Skip to main content

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

Falling into the world of craft beer, I lacked a full grasp of the type of people this obsession attracts. Over the years I never cease to be amazed at the warmth and heart that exists in the gatherings of the Craft Beer Enthusiasts, the salt of the earth types that dwell here. It’s hard to explain to people who are outside, how to really articulate how golden the souls, how quickly we connect to one another over a shared fascination. How our celebrities brew beer, and our Mecca lives in various 750 ml bottles.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to spend a truly unforgettable weekend in Boston, courtesy of Attune Foods, to marinate in the company of the Craft Beer Crowd. The final night gave me a clear tableau of the heart of this community. In the middle of a large conference space, in the bottom of a Boston hotel, was an impromptu potluck of rare beer, a spontaneous gathering spread out by strangers. People from all over the country packed bottles of beer, rare beer, sacred beer, hard to track down beer, beer that people dream of, in order to share it with strangers. They pulled from their stash of beer that took them months, even years to track down, in order to share it with people they have never met.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

I was honored, and so grateful, to be handed beer I’ve only read about, from people I’d never met. "I though you’d like this," or "I brought this to share, do you want some?" It was touching, and even a bit overwhelming, that people who didn’t know me would share, with such enthusiasm, what is often rare and hard to come by. Some bottles weren’t even replaceable, aged for several years. This is craft beer. People who just want to share, in community, what they have come to love.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

 

And all I have to offer in return is my gratitude, and some knowledge about food, and a few recipes. Let’s start with steak. A few tips can give you an unforgettable meal, to serve with that rare beer.

First, is the selection process. Have you ever noticed those stickers on the packages of steak in the grocery store? Prime, Choice and Select? While they should put: Great, Pretty Good and Don’t Bother, they leave it a bit ambiguous. If you know what to buy, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Prime is the best, but of course, most expensive. Choice is runner up to prime, not as good as Prime, but it’s often much less expensive. Select should be labeled: Please Don’t Select, it’s poor quality. If a steak isn’t labeled, it probably was so poor, it didn’t even earn a Select designation. If you see an unlabeled piece of meat that has a sticker that says, Inspected by the USDA, don’t fall for it, all meat is inspected by the USDA. Look for a well marbled steak, about an inch in thickness that’s labeled Prime or Choice.

Second: marinate and dry. Beer is a natural meat tenderizer, using it in a marinade gives steak an amazing texture. Drying the meat well, while it feels counter intuitive, is the only way to get a good sear and avoid 50 shades of gray meat.

Third: excessively salt your meat. Don’t be shy with the salt, it’s imperative. Liberally salt the steak on all sides, it’s pretty difficult to over salt a steak and salt is extremely important to the final flavor.

Fourth: buy a meat thermometer. If you cook meat a lot, you get used to the feel test and you can vibe it. But until then, testing with an inexpensive meat thermometer is a foolproof way to get the exact doneness that you want. You really don’t want to spend all that time and money only to over cook your steak because you didn’t want to spring for the $7 meat thermometer.

For this recipe I love a smoked porter, it’s one of my favorite go-to beers when it comes to cooking with beef.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter

Ingredients
  

For the Steak:

  • 1 ½ cups stout or porter
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 New York Steaks or Tri Tip Steaks choice or prime
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbs olive oil

For The Butter:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup porter
  • ¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the beer, Worcestershire, onion powder, paprika and salt.
  • Place the steaks in a baking dish, cover with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours, turning at least once while marinating.
  • While the steak is marinating, make the butter. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add the ½ cup porter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2 tbs, 8-10 minutes.
  • In a food processor add the butter and reduced beer, process until well combined. Add the Gorgonzola and pulse to combine.
  • Add butter to a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a log and refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour.
  • Fifteen minutes before cooking, remove the steaks from the marinade. Place on a stack of paper towels, top with additional paper towels, pressing down firmly. Allow to dry for about ten minutes.

Grill Method:

  • Preheat the grill to medium high.
  • Salt and pepper the steak liberally on all sides.
  • Brush the grill with olive oil.
  • Place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill until grill marks appear, flip. Once grill marks appear on the other side, flip again. Flip a total of 4 times to create a diamond grill pattern, keeping the grill closed between flipping. Test the temperature and remove when desired doneness is achieved.
  • Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Slice the butter into 1 inch pats, add one pat to each steak.

Oven Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Salt and pepper the steak liberally on all sides.
  • In a pan over medium high heat add the olive oil, heat until hot but not smoking. Add the steaks (two at a time) and cook on each side until a brown seared crust has formed, about 2 minutes per side. Avoid crowding the pan, cook in batches if necessary. Move steaks to a sheet pan or baking dish.
  • Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until desired level of doneness. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Slice the butter into 1 inch pats, add one pat to each steak.

Notes

Temperatures for doneness:
126°F Rare,
131°F Medium Rare,
145°F Medium,
154°F Medium Well,

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

Spent Grain Cookies & Dry River Brewing: Kick Starting a Brewery

DRV family

Homebrewer turned brewery owner isn’t a new phenomenon; in fact, it’s historically the path most commonly taken by those who head our favorite breweries. With the advent of Kickstarter, beer making business men and women everywhere are getting a leg up to their dream job. Today, thousands of campaigns for brewery owning hopefuls exist and the Los Angeles craft beer scene is no exception. With so many craft beer devotees vying of a place in the market, a few shining hopefuls stand out from the crowd as truly innovative and destine for success. Dry River Brewing is one of those elite few that stand head and shoulders above the pack. Due in part to how incredibly likeable the couple is, but largely because of how inventive the beer is. From Rio Secco Pale Ale, and  Horchata Cream ale to Camomile Honey Wheat, this is a brewery that brings solid accessible beer as well as pushes the limits of what’s previously been done with craft beer.

Owners Dave and Vanda have a Kickstarter campaign underway now, to get in on the ground floor of what is poised to be a exciting and dynamic brewery, check it out before it’s too late.

I was able to catch up with Dave and Vanda, ask a few questions and even sample their truly stellar beer. Vanda even gave me the recipe for her fabulous spent grain cookies.

LTR - Dave and Vanda 2

 

1.      How long have you been brewing?

We started Dry River Brewing in 2012, after home-brewing for years.  We have both been interested in craft beer forever and we’re big loca-vores, so it was kind of natural for us to get in to home brewing.

 

2.      When did you realize that you could make the leap from home brewer to brewery owner?

We were initially thinking of opening a craft beer bar, but we were getting great feedback on our homebrew and as we were out talking with bar owners we realized that the big opportunity was on the production side.  LA is way underserved in terms of local breweries — we see tons of pent-up demand for locally produced beer.   I work in green real estate and my wife Vanda comes from a hospitality background, so Dry River Brewing really brings all of our interests together.

 

3.      Tell me about the beer you’ve made that you are most proud of?

At Dry River Brewing we’re brewing sessional beers with non-traditional recipe and a local flavor. Our Horchata Cream Ale will be our flagship beer, and I think it’s a really good example of our style.  It starts as a traditional Cream Ale, but we add flaked rice to the grain bill, add vanilla beans and spices to the boil, then dry hop it with Japanese hops that accentuate the vanilla flavor.  We also do a tart Jamaica-Weisse with hibiscus flowers, and a Smoked Agave Wheat.  There are so many great beers out there, we’re always inspired to try new things to stand out and be different.

 

4.      What vision do you have for the brewery? What type of place will it be?

Dry River Brewing will be a destination brewery/seafood restaurant, with a big patio where people can sit outside and enjoy the river. The vibe will be super casual and the décor will play off of the river/nautical theme – think kitschy yacht-club meets urban brew-pub. Live music will be a big part of it, and we’re planning a bunch of programming to keep it interesting.

Patio mock-up 2

5.      How does the LA River tie on?

We were scouting possible locations and were really drawn to the LA River.  It’s mostly paved over and covered with graffiti, but the river is a really interesting part of LA’s history — and now there’s an amazing vision to revitalize the river, dig up the concrete, reintroduce native plants, and build bike trails, parks, and other amenities to make the river a real destination.  We wanted the name of our brewery to get people thinking, and for our brewery to be part of that revitalization effort.

la-river-kayaking-paddle-summer-2012

6.      You have a lot of support from the Los Angeles craft beer community, how important was that for you?

Huge!  We want to be a truly local brewery – we don’t have plans to expand outside LA County – so local support is super important to us.  We are really collaborative by nature, so it’s awesome to be part of a scene where people support each other rather than tear each other down.

7.      What breweries or brewers do you admire?

Locally, I really admire Browerij West — I think 3 of my 5 current favorite beers ever are by them.  I respect the brewer’s (Brian Mercer) emphasis on simplicity in his recipes, and how he stays so true to his vision.  They only produce Belgian styles, no IPAs or anything else, and they started before Belgians were in style – I think that takes a lot of guts.  I also love their branding and aesthetics.  Brian has a great eye.

As far as breweries outside LA, I am a huge fan of Mikkeler.  He puts out a ridiculous number of beers each year, and pretty much every one I’ve had has been amazing.  I think it’s cool how he partners with other breweries around the world, not just because he comes up with such interesting recipes but also because he can use such a broad range of fresh local ingredients.

8.      Do you have a favorite ingredient when it comes to making beer?

We use lots of non-traditional ingredients in our beers, but I would have to say hops and Vanda would probably say tea.  I love to experiment with different hop varieties, especially new or unusual ones, to see what results I can achieve.  Vanda does a lot of amazing tea infused beers, like her Chamomile Honey Wheat, her Roibos Dubbel, and an Elderflower Blonde that we call the LA Cougar.

9.      What do you do with your spent grains?

Vanda makes cookies!   She blends the spent grains in a food processor, adds some coconut oil, dried fruit, chocolate chips, a few spices, and throws them in the oven – they’re super tasty.  When we open the brewery we hope to use the spent grains to create energy, but if that’s not feasible we will donate them to a local farmer for feed-stock.  There’s still tons of nutritional value left in the grains after the mash, so we want to make sure not to waste it.

10.   What do you want Dry River Brewing to be known for?

We want Dry River Brewing to be known first and foremost for our beer, but we also want Dry River Brewing to be a landmark in LA.  We also hope that we can help to raise awareness of the LA River and the efforts to recreate it as a system of parks connected by bike trails.  We think that when people experience the LA River and see the potential for what it can be that they will get as excited about it as we are.

Spent Grain Cookies- Dry River Brewing2

Chocolate Cranberry Spent Grain Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups spent grain aromatic Victory, Caramel, Caravienne or other light sweet malt preferred
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg for vegan option, use 2/3 cup coconut oil in total
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour plus additional, as needed
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • preheat oven to 375.
  • Add the spent grain to a food processor, process until about 1/3 as course as before.
  • Add spent grain to a large bowl, stir in remaining ingredients. If the dough is too moist to stick together, add additional flour.
  • Using your hands, make 2 inch wide by 1/2 inch high disks.
  • Place on a cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Immediately pull the parchment paper and the cookies off the hot cookie sheet onto a flat surface, allow to cool.

Spent Grain Cookies- Dry River Brewing

 

 

Beer Sangria

Beer Sangria2

The first cocktail ever invented was a beer cocktail. Although the term cocktail will need to be defined as "a beverage made by mixing two or more alcoholic liquids" to come to that conclusion, and legions of cocktail snobs will stand up to debate that with me, I firmly defend the beer cocktail as being the spark that ignited a cultural inferno.

Beer Sangria4

It was the early 1600’s and rum had just been discovered on sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean, after what I’m assuming wasn’t much more than a school-yard dare, when workers decided to taste the fermented mixture of water and molasses. It was such an instant success it quickly became an accepted form of currency.

Beer Sangria

Sailors were given a "rum ration" on long voyages (which gave rise to the popular pairing of pirates and bottles of rum, yo-ho-ho). As a way to extend those rations, they began to mix rum with beer, water, sugar, and whatever else they could find. They called this charming mixture of beer, rum, and whatever: Grog. Although the hangover-inducing thought of that might not sound so appealing, it’s definitive proof that beer mixology isn’t a new phenomenon.

In fact, beer mixology predates liquor mixology.

Beer Sangria-3

At the time, it was out of necessity, beer was cheaper and more abundant than other liquors so it made economic sense. These days, craft beer has a database of flavors that no other liquor can touch.

From caramel and molasses to grass and apricots, this is booze that makes sense to mix into your cocktails.

It’s not about improving beer, it’s about improving the cocktail.

Beer Sangria

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup peach nectar I used Kerns
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 4 ounces Pisco Reservado
  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • 24 ounces summer style ale see note

Instructions
 

  • In a large pitcher stir together the peach nectar, lemon juice, simple syrup and Pico. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Add the peaches and beer, serve immediately.

Notes

Beer: A lot of the new summer release beers will work really well for this, look for a beer with notes of citrus, apricots, peaches, or basil.
Pisco: Pisco Reservado is a liquor made in the winemaking regions of Peru and Chili, a brandy made from wine grapes. Most liquor store will carry it, call around to find some in your area.
Peaches: You can cut and freeze your own peaches or you can buy them frozen. Using frozen peaches instead of ice will help to avoid a watered down pitcher of booze.

 

Maple Bacon Doughnut Muffins

Maple Bacon Doughnut Muffins via @DomesticFits

After months of waiting, my book is finally available on Amazon. Which is equal parts thrilling and terrifying. I still have momentary panics that everyone will hate it, more of my previously mentioned Too Hard On Myself situation. In spite of the fleeting dread, I’m so grateful that I had this opportunity to work with a publisher that really believes in me and what I’m doing on The Beeroness.

 

The book is released on October 18th, just in time to make a fantastic holiday gift for the those hard to buy for beer lovers. Or for guys, they’re hard to shop for. But "here’s some beer, and a cookbook about beer!" isn’t so bad.

So to celebrate what has been firmly designated a "guys" cookbook (although I disagree, I might as well just go with it) I made some delicious cupcakes with "manly" ingredients. Although bacon is gender neutral, if you don’t agree just try and take a girls bacon and see how that goes for you.

Maple Bacon Doughnut Muffins via @DomesticFits

Maple Bacon Doughnut Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

Ingredients

For the Muffins:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cups all pupose flour
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Bacon:

  • 5 strips bacon
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup

For the Frosting:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter, oil, and both kinds of sugar, beat on high until well combined,
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix on high until light and fluffy, scraping the bottom of the bowl to insure that it’s well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl stir together the baking powder, salt, and both kinds of flour.
  5. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, add a bit at a time to the stand mixer until all is combined.
  6. Line the wells of a muffin tin with muffin papers. Add batter to prepared muffin tins, about 2/3’s full (a standard ice cream scoop works to add the right amount to each well).
  7. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until the tops spring back when gently touched.
  8. Place the bacon a wire rack set over a rimmed backing sheet.
  9. Drizzle each slice with maple syrup, use a pastry brush to evenly coat both sides.
  10. Bake the bacon at 400 for 15 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, flip each piece. Bake until is dark pink, about 15 more minutes (bacon will not crisp until it has cooled). Allow to cool, then chop.
  11. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the maple syrup and softened butter, beat on high until well combined. Add the confectioners sugar and salt, slowly build up speed to high speed, beat until smooth.
  12. Pipe icing onto cooled muffins, top with chopped bacon.

 

Honey Beer Biscuits with Strawberry Belgian Ale Sauce

Honey and Beer Biscuits1

If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my announcement that I shot a TV show for Lifetime back in January. The premise of the show was to take people with interesting ideas for food products and develop those ideas into product lines that end up on grocery store shelves. There is a hole in the market when it comes to beer infused foods. Clearly this is something that people want that currently isn’t being offered on a large scale. The show airs June 22nd on Lifetime, my episode airs on August 22nd at 10:30pm on Lifetime, you’ll have to watch to see how it all turns out for me. Beyond my story, the show was well cast with incredible people, all with stories to tell and passion for what they make.

Honey Beer Biscuits with Strawberry Belgian Ale Sauce

These biscuits, which would be a fantastic addition to a beer infused food line, are the best biscuits I’ve made so far. The technique creates these beautifully flakey layers, the beer lightly leavens the dough, leaving behind soft notes of beer on the finish. For both the sauce and the biscuits I used Mischief from The Bruery.

Honey Beer Biscuits with Strawberry Belgian Ale Sauce The Bruery

 There are two types of breweries that I respect, those that offer accessible beer that’s consistent and well done. Solid beer that can be held up as excellent examples of their represented styles. The Bruery is the other type. They aren’t afraid to break a few rules, they make that clear with the spelling of their name. There is nothing traditional about the beer that comes out of this place, it’s innovative, experimental and exciting. It’s a place that you take a true beer lover, not someones who "like some beer, sometimes." It’s not among the beer I recommend for those who want an easy introduction to craft beer, it’s beer for beer lovers. It’s were you go when you want to see the limits of beer being challenged.

To be honest, I don’t always fall in love with what The Bruery makes, but I’m always intrigued, I always want to try what they’ve come up with because it’s clear how thoughtfully made every batch is. Mischief is one of my favorites. It’s beautifully well rounded with notes of bread, yeast, citrus, grass, with a bit of spice and apricot. It also comes in a bottle that’s a perfect fit for a champagne recorker which comes in handy when you want to open a large 750ML bottle in the morning to make biscuits and want to save the rest for later in the day. It also well distributed, I’ve even heard rumors of it making it past the Booze Guards to the North to earn spots on shelves in Canada.

Another amazing Bruery creation is Black Tuesday, available in October. If you’re near Orange County in late October, it’s worth a drive to the tasting room just for that beer.

If you can’t get your hands on Mischief (although you should try, it’s a great beer) looks for a hoppy Belgian ale or Hefeweizen for this recipe.

Honey Beer Biscuits with Strawberry Belgian Ale Sauce

Honey Beer Biscuits with Strawberry Belgian Ale Sauce

Ingredients
  

For the Strawberry Sauce:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Belgian ale or hoppy wheat beer

For the biscuits:

  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 tbs butter cut into cubes
  • 1 tbs honey plus 2 tbs (divided)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Belgian ale or hoppy wheat beer
  • ¼ tsp course sea salt

Instructions
 

To make the strawberry sauce:

  • Add the strawberries, sugar and beer to a saucepan over medium high heat.
  • Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Add to a food processor or blender, blend until smooth.

To Make the Biscuits:

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • In a processor add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Pulse to combine. Add the butter and 1 tbs honey, process until well combined. Add to a large bowl.
  • Add the milk and beer. Mix with a fork until just combined.
  • Add to a well-floured flat surface, pat into a rectangle. Using a cold rolling pin (preferably marble) gently roll into a large rectangle, about 1 inch in thickness, using as few strokes as possible.
  • Fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter about to go into an envelope. Roll lightly, once in each direction to about 1 inch thickness, fold in thirds again. Gently roll into about 1 1/2 inch thickness (this will give you the flakey layers).
  • Using a biscuit cutter cut out 6 to 8 biscuits. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Add the remaining 2 tbs honey to a microwave safe dish. Microwave for about 15 seconds or until thinned.
  • Brush biscuits with honey and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Serve warm with strawberry sauce

Honey Beer Biscuits with Strawberry Belgian Ale Sauce

Fried Ravioli Caprese Stacks

SS Photo

Back in January I very vaguely mentioned that I was involved in a Super Secret project that involved being sequestered without phone or internet for almost a week. My intention was not to be ambiguous, but to adhere to the Non Disclosure agreement I signed with Lifetime TV. Yesterday I was finally able to start talking about what I was working on, and if you follow me in Instagram, you already know.

I was on a brand new TV show with the Lifetime Network called Supermarket Superstars. The premise of the show is to take people with great ideas for food related products and turn those ideas into product lines on grocery store shelves. The producers of Shark Tank and Project Runway joined forces for the show.

Jackie and Stacey2

The producers were amazing, really wanting everyone to root for us all. It was obvious in everything we did, they wanted us to talk about ourselves, our brands, our websites (my book!), and even cast the show with people you want to see succed. It’s not a show that’s full of cliche characters you want to see fail. They cast the show full of really wonderful people, really great ideas and fascinating stories.

Jackie and Debbi2

(Photo on the right by Erika Kerekes of In Erika’s Kitchen)

Stacy Keibler, Debbi Fields (THE Miss Fields Cookies), Chef Michael Chiarello, and branding expert Chris Cornyn guided us through this process with so much encouragement and faith in what we could be. "We want you all to win!" I just kept hearing, the entire staff cheering us on, giving us amazing feedback, and they couldn’t stop talking about the opportunities this type of exposure could bring us. It was a great show to be a part of.

I spent the time developing a line of beer infused food products, you’ll have to watch the show to see what happens. It airs on July 22 on Lifetime TV at 10pm. My episode airs on August 22nd at 10:30pm, and even features my husband my little Tater! They spent an entire day just following us around, filming me with my family and friends, cooking, photographing, editing, and even (of course) drinking beer at a local brewery.

SS Press1

Once the show airs, I’ll give you an update and some behind the scenes info that I’m not able to share right now. Until then I have a fun little appetizer that I hope you love.

Fried Ravioli Caprese Stacks via @DomesticFits

Fried Ravioli Caprese Stacks

Ingredients

  • Oil for frying
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 9 weight ounces prepared fresh (not dried) Cheese Ravioli
  • 5 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 ounces Ciliegine sized Mozzarella Balls
  • 5 leaves basil, ribboned
  • 3 tbs balsamic glaze

Instructions

  1. Place about 5 inches of oil in a pot over medium high heat. Attach a deep fry thermometer and adjust heat to maintain between 325F and 350F.
  2. In a small bowl beat together the eggs and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl add the Italian bread crumbs.
  4. Working in batches dip the raviolis in the milk mixture and then dredge in the bread crumbs.
  5. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Use a metal slotted spoon to remove from oil, allow to drain on a stack of paper towels.
  6. Place half of the raviolis on a serving platter. Top with a slice of mozzarella, and then a slice of tomato, some basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Top with remaining raviolis, secure stack with a toothpick.

Notes

It’s best to use small raviolis for this, look for ones (or make some) that are about 1 1/2 inch square.

Grilled Peach Ice Cream

Grilled Peach Ice Cream

I’m really hard on myself, I’ve told you that before. I’m a nothing-is-ever-good-enough kind of person. Lately, my photos have been in my line of fire when it comes to Stuff I’m Not Good Enough At. I can’t figure it out, why the light is never that beautiful, why the images aren’t compelling enough, why the heck I can NEVER master the over head shot. By the way, this all drives my husband crazy, because in the Grand Tradition of Amazing Husbands, he thinks I’m the most talented person in the world, let’s not disrupt that delusion, I sort of like it.

So, one of my tangible fixation for resolving at least some of the issues I have with my sub par photos was this slightly deranged idea that I NEEDED a reclaimed wood table. I NEEDED it (#firstworldproblems). I priced this absolutely necessary item, and in the Los Angeles area, this need could be fulfilled for the low, low price of about $2000. My aforementioned Amazing Husband disagreed that this was an actual need after seeing the price tag for such items.

I couldn’t stop thinking about such a need, and scoured Craigslist for the possibility that I might be able to pick one up. But as luck might have it, an old house in my neighborhood started to get torn apart. It was a 1920’s California Bungalow and the sight of it being ripped apart made me a little heartsick.

As I drove home one night, I noticed a stack of gorgeous antique wood, full of age and scars that I couldn’t get out of my mind. After dinner I pulled on a pair of old boots, waited for the workmen to leave for the day, and began to dig the gorgeous planks out of the trash piles.

I had two very specific feelings about this slightly insane venture of trespassing to dig through a trash pile, at dusk, in East Los Angeles. First, I felt like a crazy person (and clearly an amateur who didn’t think to bring gloves to dig through construction waste and old wood) as I tried to ignore the freaked out looks from passers by. Second, that I was heroically saving this amazing wood from the fate of a land fill (also slightly insane that I was heroizing myself for something so selfish).

Grilled Peach Ice Cream2

After I got home with Heroically Aquired Gorgeous Wood, I used actual real life and potentially dangerous power tools to nail it together, saw off the excess and I then had myself a Personally Reclaimed Wood (prop) Table. And posted the picture of my slightly insane venture on Instagram.

Although I’m fairly certain that my newly acquired fake table did not improve my photos, I’m still happy to have him in my house instead of a landfill.

Grilled Peach Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 yellow peaches cut in half, pit removed

Grape seed or canola oil

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan off heat whisk together the sugar, cream, milk, vanilla, and egg yolks until very well combined.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container (strain through a fine mesh strainer if any lumps were created), refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours and up to 24.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium high heat (alternately, a cast iron grill pan can be used).
  5. Brush the cut side of the peaches with oil. Place, cut side down, on a hot grill. Close the lid and allow to grill until deep grill marks appear, about 4 minutes.
  6. Remove from grill and gently peel the skin away (should remove easily).
  7. Chop the peaches.
  8. Add the peaches and the ice cream base to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until set, about 2 hours.
  9. Remove from freezer about 5 minutes prior to serving to make scooping easier.

Grilled Peach Ice Cream3

Chocolate Stout and Dulce de Leche Ice Box Pie

Chocolate Stout and Dulce de Leche Ice Box Pie via @TheBeeroness

There are a few buzz words that seem to grab peoples attention and promote a recipe to Social Media Sharing Gangbusters status. These words include: Skinny, Quick, Easy, No Bake, Only 3 Ingredients, You’ll Never Guess The Secret Ingredient!  None of these phrases are the type to attract my attention on their own.

I like a recipe that takes time, uses fat and sugar, and I’m not scared of a long list of ingredients or complicated directions.

Sometimes, however, I do invent a recipe that inadvertently falls into one of those Gangbusters categories that people seem to like. This, for example, takes 15 minutes and zero baking. It also tastes amazing in a way that seems to contradict the short amount of time it took to make.

Chocolate Stout and Dulce de Leche Ice Box Pie via @TheBeeroness

You can buy Dulce de Leche, or make it from scratch (here is a really great post on How to Make Dulce de Leche from a blogger I have a girl-crush on). It’s simple to make from scratch, but if that doesn’t fit your time schedule, or intimidates you, it’s fairly easy to find in markets.

I found myself in ownership of a batch of Dulce de Leche after spending a 100 degree day knee deep in Holiday Cheer while making and shooting Christmas Cocktails for the Holiday Issue of a print magazine. Nothing screams July like Brandied Hot Chocolate with Candy Cane Whipped Cream or Dulce de Leche Eggnog. Although I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity, I can’t say that I really wanted to consume hot buttered rum or mulled wine on triple digit summer day.

Ice box pie was in order.

 

Chocolate Stout and Dulce de Leche Ice Box Pie

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

For the Crust:

  • 12 graham cracker rectangles
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 4 tbs melted butter

For the Chocolate Stout Layer:

  • 1/3 cup stout
  • 1 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips 8 wt ounces
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

For the Dulce de Leche Layer:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbs powdered sugar
  • ½ cup Dulce de Leche
  • Additional Dulce de Leche for serving if desired.

Instructions
 

  • In a food processor add the graham crackers and brown sugar, process until reduced to fine crumbs.
  • While the food processor is running, add the melted butter, process until combined.
  • Add crust to a 9 inch spring form pan. Using a heavy, flat bottom glass, press very well into the sides and bottom of the pan (starting with the sides), make sure to press very well until the crust is very compacted into the sides and bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chocolate chips to a small bowl. Heat the stout until very hot (about 170 degrees), pour stout over the chocolate chips, stir until well combined and creamy. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 ½ cups heavy cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar, beat on high until soft peaks form. While the mixer is running, slowly drizzle the cooled chocolate mixture into the mixer. Once it has all been added, turn off the mixer and gently stir until all of the cream and chocolate has been combined an no white streaks or dark chocolate streaks remain. Pour into the crust. Place in the freezer while you work on the Dulce de Leche layer.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 cup heavy cream and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar. Beat on high until soft peaks form. While the mixer is running, slowly drizzle the Dulce de Leche into the mixer. Once it has all been added, turn off the mixer and gently stir until all of the Dulce de Leche and whipped cream have been combined.
  • Add the Dulce de Leche cream on top of the chocolate layer, smooth into an even layer.
  • Freeze until set, about 1 hour. Remove from freezer 10 minute prior to serving and allow to warm slightly before cutting. To remove from pan, run a sharp knife under very hot water, then run the knife between the crust and the side of the spring form pan to release.
  • Heat remaining Dulce de Leche and drizzle over slices prior to serving.

Chocolate Stout and Dulce de Leche Ice Box Pie via @TheBeeroness

Join me: FacebookTwitter

Mini Brownie Sundaes

Mini Brownie Sundaes via @DomesticFits

This is another one of my "it’s not a recipe" recipes. Because it’s not, it’s assembly instructions on how to assemble these cute little party desserts.

I made these for the Forth, a huge hit with with the under 5 set, and small enough to be the perfect size for little fingers.

The only thing I would do differently next time is nix the cupcake wrapper. It was too difficult to try and disrobe the mini brownies when they are piled high with ice cream and toppings.

Mini Brownie Sundaes via @DomesticFits

I used my favorite brownie batter, and next time will just liberally spray the mini muffin tins instead of using the cupcake papers. If you want to buy them, most "brownie bites" come sans cupcake wrappers, so you’ll be all set. If you want to make them from scratch, skip the wrappers, use a brownie batter not a cupcake batter (you want to avoid the domed top and hope for a concave one), and let them cool completely before topping with ice cream.

Mini Brownie Sundaes via @DomesticFits

If you have the freezer space, you can make up trays of these in advance and just pull them out when the moment strikes. I used an amazing grilled peach ice cream that I’ll be posting later in the week, but for a classic flavor combo, good ol' vanilla works just fine.

Mini Brownie Sundaes via @DomesticFits

Mini Ice Cream Sundaes

Yield: 24

Ingredients

  • 24 chocolate mini muffins, cupcakes or brownie bites
  • 1 pint ice cream
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • sprinkles
  • 24 cherries

Instructions

  1. Place the mini brownies on a serving tray.
  2. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out a ball of ice cream and firmly place it on top of each brownie.
  3. Top with whipped cream, then sprinkles then a cherry.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

If making from scratch, use brownie batter rather than cake batter to avoid a domed top. Skip cupcake papers and spray mini muffin tins liberally. Use a cookie scoop for the perfect sized ice cream ball.

Mini Brownie Sundaes via @DomesticFits

Super Soft Strawberry Cookies

Super Soft Strawberry Sugar Cookies P

Last month California Strawberry Commission generously paid my way to BlogHer Food conference in Austin Texas. As conferences usually go, the memories of the people and food stand the brightest in my mind. The bloggers from all over the globe, the friends I usually only see online, and the food I’ve been reading about for years were right in front of me.

BHF CThe highlight of the actual conference sessions was a fantastic workshop on food preservation and how to use more food, and waste less. This was not only a reminder to me of how much food I waste, but a call to action on what can be done with those food scraps that usually go in the trash or compost bin.

Kate from the Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking is a brilliant source of knowledge on the subject and taught us how to make fruit vinegar (amazing in salad dressing!) like this Strawberry Vinegar on her site. I got me thinking about a strawberry extract, or a strawberry syrup. I love baking with strawberries and I love Italian Sodas, but those syrups always have so many chemicals!

Super Soft Strawberry Sugar Cookies4

Syrup is also a great use of in-season strawberries. Those giant flats of gorgeous berries are being sold at bargain prices right now, but sadly, the berries don’t stay beautiful as long as we’d like. Once the berries start to lose their luster, you don’t have to toss them! There are a lot of fantastic ways to use those up, like making a beautiful syrup that you can store in the fridge, or even freeze for use in colder months when strawberries are harder to come by.

Super Soft Strawberry Sugar Cookies5

At the farmers market last week, I came into ownership of about 3 pounds of strawberries, much to the delight of my strawberry obsessed daughter. Once the shine started to fade, I used most of what was left to make this syrup and froze what was left.

These cookies turned out beautifully, just as soft as I wanted with a hint of fresh strawberry syrup.

Super Soft Strawberry Sugar Cookies3

Super Soft Strawberry Cookies with Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs strawberry syrup
  • 3 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 wt ounces mascarpone
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs strawberry syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar. Beat on high until well incorporated. Add the eggs and strawberry syrup, mix on high until light and fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt, stir to combine. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the butter and slowly mix until the dough comes together, scraping the bottom to make sure the butter is full incorporated.
  3. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Dump the dough into the center of the plastic wrap, form into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 325.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about ½ to ¾ inch thickness. Cut into shapes.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the shapes on the parchment paper and bake until the top no longer looks wet but has not started to brown, about 12-15 minutes. Immediately pull the parchment paper with the cookies onto a flat surface. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. To make the frosting add the butter to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a whisk attachment), beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the mascarpone and softened cream cheese, beat on high until full incorporated. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add the syrup, mix on high, scraping the bottom to make sure the frosting is fully incorporated, until well combined.
  8. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting, garnish with sliced berries

Strawberry Syrup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped strawberries
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, add the strawberries, water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, for ten minutes.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl (reserve pan). Pour the strawberry mixture into the strainer and allow to all the liquid to drain into the bowl.
  3. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to press the solids into the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible.
  4. Put the liquid back into the sauce pan and simmer until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Super Soft Strawberry Sugar Cookies2

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

In the world of salad dressing, there isn’t a more fiercely debated member than Caesar. Some swear that the only way to make it is by hand, table side, others claim blasphemy if not strictly adhering to the original recipe, invited in the 1920’s in Tijuana Mexico by Caesar Cardini, while some insist that it’s not Caesar dressing without anchovies. All of these camps, win or lose, are still people who get riled up over a sauce that goes over lettuce, therefore I can’t fully respect any of them. It’s a condiment, lighten up.

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

My version, by sheer inclusion of the beer, can never really be held up as a true Caesar dressing. And while anchovies aren’t in the original version, the anchovy heavy Worcestershire sauce that was use is no longer available, making them essential to grab that true taste.

The inspiration for this dish came from a guy who used to frequent the restaurant I work at in college. He would order a Caesar salad, no grilled chicken thank-you-very-much, a shot of IPA, and a chocolate milk shake made with equal parts stout and milk. He would then pour about a tablespoon of the IPA on his salad and drink the rest. At the time I thought it was really strange, but he was a good tipper and I was a good smiler (all you need when you’re 19 and bring guys beer and food) so I encouraged his habits. The more I saw him, watched his obvious excitement when his beer flavored meal arrived, the more I understood how all those flavors worked (although I’m not sure I’d pair a milk shake with a Caesar salad).

It stayed with me, this beer-salad-beer-milk-shake diet he seemed to live on, and now I’m on board. He was on to something.

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

Ingredients
  

For the Salad:

  • 2 Romaine hearts cut lengthwise
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • Croutons

For the Dressing:

  • 6 anchovies filets packed in oil
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 2 egg yolks room temperature
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup IPA room temperature
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  • Brush the cut side of the lettuce with olive oil. Place on the grill, cut side down, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor add the anchovies, garlic, egg yolks, mustard, and beer. Blend until well combined and light and frothy, about 3 minutes.
  • Heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking (20 seconds in a microwave is sufficient). While the food processor is running, slowly add the oil, drop by drop, until an emulsion forms. Add the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, pulse to combine.
  • Place each Romaine half on a plate, drizzle with dressing, top with remaining Parmesan and croutons. Serve with knife and fork.

This is how I make homemade croutons. 

 

Grilled Guacamole

Grilled Guacamole This grilled guacamole isn’t just a product of my grill junky status, grilling avocados is a fantastic idea and the perfect way to get some of that wonderful smoke flavors into your favorite summer dip. After all, the 4th of July is right around the corner, and next to Thanksgiving, it’s America’s favorite reason to take a day off work, eat too much food, and spend the day with people we love.

Grilled Guacamole2

Of course meat was made for the grill, but vegetables have an ever better transformation when cooked with fire. When comes to grilling, anything goes, don’t forget about how amazing fruit is when it has a bit of char, or even slices of pound cake. Don’t discount pizza, it’s quick and fabulous off the grill.

Try something new next time you break out your grill, who knows, you might just find a new way to impress your guests.

Grilled Guacamole

What I’m making for 4th of July:

Beer Chili Cheese Hot Dogs

Watermelon & Cotija Salad

Boozy Watermelon Stars

Roasted Potato, Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad

Stout S’Mores Bars

Best Quinoa Salad Ever

Grilled Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 4 avocados, ripe but firm
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pit. Bush the cuts side of the onion half and the avocados with olive oil.
  3. Put the onion and avocados on the grill, cut side down, close the lid. Grill until dark grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.
  4. Chop the red onion. Scoop the avocado into a bowl, add the chopped onions along with the remaining ingredients and mash until combined.

Beer and Peach Potpie

 

Peach and Beer Potpie2

This bowl embodies a bit of culinary contradiction. It’s a bit of soup, and it’s a bit of a dessert, two genres of  menu items that don’t seem to be easily meshed. But I have a love for soupy pies, given to me by a young kid I met in the back of a squad car.

I used to work with propation kids, I’ve told you that before, all from different parts of Los Angeles, some with gang ties, some without families, all wanting help in one form or another. Peter (*Name changed) was a walking contradiction to what most people assume was inside this big kid with a criminal record.

Peach and Beer Potpie

He was a sweet, honest, hard working kid that had never so much as been tardy from any class he’d taken. He had, however, stolen some food when his mom was too drunk to buy groceries and his little sister needed to eat, this earned him a all expense paid trip to Juvenile hall and then a spot in a Group Home. His grades were good enough, he always stayed out of trouble, and I was able to find him part time work at a Jewish deli & bakery in the Valley. When his birthday rolled around I asked what he wanted, the company I worked for had a small budget for special occasions that I was able to access for a present for him. "Pie making…stuff." He’d been working in a kitchen for weeks, fell in love with his ability to produce really great food, but outside work he’d never made food that didn’t require a microwave. I bought him a pie pan, a rolling pin, pie weights and pie cookbook. His reaction to the gift was much more shy and reserved that I’d expected. When I asked him why he was quiet, he said, "This is the first birthday present I ever got. Thank you."

I had to immediately whisk him to the kitchen to put said gift to use or I would have cried all over him. Instead we made a pie. The crust was gorgeous, but with limited ingredients in the state funded Group Home, the pie turned out a bit more watery than I had intended. I was deflated. He didn’t notice. He took one bite and a huge smile lit up his big face. It tasted great, and he had no preconceived ideas about what homemade pie looked like because he’d never seen one. Now, soupy pie makes me happy.

Peach and Beer Potpie4

I found out a few years ago that Peter is doing really well, he’d put himself through culinary school, works as a chef and teaches classes at the community college.

Long live pie.

Beer and Peach Potpie

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups 6-8 large peaches yellow peaches, sliced (peeled if desired)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbs cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup hoppy wheat beer
  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed
  • Egg wash 1 egg, 1 table spoon water, beaten

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Add the peaches to a large bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Use your hands to stir the peaches until they are fully coated with the dry ingredients and all of the dry ingredients have been moistened.
  • Pour the beer over the peaches, gently stir to combine.
  • Place 4 oven safe bowls (1 cup size) on a baking sheet. Divide the filling evenly among the bowls.
  • Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface, cut into 4 squares. Cover each bowl with a square of puff pastry. Brush with egg wash.
  • Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

Peach and Beer Potpie5

Join me: FacebookTwitter

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled Watermelon Salad5

Grilled watermelon salad is the perfect summer side dish. Slice up some watermelon rings, throw them on the grill (literally if you’re brave enough), wait for some gorgeous smokey grill marks to spear and you’re half way there.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

If you don’t have a grill, a grill pan will work fine. You can also skip the egregious use of fire all together and just cut the watermelon into bite sized chunks. The saltiness of the Cotija and the briny quick-pickled red onions set of that great sweetness of in-season watermelons.

Grilled Watermelon Salad2

It’s also a great salad to serve at room temperature, making it the perfect low maintenance side dish to serve on your summer party table. It also has a lovely sweetness that pairs well with a spicy food, I served it with these wings. It does not, however, keep very well. If you plan to make it ahead of time, keep all of the components separate and toss just prior to serving.

If you need a patriotic plan for the rest of the watermelon, check this out.

Grilled Watermelon Salad7
Grilled Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or rice wine)
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices (2 inch thick each) watermelon
  • ½ cup crumbed Cotija cheese (can substitute feta)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and honey. Add the red onions, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Place the watermelon slices on a hot grill until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the watermelon rind and chop the grilled watermelon into bite sized chunks, place in a large serving bowl.
  4. Pour the red onion and the vinegar over the watermelon. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and cilantro.

Grilled Watermelon Salad6

Grilled Beer and Buttermilk Chicken with Sriracha Glaze

Beer & Buttermilk Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Glaze

The above picture is  pretty strong illustration of what I did nearly the entire weekend. Along with spicing up my beer wings, I also made a Sriracha butter for grilled corn. In other news,I ran out of Sriracha.

Maybe it’s the new grill that found it’s way into my backyard, or maybe it was eyeing this chicken recipe, or this one, but I really wasn’t able to think about anything but beering up some chicken and giving it a good grilled char.

Beer & Buttermilk Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Glaze3

I’m also trying to figure out how to grill a pie, but more on that later.

 

Grilled Beer and Buttermilk Chicken with Sriracha Glaze

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken:

  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 12 ounces IPA beer
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoons cayenne
  • ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 white onion sliced
  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks and wings
  • Cilantro minced (optional)

For The Glaze:

  • ¼ cup Sriracha
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup IPA beer
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup mirin

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl whisk together the buttermilk, 12 ounces beer, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, and brown sugar. Add the onions and chicken to the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 12.
  • Just prior to grilling, make the glaze. In a saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together all the glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard marinade.
  • Place the chicken on a preheated grill, brush with glaze, cook for about 2 minutes, flip and brush with glaze. Continue to flip and brush with glaze every 2-4 minutes until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken). Transfer chicken to a serving platter and sprinkle with cilantro.

Join me: Facebook, Twitter

Beer & Buttermilk Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Glaze4

Grilled Artichokes with Crab Filling

Grilled Artichokes with Crab Filling2

My grill broke last summer. We were in the middle of a move, and I still held onto the hope that we could fix it, so it wasn’t replaced. In Southern California, grillin' isn’t just a summer activity, it’s a year long love affair, making an entire 13 months sans grill a really long time to deprive myself of the chard glory of fire cooked food.

We just replaced it this past weekend and I can’t get enough of it. I had been trying to satisfy my urge to grill via my grill pan. Although it is a pretty fantastic pan, after making this corn on my stove top in a grill pan I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to have the real thing. I think I’ve officially reached Grill Junky status, lets hope I can keep it under control.

Hope you don’t mind too much, but I’ll be posting my grilling adventures over the next few weeks. And probably well into fall.

Grilled Artichokes with Crab Filling

My favorite pinterest board right now is my Grillin' like a Villain. Feel free to post links to grilled food I should be aware of!

Grilled Artichokes with Crab Filling

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Artichokes:

  • 2 fresh artichoke
  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Vegetable oil for the grill

For the Filling:

  • 4 rings fresh pineapples (cut off rind and remove core)
  • 12 ounces fresh lump crab meat
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 8 large Brussels sprouts
  • 2 ounce crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Prepare a pot of lightly salted boiling water. Preheat the grill
  2. Slice the artichokes down the center, lengthwise. Using a melon baller and a paring knife remove the hair from the choke as well as the inner purple leaves, leaving a cavity in the center of the each artichoke half.
  3. Boil in the pot of lightly salted boiling water until the outer leaves tear away easily, about 20 minutes.
  4. Grill the pineapple rings until strong grill marks appear on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, allow to cool slightly, chop.
  5. In a small bowl stir together the crab meat, pineapple, sour cream, hot pepper sauce, ½ tsp each of salt, pepper, chili powder, and mustard powder.
  6. Using a cheese crater, grate the Brussels sprouts, this should equal about 2/3 cup. Stir the grated Brussels sprouts into the crab mixture.
  7. Once the artichokes are done cooking, remove from water and allow to drain.
  8. Mix the melted butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Brush artichokes on all sides with melted butter mixture.
  9. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Grill artichokes, cut side down, until nice grill marks appear, about 5-8 minutes. Baste artichokes with melted butter while grilling.
  10. Remove from grill, fill the cavity of each artichoke with crab mixture and top with crumbled goat cheese. Return to the grill, crab side up, and cook just until the filling is warm and the cheese has started to melt, about 3 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately.

Notes

Starting at the outside and working inward, use the artichoke leaves to scoop out and eat the filling.

Grilled Artichokes with Crab Filling3

Matcha Strawberry Shortcakes with Lime Whipped Cream #CAStrawberryShortcakes

Matcha Strawberry Shortcakes with Lime Whipped Cream #CAStrawberryShortcakes

My first official assignment as a Brand Ambassador for California Strawberry Commission was to re-invent the strawberry shortcake.  After a brief stop on the idea of another chocolate strawberry shortcake, and possibly a lemon lavender version, I settled on a matcha version, something I hope is new to you all (I like to feel inventive!), and matcha goes so well with strawberries.

I’ve had Matcha powder (Japanese green tea powder) in the back of my mind for a while,  on my list of foods to bake with. It gives a great contrast of color and flavor to the gorgeous strawberries, if you’re a matcha lover, I think you’ll agree.

I also have a pin contest to tell you all about. It’s a great excuse to spend a little extra time on pinterest while checking out some fantastic strawberry recipes, getting inspired for those summer cook-outs and trying to win some extra cash!

Matcha Strawberry Shortcakes with Lime Whipped Cream #CAStrawberryShortcakes

Matcha Strawberry Shortcakes with Lime Whipped Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Shortcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tbs matcha powder*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 6 tbs chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup whole milk

For the Strawberries:

  • 4 cups strawberries, cleaned and chopped
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp lime juice

For the Lime Whipped Cream:

  • 1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream (or whipping cream)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Add flour, sugar, matcha, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a food processor, pulse to combine.
  3. Add the butter cubes, process until the butter is incorporated, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the milk, process until just combined.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop large spoonful’s (about the size of a lime) onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced.
  6. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes or until the tops have just started to brown, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. In a large bowl, stir together the strawberries, lime juice and granulated sugar, set aside.
  8. Once the shortcakes have cooled, make the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream, powdered sugar and lime zest until soft peaks form. While the mixer is runner, add the lime juice, beat until incorporated.
  9. Split the shortcakes and fill with strawberries and whipped cream.

Notes

*Note: 2 tablespoons of matcha powder will give you a strong green tea flavor and a deeper green color. If you want a more mild, mellow flavor, add only 1 tablespoon.

 Matcha Strawberry Shortcakes with Lime Whipped Cream #CAStrawberryShortcakes

Warm Duck Fat Roasted Potato Salad with IPA Mustard Vinaigrette (with vegetarian option)


Warm Duck Fat Roasted Potato Salad with IPA Mustard Vinaigrette (with vegetarian option)

The anemic looking, plastic tub dwelling potato salads of my youth put a pervasive distain in my culinary soul for the union of the words "potato" and "salad." It wasn’t until I found a non-mayo based version that I really started to see potential. While I’ve used sour cream, blue cheese dressing and even bacon garlic aioli, the mustard vinaigrette edition is a fun twist. I also like to roast the potatoes rather than boil them, it prevents the possibility of the over cooked mush and it brings out flavors that might otherwise be washed away in boiling salted water.

For the vinaigrette I used an IPA from a brewery not to far from me, Noble Ale Works out of San Diego. A newer brewery that, rumor has it, just celebrated their second anniversary. Like most brewers I’ve been lucky enough to come across, this team seems profoundly dedicated to what they do, fiercely loyal to to their community, and in near constant pursuit of the perfect brew.

Big Whig IPA is a fine example of a West Coast IPA, with a bold hoppyness that’s balance with a pale male, citrus notes, a bit of caramel and some pine. The accessibility of this beer makes it perfect to add to your summer beer rotation and the light seasonally appropriate flavors make it perfect for a salad dressing.

 Warm Potato Salad with IPA Mustard Vinaigrette bottle

Warm Duck Fat Roasted Potato Salad with IPA Mustard Vinaigrette (with vegetarian option)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs red potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbs duck fat use olive oil for vegetarian
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • ¼ cup stone ground mustard
  • 1 tbs honey
  • ¼ cup IPA
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 weight ounces crumbled Roquefort cheese about 1/3 cup
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley chopped
  • ½ cup shelled peas

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Heat the duck fat (or olive oil for vegetarian) in a large oven safe skillet (cast iron preferred). Add potato cubes and 1 tsp salt, tossing to coat. Cook until potatoes start to brown, about 5 mintues. Transfer skillet to oven and roast for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  • In a blender or small food processor, add the shallots, garlic, mustard, honey, IPA, smoked paprika, pepper and ½ tsp salt, process until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • In a large bowl add the potatoes, mustard vinaigrette, green onions, blue cheese, parsley and peas, toss to coat. Serve warm.

I use this Duck Fat because it’s well priced and good quality. A little goes a long way so one jar will last a while. (Affiliate Link)

Warm Duck Fat Roasted Potato Salad with IPA Mustard Vinaigrette (with vegetarian option)

Join me: FacebookTwitter