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Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 3

I’ve started to think about dishes that have made an impact on me over the years, a salt roasted whole fish I ate in italy, curried soup I had in New York, even pancakes from my Grandfather. I didn’t grow up in a culinary family, I grew up in a defrost-and-feed family and decided I wanted to figure out this cooking thing when I was in High School. I met a guy who was older than me, SO old, in fact, that he had his own apartment. I wanted to impress him, so I offered to cook him dinner. Newly licensed, I drove to the grocery store all by myself for the first time. I had planned to buy steak and try to figure that out, but a combination of seeing these tiny chickens and realizing how expensive good steak was made the decision easy. Two "tiny chickens" were only $4, and I peeled the price tag off so that he wouldn’t know how cheap I was.

I just rubbed them with butter (probably margarine, to be honest) and salt and pepper, and cooked them until I thought they were done. They turned out amazing, I think I was more impressed than he was. It was my first official Kitchen Win, Roasted Cornish Game Hens at 16 years old, in the kitchen of a crappy post war era apartment off George Washington Way.

I haven’t made them since (until now), and I can’t even tell you why. I make roast chicken all the time, and this is just as easy, and if you are having a dinner party, it’s really impressive, everyone gets their own tiny chicken. You don’t even have to tell them how cheap they are.

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 2

A beer brine is incredible, the combination of the subtle flavors and the meat tenderizing properties of beer give you a fantastic final product. I usually use brown ale, I love the notes of molasses and nuts that are easy to find in brown ales. I remembered Brother Thelonious from North Coast, a strong, dark, Belgian Style Abbey Ale . The notes of nuts, fruit, malt, brown sugar and cherries, along with a relatively high ABV of 9.3%, it was exactly what I was looking for. North Coast is a stellar brewery out of Northern California, that has brought us such hits as Old Rasputin and PranQster. North Coast has been preaching the craft beer gospel for 25 years, producing beer that is diverse and on point, you’ll never hear anything but praise out of me for North Coast.

Another reason to enjoy the Brother Thelonious is that a portion of the proceeds go to support the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, It’s a beer with a mission.

The sauce can be made with what you have "leftover" from the beer brine, but let’s be honest, it probably won’t last that long. You can also use a lighter wheat beer, or a pale ale. Just a warning, alcohol intensifies heat so the higher ABV you use, the higher the heat level will be. Removing the seeds from the pepper gives you a greater control over the sauces final heat level. Most of the heat of a pepper is found in the seeds, with almost no flavor.The flesh of the pepper still has significant heat, but also contains the flavor of the pepper. If you are worried about the heat not being high enough, reserve some of the seeds and add them into the sauce as needed.

 

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 4

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Yield: Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

    For the chicken:
  • 12 ounces Belgian ale, wheat beer, or brown ale
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 Cornish game hens (1.75 to 2 lbs each)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 habanero chili
  • 2 cara cara oranges, juiced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tbs white sugar
  • ¼ cup wheat beer
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tbs red chili flakes

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, add the wheat beer, salt, sugar and cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from heat. Add the ice, stir until dissolved.
  2. Rinse the game hens inside and out, place together in a large bowl. Pour the brine over the hens, refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425.
  4. Remove hens from brine, rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
  5. Place in a roasting rack of a roasting pan or on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut lemon into quarters. Place one quarter into each hen, place the remaining two in the roasting pan beneath the hens.
  6. In a small bowl combine melted butter, salt and pepper.
  7. Brush the hens liberally with the butter mixture.
  8. Roast at 425 for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
  9. While the hens are roasting, make the sauce. Using gloves remove the seeds from the habanero, discard seeds and stem, chop remaining pepper.
  10. Add habanero, orange juice, cornstarch and white sugar to a saucepan over high heat, whisk frequently until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, add beer and vinegar, bring to a boil just until re-thickened, stir in about half (1-2 tsp) of the 1 tbs chili flakes. Taste sauce, add additional red chili flakes for a higher level of heat.
  11. Serve the orange chili sauce in small sauce dishes along side the hens for dipping.

Notes

This recipe makes an abundance of sauce, enough for 4 to 6 servings. If you make more Game Hens, you won't need to double the sauce unless you make 8 or more servings. If you are worried about the heat not being high enough, reserve some of the seeds and add them into the sauce as needed.

https://domesticfits.com/beer-brined-roasted-cornish-game-hens-with-orange-chili-sauce/

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Pumpkin Ale Waffles & How To Roast A Pumpkin

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

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

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

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

Preheat oven to 375.

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

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

Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

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

 Allow to cool and sccop the flesh out.

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

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

Pumpkin Ale Waffles

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

 

 

Beer and Bacon Jam

Beer and bacon in a spreadable form, this may be the best thing to ever come out of my kitchen. It is a simple food, a few ingredients that over time become large with flavor and possibilities.  A conversation piece, something your guest won’t forget, or a handmade gift for those carnivorous beer lovers in your life. Although the cooking time is long, your active time is relatively short.

This is the perfect way to spend a lazy sunday afternoon: The smell of bacon welling up around you in a sun soaked kitchen with Delta Spirit rising from the speakers and the rest of the demanding world no longer existing. Just you, music and the transformation of ingredients happening on your stove. Cooking, creating, lingering in my kitchen gives a very grounded feeling to my over extend life. A reminder that I need to slow down and enjoy, just be. A recipe that ask little of me other that the time it takes to simply simmer is a reminder of that, just be.


Beer & Bacon Jam

Ingredients

  • 12 oz thick sliced bacon (8-10 thick strips)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups amber ale or imperial stout, divided
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

Directions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon, working in batches if neccessary. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to cool and then roughly chop. Drain off the bacon grease from the pot, leaving only about 1 tbs bacon drippings in the bottom of the pot. Return the pot to heat and cook the onions until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup beer and both vinegars, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the brown sugar and the bacon, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Place the lid on the pot at an angle, allowing to vent the steam. Cook until reduced to a thick and syrupy consistency, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a food processor along with remaining 1/4 cup beer and pulse until most of the large pieces have been chopped.
  2. Serve at room temperature.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-bacon-jam/

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What To Make A Fireman For Breakfast: Beer Waffles with Amber Ale Caramel Sauce

Firefighters are a rare beast. The perfect combination of rugged bravery and compassion driven sensitivity.  A sports watching, beer drinking guys-guy, who is also the first in line to pull a shivering puppy from a frozen river and then make a batch of tender homemade scones.

So what do you do if you find yourself on the daylight side of a fantastic evening, eye to eye with one these hungry beasts?

Make waffles.

Not just any waffles, beer waffles. With beer caramel sauce.

Somehow, it seems to be a rule that every fire house has at least two resident fire fighting chefs, ready for a culinary battle at all times. Making it a near certainty that the beast you woke up with is used to eating, or cooking, great food on a regular basis. Your average breakfast just won’t do.

And keep a healthy stock of Fireman’s Brew handy. Not only is it made by real life Firefighters, they even donate a portion of their profits to causes that support families of fallen Firefighters. Craft beer with a cause.

Great beer and a warm fuzzy feeling. Fireman sold separately.

Beer Waffles with Amber Ale Caramel Sauce

What To Make A Fireman For Breakfast: Beer Waffles with Amber Ale Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

    Waffles:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup  butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 12 oz Blonde Ale or Pilsner (such as Firemans Blonde Lager)
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 12 oz Amber Ale (such as Firemans Amber Ale)
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbs butter

Instructions

  1. Make the caramel sauce: Add the beer to a pot over high heat and bring to a strong boil, reducing the beer to about 1 cup, about 6-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add the brown sugar, stir until dissolved. Add a thermometer with a clip to the side of you pan, submerging the tip in the liquid, but making sure it does not hit the bottom of the pan.
  3. Boil, without stirring (swirl the pan occasionally to redistribute the caramel sauce), until the temperature reaches between 230 degrees. Remove from heat and stir until the bubbling subsides. Add the cream, vanilla and butter, stir to combine. Allow to cool.
  4. Make the waffles:
  5. Heat your waffle iron according to manufacture directions.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, stir together the butter, milk and egg yolks, in a third bowl add the egg whites and a pinch of salt.
  7. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture. Stir to combine. Add the Pilsner (there will be significant bubbling) stir until just combined, a few lumps are to be expected.
  8. Whip the egg whites until light and fluffy and tripled in volume. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, whip until well combined. Stir the egg whites into the waffle batter.
  9. Using the waffle iron, cook waffles according to manufacture directions (make sure to use butter flavored cooking spray, if called for).
  10. Serve waffles topped with caramel sauce.
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https://domesticfits.com/pilsner-waffles-ale-caramel-sauc/

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