved me so much, they let me run to 6 1/2 minutes. Aren’t they great?

A few questions threw me off, "Were you in a sorority?" and "What IS craft beer?"

The first, I’m ok with dismissing, but the second left me to wonder. If you have to define Craft Beer in one sentence to someone who knows nothing about beer beyond the college Greek System drinking games, how would you do that? It seems like everyone has different definitions, some focusing on the size of the brewery, or the quality of the ingredients or the breweries funding source or even if the company is publicly trader. But what about the beer? What makes if truly craft? You could write entire books trying to answer that one question.

What is "craft beer"?

If you have a quick, one sentence answer for me, I’d love to hear it.

But in the meantime, I’m going to introduce you to a beer that was perfect for my sort of sweet, fairly spicy, beer infused chicken wings that are sort of perfect for the beginning of football season.

Dogfish Head, Festina Peche is brewed with peaches (not an extract) that feeds the yeast so the peach flavors are pervasive. Not a beer for everyone, it tends to be a bit polarizing, but an excellent example of a well done Berliner Weisse fermented with peaches. It is also an excellent beer for this recipe.

Chili Beer Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken wings and drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flake
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Rinse the chicken wings in cold water and dry well.
  3. Sprinkle chicken on all sides with cornstarch and rub to coat.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the beer, soy, honey, chili powder, garlic powder, red chili flake, salt, and vinegar, stirring well to combine. Add the chicken, toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for ten to twenty minutes.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove the chicken from marinade and arrange wings on the baking sheet and bake at 425 for ten minutes.
  7. While the chicken is baking, add the remaining marinade to a pot over medium high heat, stiring frequently, reduce until thickened and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Once the marinade has reduced, remove the chicken from the oven and brush with the thickened marinade, turn them over, brush with marinade on the other side.
  9. Return to the oven and allow to cook for an additional ten minutes, basting again.
  10. Allow chicken to bake until cooked through, an additional 10-15 minutes.
  11. (Note: the total cooking time for the chicken will be approximately 25-35 minutes, requiring basting every ten minutes)
https://domesticfits.com/chili-beer-chicken-wings/

 

 

Beer Soaked Apple Pie With Cheddar Beer Crust

When it comes to baking, I’m always intrigued by a new spin on an old favorite. Not to say that I don’t fully appreciate the simplicity and beauty of a perfect and well done classic recipe.  I’ll never tire of a traditional, straight forward apple pie with a huge scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream.

But I was introduced to the pure magic of a cheddar pie crust as an encasement for a traditional apple pie, by Kelly of Evil Shenanigans. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I want to beer-ify (it’s a word) that perfect pie. Kelly’s cookbook, Not So Humble Pies is all about how to take that sweet little pie you’ve always loved and turn it into something they’ll never forget.

She even agreed to let me post my modified and beer-ified version of the crust that’s in her book. Maybe because she watched me greedily inhale two pieces of her pie in record time and was afraid of my possible reaction to not having said pie in my life any longer.

Here is my beer version of an apple pie with a cheddar crust. Which served as dessert, then breakfast the following day, then dinner.

It’s pretty versatile.

 

 

Beer Soaked Apple Pie With Cheddar Beer Crust

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6-8 tbs beer (pale ale, or wheat beer work best)
  • 2 tbs melted butter (to brush on prior to baking)
  • Filling:
  • 7 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Granny Smith are the only apples that will not turn mushy during this process)
  • 16 oz pale ale or wheat beer
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor, pulse a few times until its combined. Add the butter and process until well combined, about 2 minutes.Add the remaining flour and process until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  2. Move to a bowl and add the cheese and 6 tbs beer, mix until just incorporated. Don't over mix. If the dough is too dry, add more beer until the right consistency is reached.
  3. Split into two equal sized portions and form into disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill until very firm, about two hours. Because this dough is so soft, it is very important for the pie dough to be very cold and very firm.
  4. Place the apples, lemon juice and 16 ounces of beer in a bowl and allow to soak at room temperature for 2 hours. If the apples are not fully submerged, toss every half hour to redistribute. Remove the apples from the beer and allow to drain and dry for about 30 minutes, or until fully dry.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Add the apples and the remaining filling ingredients to a bowl and toss to coat.
  7. On a well floured surface, place one of the disks, add flour to the top of the disk as well.
  8. Roll out into an even thickness. Marble rolling pins are very cold and don’t disrupt the fat inside the dough, making them an excellent choice for rolling pie dough. When you place your dough in the fridge to chill, add your marble rolling pin as well, allowing it to chill.
  9. Add you pie dough to a pie pan and press into shape, removing any excess. Add the filling.
  10. Roll out the second disk of pie dough and add to the top of your pie. Press the top crust and the bottom crust together at the edges, cut holes to vent steam.
  11. Brush with 2 tbs melted butter.
  12. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cover the edges with foil of the edge starts to brown too quickly.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://domesticfits.com/beer-soaked-apple-pie-with-cheddar-beer-crust/

Crust adapted from Not So Humble Pies, Kelly Jaggers

Brown Butter Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

There are some great elements in this world we live in that we beg the universe to some how bring together.

Like a Yankees vs. Dodgers World Series

Or an episode of The Office directed by Christopher Guest

Or Trey Parker have complete creative control over The White House Holiday Card

Or a reality show hybrid of The Bachelor and Fear Factor

Even though I have to come to terms with the fact that those things will sadly never exist, I can meld brown butter and beer cheese into the greatest of all grilled cheese sandwiches. It won’t have the cultural repercussions of any of the above unions, but it is the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time. Too bad I didn’t have the forethought, or the consumptive restraint, to create a beer tomato soup to go along for the journey.

Brown Butter Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Pale Ale
  • 4 oz cheddar
  • 8 slices bread
  • 4 tbs butter

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor add the cream cheese, mozzarella, cornstarch and beer. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Spread the beer cheese generously onto 4 slices of bread. Top with about 2 tbs of cheddar and then top with a clean slice of bread.
  2. In a skillet with a lid melt the butter over medium heat (don't allow the butter to get too hot or it will burn) until just starting to turn a golden brown. Carefully add the sandwiches, and replace the lid allowing the sandwiches to steam in the pan until the underside is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the sandwiches, replace the lid and allow to cook until the other side is a light golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 additional minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/brown-butter-grilled-beer-cheese-sandwich/

 You can also use the pre-oven beer cheese from my Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip.

 

Beer Chicken Piccata

Here it is, just like I promised. Beer Chicken Piccata, to go with those beer noodles I made.

The first time I ever had Piccata I was a completely broke college student traveling through Italy. And it was cheap. It turned out to be one of the most memorable dishes I had on that trip, moving it to the top of my list of Italian Favorites. If I see it on a menu, especially those family run strip mall joints that I love so much, I can’t resist ordering it.

If you are familiar with this dish, you can see that this is a pretty standard Piccata with the white wine replaced with beer. You need to choose a low hop beer with notes of citrus, an IPA will overwhelm this sauce.

 

Beer Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • about 1/4 cup flour for coating
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbs butter, Plus an additional 3 tbs, divided
  • 1 1/2 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup pale ale
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup capers

Directions

  1. Filet each chicken breast in half horizontally, making each chicken breast thinner, not smaller. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken and pound with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Sprinkle on all sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour until well coated.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the chicken and cook on each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
  4. In a clean pan melt the remaining butter. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbs flour and whisk until combined. Add the beer, broth and lemon juice and cook until warmed and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the capers and stir.
  5. Add the chicken to a plate on top of a bed of rice or pasta. Top with sauce, serve immediately.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-chicken-piccata/

 

 

 

Beer Steamed Stuffed Artichokes & How to Stuff an Artichoke

 

Here’s my artichoke. We’re going to gut him and stuff him with bacon.

And then cook him in beer.

 

 

The first step is to trim. Start with peeling off a few layers of the outside leaves They’re tough and not very good, don’t feel bad about getting rid of them.

And if your artichoke has a long stem, trim it so that it can stand upright, with its leaves pointed at the sky. That will come in handy later.

Then you are going to cut off the pointed tip of the artichoke.

 

Then use a pair a kitchen sheers, (or, lets be honest regular scissors will be fine) to trim the pointed tips off of all of the leaves.

 

Starting at the outside and working towards the inside, pull the leaves outward.

 

Once you get to the inside leaves that are yellow and purple, you are going to want to remove these. There is a lot of waste with stuffed artichokes, just accept it and move on.

This part isn’t easy. If you are having a hard time, that’s normal. The best way to do it is to dig at it with a melon baller. And swear at it a few times to put it in it’s place.

Feel the inside to make sure it’s smooth and none of that hairy choke is left behind. If it still feels fuzzy, keep digging. And swearing, if it helps.

Squeeze half a lemon into the cavity of the artichoke.

 Next you want to make the filling (recipe below).

Stuff the filling inside the middle of the artichoke. Starting at the outside, spread the leaves out and press the filling inside the leaves, work your way in until all the leaves are full.

Place in an oven safe pot, standing upright. Pour 1 1/2 cup citrusy wheat beer into the bottom of the pot.

Cover with a lid or tin foil and bake at 375 for 40-60 minutes or until the outer leaves come away easily.

Beer Steamed Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 4 large artichokes, prepared as above
  • 1 large lemon
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups citrusy wheat beer

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Prepare artichokes as instructed above, squeeze 1/4 lemon into the cavity of each artichoke.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until browned. Remove from pan, and chop. Drain off most of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tbs in the pan. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Add the garlic and stir. Add the mushrooms and cook until dark brown. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients as well as the chopped bacon (other than the beer), stir until well combined.
  4. Stuff the artichokes as instructed above.
  5. Place artichokes upright in the pot, fill with 1 cup beer.
  6. Cover and cook until outer leaves come away easily, about 40-60 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-steamed-stuffed-artichokes-how-to-stuff-an-artichoke/


Jalapeno IPA Hummus

 

This recipe has been in my brain for a while.

For weeks it’s been taunting me, begging to be flushed out, poured into my food processor and immortalized in internet print.

And this weekend three failed attempts to make IPA lemon bars that never really gave me the results I was hoping for coupled with this tweet:

gave this hummus it’s shot.

And I’m so glad that the stars didn’t align and the beer cooking God’s didn’t smile upon the IPA lemon bars (which have become my culinary nemesis, mocking me with vague imperfections) because this hummus was exactly what I wanted on a hot day. It didn’t last long.

For this recipe, I used one of my favorite IPA’s, Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA. A beautiful example of an IPA, even if this one was sans Habaneros.

 

Jalapeno IPA Hummus

Jalapeno IPA Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 1 tbs)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup IPA Beer (plus additional if needed)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Add additional IPA for a thinner dip. Serve with pita or chips.
  2. *Note: most of the heat from Jalapenos are in the seeds. If you want a hotter hummus, you can leave the seeds in. If the finished dip is too mild, add 1/4 tsp chili powder for a spicier dip
https://domesticfits.com/jalapeno-ipa-hummus/

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Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip2 (Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip)

There are a few ingredients that I have to restrain myself from adding to everything I make. On that list are the following: Sriracha, bacon, goat cheese and roasted garlic.

As you can clearly discern, beer is not in that line-up. Because I never try to hold back the urge to add beer.

Two of those four ingredients did manage to coerce their way into this dip, bulldozing my yearning for variety with their seductive culinary appeal. Roasted garlic is an amazing substance.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip via @TheBeeronessOnce you start to roast your own and realize that with less than a dollar and 5 minutes of active time you can create the most addictive and flavorful ingredient with your own hands, you may come to understand why I was powerless to resist.

On a side note, I served this dip at a party and was all at once horrified and flattered to find a guy I barely know licking the bowl. I’ll take that as a good sign, and a validation for submitting to the powers of roasted garlic.

For this recipe, I used  Saison du BUFF, a joint effort from Stone, Dogfish Head and Victory breweries. A Holy Trinity of Craft Beer splendor that produced a Saison Messiah to lead us into the new world of craft beer glory. It is out now, try and get your hands on a bottle, while you can.

If you can’t get your hands on the Saison du BUFF, I’ve also really loved this with an IPA.

 

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large heads of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup Reggiano or Parmesan cheese plus an additional 1/4 cup for top
  • 6 oz smoked Gouda or smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Saison or IPA beer
  • 1 teaspoon red chili sauce such as Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch very important. Keeps the dip from separating
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions green onions

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Cut the top tip of each head garlic off, just enough to expose all of the cloves. Place each head on a separate piece of tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil and seal the foil around the garlic.
  • Place both garlic packets on a baking sheet or baking dish. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Reduce oven temp to 350°F.
  • In a food processor add the cream cheese, 1 1/2 cup Reggiano, gouda, beer, red chili sauce, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Squeeze the roasted heads of garlic until the soft cloves come out, add the roasted cloves to the food processor, taking care that none of the papery garlic skin is added to the food processor. Discard the empty garlic head. Process until well combined.
  • Add to a baking dish, top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Bake until melted and the top has started to turn a light golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven, stir (it will have puffed slightly) top with green onions, serve warm.

 

 

Strawberry Beer Sorbet

Everything I love about summer is in this dish.

Or, more accurately, everything I love about summer that can fit into a small metal bowl are in that dish.

Fresh produce.

Homemade sorbet.

Beer. Of course, beer.

And when I was buying said beer, Alesmith Anvil, I had an interesting conversation with Beer Store Beer Guy.

For the most part, I really like my chats with Beer Store Beer Guy so much that I forgive him when he makes the assumption that I have no idea how I ended up in the Beer aisle and he must point the poor lost girl back to the Chardonnay section where she has most likely wander off from.  I’m ok with this, the trapping of being tall and blonde and with the egregious mistake of having a brain in my head, I find it amusing. Like when I end up at the mechanics and they have no idea my step dad was ASE certified, or those adorable guys at Home Depot who try to point me back to the paint isle when I really want to buy a new blade for the tub saw so I can finish re-tiling the kitchen floor. The greatest advantage anyone has is to let others underestimate them. I’ve come to find it endearing when Beer Store Beer Guy, Hardware Store Guy and Mechanic Guy try to take care of the lost girl and help her find her way. Because what I really want to be is Marisa Tomei in the last court room scene in My Cousin Vinny saying things like,

"'Cause Chevy didn’t make a 327 in ’55, the 327 didn’t come out till ’62. And it wasn’t offered in the Bel Air with a four-barrel carb till ’64. However, in 1964, the correct ignition timing would be four degrees before top-dead-center."

And you can really only have that once someone decided to underestimate you.

Something else you shouldn’t underestimate is the flavors in the Anvil. It may seem like a strange choice for this sorbet, giving the matlier, toastier flavors but I love the balance it gave.

Choose a beer that has notes of citrus, fruit and spice. A citrusy IPA would be a great choice as well.

And don’t be offended when others underestimate you, use it to your advantage.

StrawBerry Beer Sorbet

Strawberry Beer Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups beer (pale ale with notes of citrus)

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add the strawberries and the sugar. With a potato masher, or mallet, smash and stir the strawberries until well macerated and combined with the sugar.
  2. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, stirring and mashing until all the strawberries have broken down, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the beer and allow to cool. (If you want to strain the pulp and seeds, do so now. I didn't strain.)
  4. Place the strawberry mixture in the refrigerator until completely cool, about 2 hours.
  5. Churn in your ice cream make according to manufactures specifications. Place in a freezer safe container and chill until ready to serve.
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Beer Tortillas

 

Tortillas are one of those glorious foods that I have found myself continuing to make from scratch. It wasn’t an epiphany that wakened me from my supermarket tortilla grabbing slumber, it was a gradual process. Tortillas are easy, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already. And the end product will finally convince you that you no longer need that plastic bag full or pre-made taco vessels.

So why the beer? Beer is a leavening agent, mild in a way that is the perfect strength to lightly leaven a tortilla. And a beer with bread, wheat of notes of crackers will add a fuller flavor then the typical baking powder that is called for in most homemade tortilla recipes.

You only need a few ingredients to make these, so you need to choose carefully. Most people use lard, and this tends to give the best results. After I cook bacon (a weekly occurrence) I pour the rendered fat into an air tight container and store it in the fridge. Once it cools and solidifies, I use this to make tortillas with. If you are vegetarian or vegan, vegetable shorting makes a great stand in.

The beer you choose needs to be carefully considers as well. Because it has a slight cracker like taste, I use Hair Of The Dog’s Ruth. Choose a beer that has notes of yeast, bread or crackers. A wheat beer would also work well.

Beer Tortillas

Yield: 6 to 8 tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fat (lard, vegetable shortening, rendered and cooled bacon fat)
  • 3/4 cup warm beer ( Plus 3 additional tbs)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the fat and rub it into the flour with your hands until it forms course crumbs and all the fat has been distributed.
  2. Addr 3/4 of a cup warm beer into the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until all of the flour has been moistened (adding the additional 3 tbs if needed). Knead for about 3-5 minutes or until the dough becomes shiny and slightly stiff but not firm.
  3. Pull off pieces of the dough just smaller than a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a plate, continue for the remaining dough. Cover the plate with a towel and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Roll the tortillas out until they are thin enough to see through. On a lightly floured surface, flatten a ball of dough with the rolling pin, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a very thin consistency. Alternately, you can use a tortilla press.
  6. Throw onto the griddle and allow to cook until lightly brown, about 1 minute per side. Don't over cook or your tortillas will be crispy.
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Make a batch of Chipotle Stout Braised Beef and make Tacos.

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Beer Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries

Last week I was able to sit down with a guy, who in just two years went from a home brewer who was opening the doors to his first bar, to owning three bars and the fastest growing craft brewery in California.

If you live in Los Angeles, and you’re a craft beer fan, I’m certain you have heard of Tony Yanow of Golden Road. If you haven’t you are going to want to acquaint yourself with him and what he’s building. Here is my article for your craft beer research indulgence.

He is also the man who helped create one of my favorite IPA’s. Golden Roads, Point The Way IPA.

As I’ve hammered into you several times before, IPA’s make terrible cooking subject, which is why I rarely use them. This is a recipe that doesn’t require cooking, and the tart hoppiness of the IPA is a great compliment to the cherries.

And, as a salute to my fellow beer lovers who happen to be vegan (more vegan beer fans exist than one would expect) this is an easy recipe to veganize.

IPA Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries (vegan option)

2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted

1 cup IPA

8 oz Dark Chocolate (60%) (For vegan, use vegan chocolate. Most higher end brands are vegan at 60%, but make sure to check if you want to make sure)

Pit the cherries and add them to a loaf pan in one tight layer. Pour the IPA over the cherries and allow to soak at room temperature for 2 hours and up to 6. Drain and allow to dry for about 20 minutes (they need to be dry before chocolate gets involved).

To temper the chocolate: (*Note. Tempering chocolate makes it shiny and gives it a nice snap. If you don’t care so much about that, you can just add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted)

In a double boiler melt the chocolate over medium heat. If you don’t have a double boiler, add a metal bowl over a pot of water, making sure the bottom of the metal bowl does not come in contact with the water in the pot.

Chop the chocolate into chunks and add about half to the top of the double boiler. Heat the chocolate to 115 degrees (use a clip-on candy thermometer to do this). Add the rest of the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate has melted and is now down to about 90 degrees.

A few at a time, add the cherries to the chocolate with a fork, roll around until coated, remove with the fork and allow to drain a bit, then place on a piece of parchment paper to harden. Repeat for all cherries. Chill until ready to serve.

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Homemade Beer Marinara From Scratch

 

The first time I made marinara was a complete accident.

Just a few months after I nearly accidentally graduated college, I got a job working with teenage gang members in South Central Los Angeles. You are free to laugh at the idea of a very white girl, who grew up on a farm in Eastern Washington, working in South Central. With gang kids.

I sat on one side of a light oak dining table in a small Group Home, a transitional respite for kids who had been released from jail but who were still on probation, to talk with Dominick. He was from a rough area of Compton, and had found his way to the seat across from me via a GTA charge and a hot temper. But to me, he was a baby faced 14-year-old who secretly liked Whitney Houston. This was our first meeting, and part of my job was to compile a list of his "Triggers." Anything that made him angry enough to lash out, to do something that could land his ass back in jail. We both had the same goal: get him back home. Most kids, in my short 4 months of experience all had a very similar trigger. This usually centered around someone "talking shit" about them, their mom, or their crew. Maybe a handful of other miscellaneous and understandable offenses.

When I asked Dominick what triggered him, what drove him to a rage that welled up in him a feeling of violence that once caused him to send a chair on a journey through a class room window, his face fell flat.

"What?" I was so curious, "What makes you that mad?"

He took a deep breath and lowered his voice, "When those mother fuckin' girls make human pyramids."

I laughed so hard I felt bad about it. His young face broke open into a sweet smile, "Jackie, I’m not gonna lie.." He started to giggle, "Pisses me the fuck off, I have no idea why. I want to push those chicks right over."

Fair enough. My job was to teach him how to deal with his anger, no matter what triggered it.

He wanted to learn how to cook, and he wanted to make Spaghetti. He thought that cooking might help him channel his anger. We didn’t have any sauce, but his group home staff had just come into ownership of 10 pounds of tomatoes, so we made do.

Because of Dominick, and his human pyramid hating ways, I will always love a good, homemade, can free, marinara.

Homemade Beer Marinara From Scratch

3 lbs tomatoes

1 large head of garlic

1 tbs olive oil, plus 2 additional tbs, divided

1 large white onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

16 ounces wheat beer (Golden Road Hefeweizen is a great choice)

1/3 cup chopped basil leaves

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Rub the head of garlic until about half of the papery white skin comes off. Cut a small amount of the tip off the head of the garlic, just enough to expose all of the cloves. Place on a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with about 1 tbs of olive oil. Fold the foil tightly around the garlic, place on a baking sheet. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them on the baking sheet along with the garlic packet.

Roast the tomatoes and the garlic at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and the skin starts to peel back from the flesh. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

The skin of the tomatoes should be very easy to remove at this point, peel the skin off the tomatoes and discard. Place a fine mesh sieve or strainer over a bowl. Scoop the seeds into the strainer and place the remaining part of the peeled and seeded tomato into a bowl, repeat until all of the tomatoes have been seeded. Allow the seeds to continue to drain while you make the rest of the sauce.

In a pot over medium high heat, add 2 tbs olive oil. Add the onions and carrots, sauté until carrots are soft and onions are translucent. Add the beer, seeded and peeled tomatoes and whatever juice has accumulated in the bowl beneath the tomato seeds. Discard the seeds. Remove the head of garlic from the foil packet and squeeze the soft head until the cloves comes out and into the sauce. Add the salt, pepper and basil.

Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer, allow to cook and reduce until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you want a smoother sauce, add to a food processor and process until smooth.

Use this with my Homemade Beer Ricotta to make a beer infused Lasagna or stuffed Rigatoni.

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Drunken Strawberry Tart with Beer Lemon Curd

Being wrapped in a world filled with food people, the lovers, academics and fanatics, I’ve often lost my footing. Forgotten the simple pleasures of small, honest meals for the sake of a journey towards the creation of an epic recipe. While surrounding myself with people who strive to reinvent the world of food as we know,  I’ve been so entranced that I’ve stepped away from the core of who I am and the food I fell in love with.

I am not a moderist cook.

I am not a chef.

I may never create an epic recipe.

I am OK with that.

It was through a process, not of self discovery but of self remembrance, that stumbled upon a memory that I had almost lost within my catalogue of food experiences. Under the thousand dollar dinners, PR events, celebrity chefs, and world renowned restaurants was a small Italian city, and a home cooked meal.

Years ago, on what turned out to be a 16 hour layover, I was stuck in Pescara Italy. A girl about my age, just past 21, took pity on a broke and confused American in her tiny local airport and asked if she could show her town to me. It began with a home cooked meal, from her own mothers hands on a rickety folding table in her living room, the only place in the small apartment that would accommodate us all. Homemade bread, a small green salad, smashed peas and a roasted chicken.

For dessert was a lemon tart. Simple, beautiful and tangy, made by the hands of a woman who didn’t speak a word of English, but who took time to cook for me even though we would never have the ability to have a conversation, and I could never properly thank her. This is the food that I fell in love with, and I am reminding myself to stay true to that.

I’ve done my best to make the beer infused version of the tart that was made for me in Pescara, and chose a beer that is nearly as fascinating to me. Cooney Island Lager has flavors that remind me a great meal made in spring, orange, citrus, bread and apples.

If you can’t find this beer, look for a low hop beer with notes of citrus, tropical fruits and bread.

Drunken Strawberry Tart with Beer Lemon Curd

Ingredients

    For the tart crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3-5 tbs ice cold water
  • For the curd:
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 2 whole eggs plus six yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 6 large lemons)
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • For the Strawberries
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • ½ cup beer
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs beer
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the cubes of butter and process until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Your dough should resemble course meal.
  2. Start with 3 tbs of water, pulse until combined. If the crust doesn’t hold together add more water, a bit at a time, until it does.
  3. Dump the dough into a 4 inch deep, 9 inch wide tart pan with a remove-able bottom (you can also use a pie pan). Starting with the sides, form the crust inside the pan, trying your best to make it all as even as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a least 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment paper inside your tart and fill with pie weights. If you don’t have any, dried beans work great.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your tart is a light golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly. remove pie weights.
  7. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, beer, sugar, corn starch, whole eggs and yolks to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the lemon mixture to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter. Whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Add the curd to the crust and chill until set, about 4 hours.
  9. Just prior to serving add the berries to a shallow bowl of pie pan and cover with 1/2 cup beer. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Drain and return to bowl with the sugar, stir to combine.
  10. Add all of the whipped cream ingredients to a stand mixer and mix on high until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.
  11. Top tart with berries and whipped cream just prior to serving.
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IPA Marinated Citrus Pork Chops With Peach Poblano Salsa

A really well crafted IPA is a beautiful thing,but this is the style that is most often poorly done. The art of balancing a  hop forward beer delicately with its subtle back notes is an art that only a few persistent pros seem to be able to manage. The well crafted, well balanced IPA is an incredible art, that takes the dedication of a thoughtful and persistent brewer to really ace.

 I present to you Stone Ruination. It is a Masters level education on how to do the IPA right. Seek it out if you adore the Indian Pale Ale, or even if you tend to avoid it. That’s how you make an IPA.

IPA Marinated Citrus Pork Chops With Peach Poblano Salsa

For the Pork Chops:

1 cup IPA (Stone Ruination Preferred)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp agave

1/2 tsp Sriracha

4 bone-in pork chops (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)

3 tbs olive oil (plus additional if needed)

For the Salsa:

1 cup chopped fresh yellow peaches (about 1 large peach)

1 cup chopped red bell peppers, stem and seeds removed (about 1 medium sided pepper)

2/3 cup chopped poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed (about 1 large pepper)

2/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 of 1 large onion)

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs IPA

1/4 tsp chili powder (add more for a spicier salsa)

 

In a large bowl or baking dish, combine the IPA, lemon juice, salt, agave, garlic and srirach, stir to combine. Add the pork chops, turning to coat. Place the bowl (or baking dish) in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Add all of the salsa ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine.

In a pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and allow to get hot but not smoking. Add the pork chops, cooking one or two at a time, don’t crowd the pan. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. You want them to still have a slight hint of pink still in the center, pork chops go from undercooked to overcooked really quickly, so keep a close eye on them.

Plate, and top with salsa. You will have more than enough salsa for the chops, serve the excess in a bowl with chips.

Homemade Beer Ricotta

There are foods that I relent to making from scratch, taking hours to carve a meal out of whole ingredients. Hours spend on homemade pasta, breads, pie dough and sauces. The extra time is more than worth it for real food, feed to those I love from the earth, to my hands to the table.

And then there are things that take so little time and effort, I am amazed that it took me so long to start making them from scratch.

Like whipped cream, tortillas and ricotta.

The active time on this recipe is so little, and the reward is so great, I will never buy it again. No special equipment or difficult to find ingredients. No extensive aging times or unusual techniques. Just a few simple ingredients and a stove.

Spread it on bread and top with fresh vegetables.

Make homemade ricotta ice cream.

Stuffed cannellonis.

Ricotta Cheesecake.

You might need to make a double batch.

 This is  recipe that needs a wheat beer. The citrusy breadyness comes through in really great way. I used Colete By Great Divide. The flavors were perfect for this ricotta and lent themselves well to either sweet or savory recipes using the cheese.

I was grateful that I bought a six pack, this is a beer that will make it’s way in my normal drinking and cooking rotation.


Homemade Beer Ricotta

3 cups whole milk (do not use Ultra-Pasterized, it won’t work)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup Saison beer, Plus 2 tbs divided

3 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, or a combination of the two)

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

In a pot over medium high heat (do not use an aluminum pan) add the milk, cream, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 cup beer.

Clip a cooking thermometer onto the side of the pan.

Bring the liquid to 190 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching. Keep a close eye on it, the liquid reaches and passes 190 very quickly and you don’t want it rising above 200.

Remove from heat, add the 2 tbs beer and then the vinegar (or lemon juice) and stir gently once or twice. It should curdle immediately.  Allow to sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes.

Line a large strainer with 1 or 2 layers of cheese cloth, place the strainer in the sink over a large bowl.

Pour the ricotta into the strainer and allow to drain for 15 to 30 minutes and up to an hour.

After 15 minutes you will have a smooth creamy spreadable cheese. As you continue to allow it to drain, it will become more and more firm. It will also continue to firm once it is chilled, remove it from the strainer before it reaches the firmness level you want as it will continue to firm up in the fridge.

Place in an air tight container and store in the fridge.

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Cheddar Beer Bread Muffins

I’ve noticed something about you.

You seem to have no interest in healthy beer recipes. You want your beer recipes to be a flagrant indulgence of full-flavored stimulation. You want chocolate and bacon and sugar and whatever else I can manage to squeeze into your meal.

I like that about you.

No "semi-homemade" or "skinny" versions will do for your beer baking, you want it to be bold and extravagant, diet repercussions be damned. You also have no problem with my recipes that take hours, making Bacon Beer Jam with delighted voracity.

So it is by pure accident that I offer to you a recipe that only takes 5 minutes to throw together and less than 20 to bake, allowing you to get a fully flavored beer muffin on your table in less than a half an hour.

Although I know you would have been more than willing to spend much longer. I appreciate your tenacity.

For these Beer Bread Muffins, I used Lagunitas Red, a special release that’s just so fun to drink.

Beer Bread Muffins

Cheddar Beer Bread Muffins

Yield: 8 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus additional for topping, if desired)
  • 2 tbs chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, plus 2 additional tbs, divided
  • 3/4 cup beer

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cheese and onions, stir until well combined. Pour in 1/4 a cup of melted butter plus the 6 oz of beer, stir until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into muffin tins until each well is about 1/2 full. Pour remaining 2 tbs of butter onto the tops of the muffins, dividing evenly between each muffin. Top with additional cheese, if desired.
  4. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until the muffins have puffed and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Serve immediately, these are best right out of the oven.
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