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Porter/Stout

Stout Beer Barbeque Sauce

Stout Beer Barbeque Sauce

She told me what it takes to be really lucky. To live a life that helps you slip quietly into content satisfaction once you’ve finished it.

I was alone on a train and she sits down next to me, assigned seats that are little more than a formality but beg us to behave and sit where we’re told even with a healthy sprinkling of empty seats nearby. She’s much older than me, much older than even my mom, and in a reflective state that makes me wonder if she feels like she’s nearing that quiet satisfaction.

"If you’re lucky," she pauses to adjust the oversized bag on her small lap, "you’ll live several lifetimes before you’re done. I have." She starts to list them, ranch kid, dressage prodigy, rebellious teen, ballet dancer, waitress, society wife…. The transitions are always accompanied by a happenstance rebirth. It makes me wonder if you always know the rebirth when it happens or only when it’s over?

I’m feeling on the brink of rebirth at the moment, for no particular reason. Things always tend to shift in my life, I’ve already had so many lives, more than someone my age should have been allowed. My stories are just a consolation from the journey.

Maybe it’s just the way you feel when spring shows up, always late to the party and overdue. Maybe it’s just because I can’t wait to shed the winter and slip into something warmer. I want to cook outdoors, slather everything in barbecue sauce, drink session IPA’s and run around barefoot. If that’s the only rebirth I have waiting for me this year, I’m OK with that. As long as it’s accompanied by this sauce. and a cold beer.

Stout Beer Barbeque Sauce

Yield: 1 ½ cups

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup Stout
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, cooking until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Ridiculous Chocolate Stout Brownie Sundaes (for two)

Ridiculous Chocolate Stout Brownie Sundaes (for two)

This isn’t for people who like order.

For people who want everything neat, tidy and in its place.

Not for people who can’t enjoy a little chaos, or see beauty in a big mess.

I am not that person. Which is probably a good thing, allowing me to survive this unpredictable freelancer, beer gypsy life I decided to fashion for myself. It helps me to enjoy things like this much more.

Dessert shouldn’t be too pretty. It should be a big beautiful mess that you want to dive into in an almost primal way. You can keep your perfectly frosted cupcakes, those hand-painted macarons, I like it a little messy and a lot of fun.

Especially when it comes to chocolate, make it a little crazy. Serve it with a beer.

As for the beer, I have to tell you guys about this one. I was a sour-skeptic for a long time. Until Odell put me on their press list and started sending me their beers, their perfectly balanced and beautifully flavored sours. FINE, I GUESS I LOVE SOURS NOW! This black cherry sour, Dark Theory, pairs almost too well with a giant fudgy brownie.

You might enjoy it too much. Make sure you have a spotter.

 

Ridiculous Chocolate Stout Brownie Sundaes (for two)

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

    For the brownies
  • 6 weight ounce dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (75mL) stout beer
  • 1/2 cup (114g) melted butter
  • 1 cup (236g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (85g) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For the Sundaes:
  • 10 wt oz dark chocolate (plus additional chocolate chips for servings, if desired)
  • 1/3 cup (75mL) chocolate stout
  • 2 large scoops vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Add 6 oz chocolate and 1/3 cup stout beer to the top of a double boiler, stir until melted, remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl stir together the melted butter and both kinds of sugar. Stir in the eggs.
  4. Stir in the chocolate and beer.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt, stir until just combined.
  6. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 350F for 28-30 minutes or until the top is slightly firm and the batter no longer jiggles when the pan is shaken. Remove from oven, allow to cool completely, at least one hour. Brownies are best made a day ahead of time.
  8. Remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper.
  9. Cut into four squares.
  10. Add the remaining 10 wt oz dark chocolate to the top of a double boiler along with the remaining 1/3 cup stout. Stir until melted, remove from heat. Can be made a day ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, reheat slightly before using.
  11. Plate one brownie, top with ice cream, then another brownie, then another scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.
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Baked Asian Beer Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Baked Asian Beer Barbecue Chicken Thighs. Less than 30-minutes and just a few simple steps and you have a delicious dinner! 

When you work from home, with limited human interaction, you do weird things.

You become overly immeshed with your UPS guy, to the point that you are genuinely disappointed when there is another guy instead. You were going to ask him how his sons birthday party went! WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CREEPY BALOON GUY?!

You eat weird things. Not just me, the one who cooks odd, offseason, recipes for clients.  But you just eat lunch meat out of the container while reading Buzzfeed to find out which First Lady you are, and then become excessively disappointed that you didn’t get Michelle Obama. You’ll also eat this chicken over the sink at 10 am because it was really good and it didn’t take nearly as long as you’d assumed.

You have no governor on impromptu social interaction. You are either too excited to talk to the cashier at the grocery store, or you shrink away unable to form words.

You start to think that social media interaction is actual, legit, social interaction. It’s not. But the lines start to get waaaaaay too blurry.

Showering and clothes seem to mean different things than they used to. You might get up and shower right away to "start your day off right," put on your daytime clothes and do your makeup, that might even last a day or two. But then you always slip back into a place of wearing your pajamas at noon, no make up, eating lunchmeat. Poor UPS guy, maybe that’s why he switched routes.

The mail delivery becomes a legit event, a marker in your day.

And here you thought working from home was all glamour. Maybe if your idea of a glamorous life is tank tops, no bra, unshowered, deli meat and too much time on Facebook, I’ve got it nailed.

Baked Asian Beer Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, grated with a microplane
  • 2/3 cup (227g) hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons (38g) low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (15g) Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon (21g) honey
  • ½ cup (4oz) stout beer
  • Rice for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Liberally sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on all sides. Add to a large cast iron skillet, off heat, skin side down.
  3. Add pan to a burner over medium heat (this method of starting the chicken in a cold pan will render more fat and crisp the skin better than searing in a hot pan).
  4. Cook until the skin has browned, turn over, remove from heat.
  5. In a medium sized bowl stir together the garlic, hoisin, chili powder, onion powder, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, honey and beer. Pour over the chicken.
  6. Add the skillet to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. (For a thicker sauce, remove chicken from the pan and simmer the sauce until thickened to desired level).
  7. Plate the chicken over rice, drizzle with pan sauce.
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Slow Cooker Stout Caramelized Onion Dip

Slow Cooker Stout Caramelized Onion Dip

I don’t do resolutions. That’s wrong. I do. Every year. Just not the ones that normal people do. Mine are never about giving things up, that’s desolate. Resolutions should give you hope about the future, not dread.

I make resolutions that make me want to plow forward into the new year. Resolutions like, "learn to make Gnocchi," or "go to one new brewery a month," or "learn how to re-wire a lamp."

This year, I’m on track. I think. My resolution is to put good into the world. This year, more than ever, it’s important. I’ve donated money, made meals for homebound friends, donated blood (remember that?!). One of my ill-advised resolutions-adjacent goals was to compliment strangers. This isn’t good for me, it makes me look creepy. As in: there is some woman going home to her boyfriend saying "Some girl at the grocery store told me that me my hair was pretty. It was creepy."

But I’m not giving up. There is this very nice retirement home down the street from my house. One that I had no idea existed for a year, I literally thought it was just a really big house, and the owner really liked to wear scrubs. I wish I was joking. I’m trying to summon the courage to bake a huge batch of cookies and bring them by.

Not just for the residents, but for the staff. I know it’s hard work that doesn’t pay as well as it should. For some reason, I’m not nearly as brave as I should be when it comes to human interaction. I have no problem jumping off cliffs or out of perfectly good airplanes, but for some reason human interaction is more fear-inducing.

I thought about bringing them this dip, but that’s less explainable. We don’t really have a box in our brain for "the neighbor girl brought me this onion dip," but cookies, we have a brain box for neighbor cookies.

I’ll keep you updated.

Wish me luck.

Slow Cooker Stout Caramelized Onion Dip

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large (1.5lbs) sweet onions (Walla Walla, Maui, Vidalia)
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter
  • 1 tablespoons (16g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • ½ cup (118g) stout beer
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion

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. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire, and garlic powder.
  4. Cook on low for two hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pepper, salt to taste.
  5. Add to a serving dish, sprinkle with green onions.
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Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

I come to this place every few years.

The what do I want? phase. The place I seem to end up after I absentmindedly allow the people-pleaser in my heart to overtake the independent gypsy in my soul. Remember my fuck stupid food manifesto? The place I was in when I found this Ira Glass quote and decided that I needed to figure out how to have more faith in myself and my journey.

I’m back there, in a way, asking myself two questions this time: what do you want? and how long with you doubt yourself before you learn the lesson?  

A tremendous amount of growth has happened in my life, personally and professionally since I wrote that first post. I do this crazy job full time now, including weird jobs like this one and this one. I’ve realized that I wanted growth more than I wanted blog traffic. That loving what I do is more important than a huge paycheck. That reality TV isn’t for me. I’ve learned a few more things about how to wade through what feels like staggering blindness as I try to move towards a goal that often feels like a moving target.

-Don’t confuse what other people want with what you want. They aren’t the same thing.

-Know what "success" means to you, ignore other people’s definitions, they don’t apply to you.

-Doing something for money doesn’t make you a sellout, it makes you a person who can pay the bills. But know your limits. And stick to them.

-Failure isn’t bad, it’s necessary. If you’ve never failed it just means you’ve never swung for the fences. Just fail forward, closer to your goal than you were before. If you’re a step closer, it’s a win.

-Strive for "better than yesterday" not for "perfect"

-Comparison is the thief of joy. If you’re going to engage in comparison battles, compare down, not up. Compare to achieve gratitude for your situation not envy of someone else’s.

-Celebrate even the small wins, with cake and beer.

Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) orange zest
  • 1 cup (226g) sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56g) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons (12g) vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (58g) orange juice (about ½ of a large orange)
  • 1/3 cup (74g) wheat beer
  • ¼ cup (60g) heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ cups (210g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons (2g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons (3g) salt
  • For the ganache:
  • 10 wt oz dark chocolate (60% cacao)
  • ¾ cup (180mL)heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (60mL) stout beer
  • 1 teaspoon (1g) espresso powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Add the orange zest and sugar to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for two minutes on medium-low speed to mix the zest with sugar to help release the oils from the orange rind.
  3. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well between additions until the eggs are very well combined with the sugar.
  4. Slowly add the melted butter.
  5. In a medium bowl stir together the vanilla extract, orange juice, beer and heavy cream.
  6. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. A bit at a time add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, alternating between the two until everything has been added and gently combined.
  8. Grease and flour a 9X5 loaf pan, pour the batter in an even layer.
  9. Add the pan to the oven, lower the temp to 325F.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched.
  11. Remove from oven, allow to cool before removing from pan.
  12. In the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water add the ganache ingredients. Stir frequently until just before the chocolate chips have completely melted and combined. Remove from heat, continue to stir until smooth and well combined. Pour in an even layer over the cake.
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Grilled Beer Chicken Sliders with Burrata and Stout Chipotle Cherry Sauce

These Grilled Beer Chicken Sliders with Burrata and Stout Chipotle Cherry Sauce can be made on a grill, or indoors in a grill pan. Easy and delicious, perfect for game day!

Welcome to the new year.

Welcome to the year that is equal parts a welcomed relief and intensely terrifying. Let’s make a plan, you and I. Let’s agree to one thing: make the small corners of the world we occupy better in hopes to cause a ripple. Let’s express gratitude more often, very often, and even to those we hardly know. Let’s compliment strangers, pay for the order behind us, donate to that charity that we always say we will donate to but always forget. Let’s make a plan to always assume positive intent, especially from those we like the least until we are proven otherwise.

We don’t have much control over, well, pretty much anything. But we DO have control over that. We have control over what we focus on and what we put into the world. The thing I’ve learned with counting blessings is that it tends to multiply them, or at the very least amplify them. The same applies to hardships, so be careful.

Let’s assume positive intent for this year, and hope for the best. We’re in this together, all of us.

Grilled Beer Chicken Sliders with Burrata and Stout Chipotle Cherry Sauce

Yield: 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless skinless
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces wheat beer (or brown ale, pale lager, pilsner)
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) smoked paprika
  • 1 cup (154g) pitted dark sweet cherries (frozen is fine)
  • 2 tablespoon (38g) minced chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (240g) beer(stout beer works best)
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 oz ball burrata cheese
  • 12 Hawaiian buns, split like slider buns

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl or small baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, then cover with beer. Refrigerate for one to six hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry. Add to a plate or cutting board.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle over the chicken on both sides. Allow the chicken to sit for ten minutes.
  4. Spray the grill (or a grill pan) with olive oil or cooking spray, heat to medium high heat. Add the chicken, cooking on both sides until cooked through. Remove from grill, slice.
  5. Add the cherries, chipotle, balsamic, stout beer, and black pepper to a pan over medium high heat. Simmer, breaking up the cherries and stirring until the cherries have started to break down.
  6. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cornstarch, blend with an immersion blender until smooth (this can also be done in a small blender or food processor). Stir in the honey and return to medium heat until slightly thickened (cherry sauce can be made up to three days in advance).
  7. Fill the Hawaiian buns with chicken. Split the Burrata ball open, putting a few teaspoons of cheese on top of the chicken (the rind is very tasty and can be put on the sliders, if desired. It tastes more like traditional mozzarella), drizzle the cheese with a teaspoon or so of the cherry sauce.
  8. Serve immediately.

Notes

To make ahead of time, make all elements before hand, store separately. Transport this way, if serving off site. Heat the chicken and sauce separately and assemble just prior to serving

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Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Chipotle Stout Pomegranate Sauce

Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Chipotle Stout Pomegranate Sauce. Quick and easy, and so delicious.  Perfect Meatless Monday Meal. 

It finally happened.

I woke up to a City covered in snow and slightly panicked about it. It wasn’t that long ago that I was living {here}, and putting up Christmas decorations in a sundress. The thing about the Pacific Northwest that takes some getting used to is that they embrace the cold weather and completely freak out about it. Cities up here don’t own snow plows, or salt roads, they shut down school for a week even if there is just a threat of snow, and once the forecast hints at temperatures dipping below 30F, there is a run on all the wood in town for the inevitable loss of power. (I can feel the eye roll from the Mid West).

Maybe because my compute is just from the bed to the kitchen, unbinding me from dealing with the winter roads, but I like it more than I thought I would. The snow blanketing my yard, covering the hill I live on, slowly and silently settling in, just seems like magic in a way.

My new roommate, however, isn’t thrilled about this at all. He must be forced outside when the time necessitates. Maybe he’ll get used to it, but probably just about the time it all melts and spring starts to settle in.

 

Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Chipotle Stout Pomegranate Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    Enchiladas:
  • 1 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 12 homemade or good quality corn tortillas
  • 1 can (425g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 (8oz) ball whole milk mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 large avocados
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, finely minced
  • 1 tbs adobo sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ cup stout
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Slice the potatoes into strips. Add to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 18 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  4. Add all the sauce ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. In an 8x8 pan, cover the bottom with a layer of tortillas. Top with a layer of sweet potatoes, black beans, corn kernels , a few slices of mozzarella, drizzle with a small amount of sauce.
  6. Add another layer of tortillas, then another layer of filling. Repeat until the dish is filled, ending with tortillas. Top with the remaining sauce, then slices of cheese.
  7. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese has melted. Top with avocado, cilantro and pomegranate seeds.
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No Bake Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Cups

No Bake Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Cups are super easy and simple with only about ten minutes prep. Perfect make ahead dessert!

I think it’s because of how hard this year has been.

Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe it’s just time. We are all returning to the classics. Going back to what’s familiar and comforting. We’re drinking pilsners, pulling out our thrashed jeans and oversized sweaters, we’re eating fried chicken off plaid plates.

We’re all simultaneously ready for this year to end, and not at all ready for the next one to begin. It’s a feeling of hurry up and leave but please don’t go.

We don’t have control over the inauguration, Game of Thrones ending, or the threat that someone decided to make an Emojis movie😳. We can control us. You and me. I can make some food, feed some people and drink some beer.

Good beer, for a good year. Let’s all hope that 2017 defies the odds, breaks the trend, shocks us all with good. Raise a glass, filled with something good, toast it up, and drink it down. Here’s to 2017.

I used Grandfather Raven from Black Raven for this recipe. It’s rich and delicious with a gorgeous smell and an even better taste. Notes of cocoa and coffee, it’s 9.5% ABV but smooth and dangerously drinkable. I highly recommend it.

No Bake Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoon (42g) melted butter
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (120mL) heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cup (150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (112mL) stout beer (imperial coffee stout works well)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Instructions

  1. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Spoon into 4 (8oz) serving cups, about 2 to 3 tablespoons per cup, press until compacted into the bottom.
  2. In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream, beat until well combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and salt, mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Slowly add the beer and chocolate while the mixer is on low. Turn the mixer on high, beat for about 6 minutes or until well combined.
  5. Spoon into servings cups, chill for at least two hours and up to overnight.
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English Pub Toffee (beer, bacon, pretzels) + The Ultimate Beer Lovers Giveaway ($400 value)

I have something for you, it has beer in to.

I made some toffee, full of beer flavor, bacon and salty pretzels for good measure. I also have something else, something that you can fill with beer. Or give to your favorite beer loving human for the holidays. It’s a SYNEK tabletop beer dispenser that you fill with beer from your local taproom. It’s small enough to fit in your kitchen (you can stop those plans to turn a Craigslist fridge into a tap adorned keg fridge), and it’s also gorgeous enough that you’ll want it on your counter.

Sure, you can give it to your favorite craft beer loving friend for the holidays, or you can keep it for yourself. After all, you do want fresh beer for said beer lover when they come to visit. Maybe you just make them some toffee and invite them over for a beer, that’s also a really nice gift.

Enter in the widget below, it may take a second or two to load

We have a winner! Congrats, Meg. Hope you enjoy! 

*Ships to USA addresses only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

English Pub Toffee (beer, bacon, pretzels) )

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

    For the beer candied bacon:
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons beer*
  • 6 strips thick cut bacon
  • For the toffee:
  • 1 ½ cups butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons beer*
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups pretzels, slightly crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons beer. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray. Place the bacon on the rack, brush liberally with sugar mixture, flip over and brush the other side. Bake until dark brown, about 18 minutes. Allow to cool (it will harden as it cools), chop into pieces once cooled.
  3. While the bacon cooks, make the toffee. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Add the butter sugar, salt and beer to a pot over high heat. Stir continuously until the butter has melted. Clip a cooking thermometer on the edge, cook until the sugar reaches 300F, stirring occasionally. Pour onto prepared pan. Allow to cool about 2 minutes, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Once the warm toffee has melted the chocolate chips, spread the chocolate evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with bacon and pretzels.
  4. Cool to room temperature, then add to the fridge and chill for 2 hours. Break into pieces before serving.

Notes

*Nearly any beer will work, I've used an amber, a red and a barrel aged stout with great results.

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Pulled Chipotle Beer Chicken Sliders

Pulled Chipotle Beer Chicken Sliders

chipotle-beer-chicken-sliders-103

I’ve made a decision.

I need to clear the emotional cache from this past week. I need to a little distance from reality and my incessant need to over-think. I need a break and a beer and I’ve decided that a trip to Bend, Oregon can fix what ails me right now. Or at least numb it and distract me enough to remind me how big the world is.

I’ve even booked a place that has a kitchen, because I’ve already told you about my need to bake bread when I’m sad, and my over excitement for the sourdough starter I made (yes, I’m contemplating bringing it with me like a cat in a carrier). I’m leaving in 11 days and I’m going to update you, like I did when I was here. Because even if you can’t blow off Thanksgiving to road trip and drink beer, I still want you along for the ride.

I also made you some sliders, because football is forever and we need food for that, these just take 20 minutes.

chipotle-beer-chicken-sliders

Pulled Chipotle Beer Chicken Sliders

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 boneless (1.5 lbs), skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion or cilantro
  • 12 slider buns

Instructions

  1. Add the garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, honey, tomato paste, beer, chicken broth and cornstarch in a blender, blend until smooth.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan over high heat, sear the chicken on both sides.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 6-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, shred the chicken using two forks, toss in the sauce.
  6. Fill the slider buns with chicken, sprinkle with chopped green onions (or cilantro).
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Spiked Hot Chocolate with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Spiked Hot Chocolate with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

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Jennifer was one of those people I admired right away.

Her gorgeous photos, flawless recipes (she’s a trained chef), and she just seemed like someone I wanted to have a beer with. After we passed the obligatory blog-stalking-each-other period, we became friends. She’s someone who will give advice without judgement, share what she’s learned, and she’ll go to bat for you.

She’s the type of friend you want, even if she lives on the other side of the country. Even if most of our communication is vent-messaging each other things we know the other will understand. Even if I’m still hoping to make an East Coast trip happen soon, and it just doesn’t seem to be materializing.

When her book, The Gourmet Kitchen,  came in the mail I was thrilled. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. Gorgeous photos, recipes you want to make, and instructions that feel effortless to follow.

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So I made a recipe, and drooled over the rest. I was sucked in by the idea of a salted caramel whipped cream and now all other whipped creams will be decidedly inferior. I switched out the bourbon for a bourbon barrel aged stout because I do that type of thing, but feel free to booze as you choose with bourbon, brandy, rum or beer.

Don’t forget to check out her blog Savory Simple, and her Instagram.

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Spiked Hot Chocolate with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Yield: 2 large servings

Used by permission from The Gourmet Kitchen cookbook by Jennifer Farley,

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 weight ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup bourbon barrel aged stout (or ¼ cup bourbon)*

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the sugar, water and salt over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the sugar to continue cooking, keeping a close eye on it, until it starts to turn golden brown. Once it begins to caramelize, it will darken quickly. Let the sugar get dark without burning for the best results.
  2. Once the caramel is a dark amber, remove the pan from heat and pour the heavy ream down the side of the saucepan. The caramel will splatter before temporarily seizing up, be careful to avoid burns.
  3. Move the pan back onto the burner and use a heatproof spatula to stir the caramel and cream until evenly combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
  4. Pour the caramel into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing firmly directly against the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until very cold, several hours and up to overnight.
  5. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip the caramel until it reaches medium peaks. Set aside.
  6. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. When the milk is steaming but not yet simmering, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute until the chocolate has melted. Vigorously whisk in the vanilla and beer (or bourbon), and briefly return to heat until the desired serving temperate us reached. Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream.

Notes

Recipe in the book calls for 1/4 cup bourbon. The only adaptation I made was the option of using 1/2 cup bourbon barrel aged stout instead of bourbon,

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I was given a copy of The Gourmet Kitchen without expectation or obligation. All opinions are my own. 

Beer Braised Short Rib Sliders with Kettle Chip Crusted Onion Rings

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Football season is about more than just the game. It’s the communal cheering, the epic match-ups and the crowd of friends rooting for the home team. Of course, there is always that guy who’s on the wrong side of the cheering, upsetting the game-day-chi with his sad-face reaction to what everyone else is rooting for. But it wouldn’t be the same without him. Or without the people who are really just there for the food. It wouldn’t be any fun if everyone was overly-intense-don’t-talk-during-play-time guy, or at-least-that’s-good-for-my-fantasy-team guy. Someone has to be overly-obsessed-with-winning-at-game-day-food guy (Me. Always me). We need a strong healthy mix of people to bring together the perfect game watching experience.

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Healthy competition keeps it fun, and keeps the adrenaline pumping. Don’t stop at the game that’s going strong on the field, bring the action into your house.

I like to have a side bet, one that involves food and beer. One that pits pairings against pairings.

For the October 9th, 2016 NFL match-up of Washington vs Baltimore I recommend offering these pairings and having your guests decide which is the winner. Whatever team you’re rooting for, there are no losers in the game of chips and beer. There are only winners, and bigger winners. I have a hands down favorite, but I’m not going to tell you which one. You’re gonna have to try it out and let me know which one you picked.

 

For Baltimore I went with the spectacular Kettle Brand Korean Barbecue Chips, the chips come already rooting for the Ravens with their matching purple bag. I paired it with a Saison for the perfect balance of sweet and heat.

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I’m pitting the Korean Barbecue and Saison for Baltimore against this:

For Washington I went red. Kettle Brand Sriracha Chips are a crowd pleaser and easy to pair with an IPA, the bold flavors are a perfect pairing. It’s two big time flavor favorites that compliment each other beautifully.

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Pair them up, let your guests decide who the winner is, the refs have no say here.

This is a recipe that you can make with either chip, for football food that’s already cheering along side you, unlike that one guy that you always sort of regret inviting over.

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Beer Braised Short Rib Sliders with Kettle Chip Crusted Onion Rings

Yield: 12 sliders

Ingredients

    Short Ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 lbs bone in beef short ribs
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 12 oz porter beer
  • Onion rings
  • 1 large yellow sweet onions (Maui, Walla Walla, Vidalia) sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 bag (8.5 wt oz) Kettle Brand Chips (Sriracha or Korean BBQ)
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 cups flour, divided in half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup IPA or pale ale beer
  • canola oil for baking
  • Sliders
  • 12 slider buns
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Gochujang or Sriracha

Instructions

    Make the short ribs:
  1. Sprinkle the salt on all sides of the short ribs. In a small bowl stir together the flour, chili powder, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin and brown sugar. Sprinkle the ribs on all sides with the flour mixture.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the short ribs, browning on all sides.
  3. Add the broth and beer, bring to a low simmer. Add the lid at a vent, cooking until short ribs are tender and falling off the bone, about 2 ½ hours, remove from heat. Using two forks, shred while still in the pot. Allow to sit in braising liquid for ten minutes, remove from braising liquid (This can be made a day ahead, stored in the fridge in the braising liquid and re-heated for sliders).
  4. Make the onion rings:
  5. Preheat oven to 450.
  6. Slice the onion into ½ inch slices, separate the rings. Place in a large bowl of ice water. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes (this will take the harsh “bite” out of the raw onion and help them cook better).
  7. Add the Kettle chips to a food processor, process until only crumbs remain. Transfer crumbs to a bowl, drizzle with melted butter, toss to coat.
  8. Drizzle a large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon canola oil, set aside.
  9. In a large bowl add 1 cup flour (reserve the other cup) and 1 teaspoon salt, stir to combine. Stir in the beer to make a smooth batter.
  10. Add the remaining flour to a small bowl.
  11. One at a time remove the onion slices from the water, dredge in flour until well coated, dip in the batter allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl, then add to the Kettle chip crumbs to gently coat.
  12. Add to prepared baking sheet in an even layer, making sure the onion rings aren’t touching (smaller rings can be place inside large ones as long as they don’t touch) drizzle with canola oil.
  13. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, gently flip, bake until golden brown on all sides, about 8 additional minutes.
  14. Assemble the sliders:
  15. In a small bowl stir together the sour cream and Gochujang or Sriracha.
  16. Fill the slider buns with short ribs, then about 1 tablespoon sour cream, then an onion ring. Serve immediately.
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This post was sponsored by Kettle Chips. Partnerships with The Beeroness and outside companies are rare and only occur when the company’s products are ones I use and enjoy myself. All ideas and opinions are my own

Porter Provolone Meatball Subs

Porter Provolone Meatball Subs

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 "I can’t believe you’re not here this weekend," The bartender at Cowiche Canyon in Yakima, Washington is shaming me for arriving —and leaving—just days before the biggest celebration of beer that this part of the world has to offer.

I don’t blame her, really. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to come to the site of Fresh Hop Fest, to a city in a pre-party-buzz frenzy and leave before the main event.

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 But for once, I wasn’t there for the beer. The beer, which will be a celebration of the flicker of time that brewers are able to use fresh-from-the-bine-hops, isn’t why I came.

I came for the hops. I came to witness the harvest first hand. I came to see these beautiful little flowers, the rock star beer ingredient, go from field to brew. Harvest was completed mere hours after my arrival, days before the Fresh Hop Fest party-goers will arrive, harvest is over before they land in town. Every hop bine cut down, every hop flower resting peacefully in wait for it’s final fermentable destination.

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 It was an experience I was grateful to witness, something that few beer lovers get to see first hand. It was worth skipping this years festivities in favor of what so few people are able to witness. It’s an experience I’ll tell you more about later, but for now I made you a sandwich.

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For now, we can all roam our respective cities looking for fresh hop beers at our tap rooms, enjoying the view from afar.

But next year, it’ll be different. Next year I already have plans to return for the Festival, take part, drink the best that Yakima has to offer and tell you all about it.

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Porter Provolone Meatball Subs

Yield: 4 servings

To make this as an appetizer, substitute the 4 hoagie rolls with 12 slider buns.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs ground pork
  • ¼ cup (28g) breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon (0.5g) dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon (0.25g) dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 2 teaspoon (6g) garlic powder, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (140g) chopped white onions
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) olive oil
  • ½ cup (115mL)porter or stout beer
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 14.5 wt oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) black pepper
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 8 slices provolone cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add the pork breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder (reserve the other teaspoon), and egg. Mix with your hands until just combined.
  2. Cover a plate with plastic wrap. Use a cookie scoop to make balls just smaller than golf balls. Place on the prepared plate. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes (this will help the meatballs retain shape during cooking).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cooking until onions have softened and started to brown, about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the onions from the pan, increase heat to high. Add the meatballs, pulling the pan back and forth to roll the meatballs around the pan until lightly browned.
  5. Pour in the beer, then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black pepper, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic powder and the onions. Stir gently.
  6. Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to simmer until the meatballs are cooked through. Salt sauce to taste. *
  7. Preheat the broiler. Slice the hoagie rolls and add the meatballs and sauce to the rolls. Place on a baking sheet. Top with two slices of cheese per sandwich.
  8. Broil until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Notes

*to make in advance, finish cooking the meatballs, then transfer to a storage container. Store in the fridge for up to three days. High slightly, add to hoagie rolls, top with cheese and broil until cheese is melted.

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Hops are gorgeous.

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Chocolate Stout Freak Shake

Chocolate Stout Freak Shake Freakshake 

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In college I worked with a guy named Freak.

Large and imposing with a heart of gold under layers of ink and steel. I refused to call him Freak, making up new names for him. Finally, he stopped me, asked me why I was so opposed to using that name. "But you’re not a freak. You’re normal." In my white-girl-from-the-farm logic, this was a compliment. Once it hit his ears, it was anything but.

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"No I’m not. Stop thinking normal is good, and abnormal is bad. Do you think I want to be like everyone else? The word freak means: 'a person who is unusual' and that’s me. I WANT to be a freak, I don’t want to be normal."

That was the end of it. I understood, and it changed the way I saw things. I embraced my weird in new ways. I’d never really wanted to be typical, average, or normal, but I hadn’t ever held my weird up over my head like a boombox in a John Hughes movie until that day. Weird is good, freaks are awesome, non-conforming is liberating.

Long live the freaks of the world. Milkshakes, people, places.

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I beer’d up a phenomenon that is sweeping Australia from a little cafe with a long line called Patissez. Freaks of the world are uniting over the over-the-top, and anything but usual, ice cream concoctions. I, of course, felt like anything that excessive needed beer. A big beer with beautifully bold flavors that can stand up to all the noise in that glass. I chose a stout from Washington called Wrecking Ball from No-Li Brewhouse. Fantastic all on it’s own, but this recipe is about excess and Wrecking Ball kept up.

Chocolate Stout Freak Shake

Yield: 2 shakes

Ingredients

  • 10 wt ounces 60% cacao chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup Imperial stout or barrel aged stout, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pint ice cream
  • 1 cups pretzels, crushed
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • cookies and candy for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the chocolate chips, 1/3 cups stout (reserve the other 1/3 cup of stout for the milkshake), and the butter in the top of a double boiler over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the chocolate has melted and combined with the beer and butter (if the sauce separates, use an immersion blender to bring it back to life). Set aside.
  3. Add the crushed pretzels to a bowl.
  4. Dip a serving glass in the chocolate, then the pretzels to rim the glasses.
  5. Add the ice cream plus the remaining 1/3 cup stout to a blender, blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the milkshake into the glass until about half way full, add a few scoops of chocolate sauce on top of the ice cream, then fill the glass with the ice cream mixture.
  7. Top with generous amounts of chocolate sauce, whipped cream, crushed pretzels, cookies and candy.
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Flourless Chocolate Stout Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Stout Cookies 101

This is what happens when you leave me alone with a bag of cocoa powder.

Not just one batch, but five. Each batch with new tweaks to make them perfect. A batch with mini chocolate chips, one with ill-advised walnuts, one batch of chocolate and caramel ice cream cookie sandwiches, and the last batch left on my sisters kitchen table for her to love-hate me when she got home from work.

Some recipes bring out the obsessive, the this-must-be-perfect, the one-more-to-make-it-even-better, and this recipe stuck that cord. The next time I make them it’ll be with a sprinkle of sea salt on the top, maybe a smoked Maldon, and a barrel aged stout.

As a side note: beer and cookies are vastly superior to milk and cookies. No exceptions.


Flourless Chocolate Stout Cookies

Yield: 16-18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ¾ cups (1 lbs) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (114g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons stout beer
  • 1 cup (140g) chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Separate the eggs.
  2. Add the salt to the whites and beat the whites until light and frothy.
  3. Add ½ cup powdered sugar to the whites, beat until firm.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and cocoa powder, stir until combined.
  5. Stir in the vanilla, beer and egg yolks until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to mound cookies onto the parchment.
  7. Freeze for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375.
  8. Bake for 14 minutes.
  9. Pull the parchment onto the counter to allow the cookies to cool.
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Jalapeño Honey Grilled Beer Chicken

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I had a camera in my face and a man four-inches shorter than me asking questions he should know the answers to.

This is mid-day TV, I suppose. This is a cooking segment on a Los Angeles NBC station. This is a person unable to let a millisecond of silence creep across your screen. Your ears must be punctured with words, even if they are odd and out of place.

I’d been making a chipotle beer cheese sauce, a blender version that takes only the few seconds TV cooking can tolerate without a pay off, and I mentioned that alcohol intensifies heat. The higher ABV a beer is, the hotter it will make that pepper you put in your sauce. Add a jalapeño to some vodka and it will exploit every inch of capsaicin it contains in just mere minutes. It was a warning, really. If you don’t want a screaming hot sauce, steer away from the 13% triple IPA monsters and towards the 4% session beers.

A slight pause to pour the sauce into a bowl, no more than a full second and he panicked. "So….what does "intensify" mean?" The second he said it, I could see a flash of regret in his eyes and a plea for me to pick up the ball. He could have asked about ABV, or about local beers that would work best. But instead he asked me to define a word like we were in the middle of a really heated spelling bee.

I can no longer talk about alcohol intensifying heat without thinking about him and his request to define the word rather than explain the idea. It is true, the higher the alcohol content, the spicier it will make your peppers. This can be great if your like your dishes with a kick. It can be assaulting if your pepper is already hotter than you’d expected. Either way, it something to keep in mind.

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Jalapeño Honey Grilled Beer Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (125g) stout or porter beer
  • ¼ cup (70g) balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup (70g) sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (90g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) onion powder
  • 1 lbs chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the beer, balsamic, soy, honey, garlic powder, and, onion powder.
  2. Add the chicken and jalapenos, stir to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for one hour and up to 12.
  4. Thread chicken and jalapenos onto heat safe skewers.
  5. Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Serve warm.
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Beer Chili Party Dogs

Beer Chili Party Dogs

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I had a brief 3-year stint as a vegetarian, a decision that made my cooking both better and impossible, but I ultimately  wasn’t able to commit. Rules have never really been for me, and I’m an all-in, or all-out type of person.

It started when my parents decided to move us all (they had eight daughters, choke on that), from an idyllic central California beach town, to a pig farm in Eastern-Washington-Lunch-Meat-USA. For a handful of years, we played farm, raised pigs, grew alfalfa, bucked hay, listen to a lot of George Strait, and tried not to die. I moved back to California the second I was able, missing my own High School graduation to get back to Los Angeles as quickly as my Ford Bronco would take me.

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I’m going to spare you the dirty details of why, exactly, those years on the farm inspired a meat-free existence but I will tell you how it ended: with a chili cheese dog. I love the food I ate when I was focusing on produce, but I hated the idea that there was anything off limits. I was devoted to learning as much as I could about cooking and I needed to be able to work with all ingredients in order to learn as much as possible. I decided, on a drive through Burbank one day, that I was done. I wasn’t done with how much I love veg food, I was done with having rules on what I ate. I didn’t tip-toe back into the meat pool. I jumped into the deep end with a chili cheese dog from Chili Johns. It was fantastic.

Although the farm years didn’t stick, I did take away a valuable lesson about hot dogs: always buy kosher. ALWAYS. A few days after the first pigs went from pen to slaughter house I happened to answer a call from the local butcher. He asked me if we wanted hot dogs. Being 12-years-old, I had no idea what he meant, (why wouldn’t we?) and unfortunately, he explained it to me. The gist (look away if you really want to be spared the dirty details), he offered to "hose out the bottom of the slaughterhouse and put it in casings." This is when I learned the truth about what exactly that childhood treat is. Kosher means real meat, no "other stuff," no things that end up on the bottom of the slaughter house with no other purpose. Kosher it is, since I can get behind the idea that sneaking entrails and reproductive parts into someone’s dinner is immoral. So maybe I’m a little Jewish. But only when hot dogs are around.

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Beer Chili Party Dogs

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon (22g) olive oil
  • 1 cup (125g) yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lbs beef (80% lean/20% fat)
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) stout beer
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoon (12g) red chili sauce (such as sriracha)
  • 2 teaspoon (4g) chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (6g)salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) cumin
  • 8 Kosher hot dogs (precooked, do not use raw)
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 4 wt oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup (8g) cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, cooking until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
  2. Add the beef, cooking until browned, stirring and breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. Stir in the beer, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and cumin. Cook until slightly thickened, remove from heat.
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Open the hot dog buns and lay flat, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place under broiler until lightly toasted (this will help the buns to not get soggy once the chili dog sauce is added). Remove from oven, lower heat to 400F.
  6. Place the buns in a long row down the center of the pan. Add a hot dog to each bun, top with chili sauce. Sprinkle the hot dogs with cheese.
  7. Return to the center rack in the oven, cooking until the cheese has melted and the hot dogs are warmed through.
  8. Remove from oven, sprinkle with avocado and cilantro.
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Porter Pulled Duck Burger with Beer Pickled Onions + A Rebrew in Copenhagen

Porter Pulled Duck Burger with Beer Pickled Onions

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“If you’re expecting a new craft beer, with a fist of strong hoppy notes, you would be disappointed,” says Erik Lund, the head brewer from Carlsberg, who shifts his tall, lanky frame on a couch across from me. We’re in a back room of a building in Denmark that could be older than the City I live in, discussing the beer he spent two years developing. A brewing project that, in actuality, started before any of us were born.

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133-years-ago Carlsberg brewed a batch of beer, bottled it and distributed it to the people of Denmark.131-years later three of those bottles were discovered in the belly of the ever-expanding Carlsberg campus just outside Copenhagen. Dusty and forgotten, they still held the key to what beer tasted like more than a century ago.

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One of those bottles was carefully opened in the Carlsberg lab in an attempt to see if it still contained viable brewers yeast. It begs pausing to give a moment of realization for how damn magical yeast is.

133-years-later, it’s still there, waiting to continue its work for the brewers but only if they know how to tease and tame the beast. With that yeast, a century-old record for grain purchases, floor malting procedures of the day, barley grown to mimic that which was available at the time, and a visit to a far away cooperage, the brewers attempted to recreate the beer as it was the day it went into the bottle, 133-years-ago.

A beer that hoped to give us a small window into what beer tasted like in 1883, when Carlsberg was making groundbreaking strides in the world of beer and the business of yeast wrangling. We know a lot of what happened at the dawn of commercial beer, we know how beer was sold, when it was first bottled, who was brewing and where. We can write books on the first pilsner, or how lager yeast was discovered, but—what did it TASTE like?

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The rumor in the press meeting —the one that nearly no one actually swallowed whole —was that neither Erik, or any of the other Carlsberg staff, had sampled this beer until they invited beer press from across the globe to witness the inaugural cask tapping.

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I stand in a cluster of beer writers, brewers, and well-respected authors to await my turn at sampling the past. “Is it good?” isn’t the point. It was a moment in beer history – an immensely important building block that allowed us to be where we are in craft beer.

Of course, it won’t be the most innovative beer you’ve ever had because at the time the innovation wasn’t the taste. The innovation was the fact that brewers figured out how to purify yeast to prevent it from making people sick. The innovation was figuring out to malt grain without growing mold, and how to brew with JUST the yeast you intend.

The innovation was brewing for mass distribution. Those strides allowed us to climb the beer hierarchy of needs to indulge in the innovation of flavors. So the taste wasn’t really as important as what beer did 1000-years-ago, 500-years-ago and 133-years-ago, as a building block for what we can do now.

Copenhagen21

Erik’s apology for the beer is followed by a reminder that the beer did what it was supposed to do—allow us a taste of 1883. This “taste” was merely a step on the evolutionary ladder of beer, and was a building block that allowed us to throw fists full of hops into our brew kettles. Allowed us the brain space to figure out how to work blood oranges into a gose, and how to make a beer that tastes like marshmallows and campfire. We don’t even have to like it, but we should respect it. For what it did for us.

Copenhagen13

My first night in Copenhagen I battled jet lag and rush hour to make it over to a market for this. I’ve recreated the recipe for you, not in the labor-intensive process that Carlsberg used to recreate their beer, but as an homage to what they did.

The Pulled Duck Burger was fantastic and will always remind me of that first night in Denmark.

Porter Pulled Duck Burger with Beer Pickled Onions 3

Porter Pulled Duck Burger with Beer Pickled Onions

Yield: 4 burgers

Ingredients

    For the red onions:
  • 12 oz of IPA beer
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • For the Sandwiches:
  • 2 lbs duck breast
  • 1 ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup porter or stout beer
  • 4 buns, toasted
  • spring greens

Instructions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat add the beer, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, stirring just until the sugar and salt dissolve, remove from heat.
  2. Add the onions to a jar or storage container. Pour brine over the onions. Allow to sit at room temperate until cooled, cover and refrigerate until chilled. Can be made several days in advance.
  3. Preheat oven to 325.
  4. Sprinkle the duck on all sides with salt. Allow to sit at room temperate for about 15 minutes.
  5. Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar and paprika in a small bowl, set aside.
  6. Place duck in a Dutch oven off heat, skin side down (this will help render more fat than adding the duck to a hot pan.)
  7. Cook until the skin is browned and most of the fat is rendered. Sprinkle with spice mixture turn over to sear on the other side.
  8. Pour out most of the fat that has collected in the pan, reserve for an alternate use.
  9. Pour the beer into the pot, cover and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until meat easily flakes with a fork.
  10. Remove the duck, shred with two forks, remove the skin. Return the meat to the braising liquid, allow to sit for ten minutes in the liquid (to make ahead, store the meat in the braising liquid in an air tight container in the fridge. Will keep for four days. Warm before serving).
  11. Fill the buns with meat, top with pickled onions and greens.
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Porter Pulled Duck Burger with Beer Pickled Onions 1