I’m talking to a Hat Grabber at a party in Vegas. Hat Grabber is shorthand for a very young, very pretty, fairly vacant, girl who does things only she can do without getting punched in the face. This includes things like grabbing the hats of the heads of men she’s just met, putting it on her head, and forcing everyone to answer the question, "OH MY GOD, HOW CUTE DO I LOOK?" Hat grabbers.
I’m talking to a Hat Grabber about growing up on a farm, and she asks me if pigs smell like bacon.
"Live pigs? Do live pigs smell like bacon?" I’m a little confused and wonder if I actually heard her correctly.
"….yeah. I mean, I’ve always wondered that."
I’m mostly thinking about how quickly I can exit the conversation without hurting her feelings. "No," I answer, "They don’t smell that good. Also, cows don’t smell like hamburgers."
She laughs. She thinks I’m hilarious. I point to the waiter circulating the party with a silver tray of mini burgers. "How cute are those?! You should eat one!" She grabs her Hat Grabbing accomplice that has just returned from the bar and heads right for the cute food.
I’m relieved, I feel like I’ve been rescued. I owe the remainder of that evening to cute mini burgers. Burgers that actually do smell much more like bacon than live pigs do.
In a large bowl add the meat, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, egg, bread crums, and beer. stir until just combined (about two of three turns with your hands). Over handling the meat will make it tough and mealy.
Place bowl in the fridge for 1 hour and up to 1 day (this will help keep it’s shape during cooking.
Using a cookie scoop, make balls just smaller than a golf ball with the chilled meat.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the meat balls, pull the skillet back and forth over the burner to roll the meat balls around in the pan. Cook until meatballs are just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add the barbeque sauce, cover with a lid, cooking at a simmer until meatballs are glazed and sauce is very thick.
Place one to two meatballs inside slider buns. Serve warm.
Porter Braised Beef Short Ribs Sandwiches with Jalapeño Beer Cheese Sauce #beer #recipe #tailgating
On the way to making quick chicken tacos I decided to make a burger. One that takes a couple of hours, one that I decided to call a sandwich instead because I felt like it. One that I decided to spice up with jalapenos. Because things that take a few hours need to be made. There’s a feeling of accomplishment, of unguarded control, a way to push back against the restraint of the rest of your life, the parts that you can’t govern as you want.
But you deserve a little control, a little bit of your life that you have total say over. A little bit of something that goes right, and no one is pushing you around, or taking advantage of you, a space where your work doesn’t go unnoticed. No matter what great things you’ve done this week, and I know there have been plenty, you won’t be getting a parade. Or a Congratulations card. Or even a confetti shower when you walk in the door. But you should, because I’m sure you’ve done something to deserve those things. But with these, all that hard work won’t go unnoticed. You might not get a piñata and a present, but you will get some delicious sandwiches. Even though I’m sure you deserve much more.
Porter Braised Beef Short Ribs Sandwiches with Jalapeño Beer Cheese Sauce
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.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the short ribs, browning on all sides.
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.
In a pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the jalapenos, cook until softened. Sprinkle with flour and cornstarch, whisk until well combined, allow to cook until a light brown color.
Add the beer and the milk, bring to a low simmer. About ¼ cup at a time, whisk in the cheese, making sure all cheese is melted before adding more. Keep warm while you make the burgers (sauce will thicken as it cools, add additional milk or beer and add to heat if the sauce thickens too much).
Add the ribs into rolls, top with cheese sauce. Serve warm.
Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits
I was once friends with a man who was 100 years old. We had a bit of an unlikely friendship, since he had reached retirement age long before I was even born. He was smart, funny, and seems to have no concept of the age gap.
Life was a constant opportunity to make people laugh, and he took full advantage of it.
When he moved to Los Angeles in the 1940’s to get his pneumonia stricken daughters out of the frigid East Coast winters, he was without money, without a job, and without an education. He walked in to a Taxi company headquarters and asked for a job. He had a fantastic driving record and a winning smile, in his book, that’s the only resume he needed. As soon as the hiring manager found out that he had only lived on the West Coast of a week, knew nothing about Los Angeles freeways, and had never driven a cab, he shut down the interview.
“If you don’t know how to get from LAX to the Roosevelt Hotel, how are you going to get the client there??”
Jack responded with this famous smile, “Well if you don’t give me the cab, it’s gonna take a whole lot longer!”
He got the job.
Jack worked as a cab driver, running tourist from the Airport to Hollywood for over 30 years. He was also the very first Employee of the Month for the cab company, and to date, the recipient of the most complimentary letters ever sent to the cab company about any one of their employees.
As I sat with him only a few months before his 101’s birthday, eating biscuits that his nurse had made us, I asked him if he had any regrets.
“Not really. The secret to living 100 years old and not regretting anything is this: Do your best. Don’t hurt anyone. Make friends with anyone who will let you.”
When my job moved me farther from his apartment in the valley, I wasn’t able to visit as often as I used to so I wrote letters, postmarked from my Santa Monica office. One day I got a return letter, addressed to me with flowery handwriting. It was from his 76 year old daughter:
I’m not sure what it was that formed a friendship between you and my Dad, but I wanted you to know how much he valued you. Your visits brightened his day, even his week. If there was a highlight from his last decade of life, it was the time he spent with you. He spoke of you often, and although my sister and I were at first skeptical of a friendship between him and a girl in her 20’s, it quickly became clear that there was a special bond between you two. I’m so sorry to tell you that he passed away, just a week shy of his 101’s birthday. I do want you to know that we appreciate the time you spent with him in his last year. Thank you."
I cried. And ate biscuits in his honor, his favorite breakfast. To this day, "Do your best. Don’t hurt anyone. Make friends with anyone who will let you” is some of best advice I’ve gotten.
Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits
In a processor add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter, process until well combined. Add to a large bowl.
Add the buttermilk 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.
Brush biscuits with melted butter, sprinkle salt.
Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
While the biscuits bake, make the gravy.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear on each side until golden brown, remove from the pan, chop (they do not need to be cooked through).
Add the onions, cook until softened, about five minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook until mushrooms are dark brown and soft.
Sprinkle with flour, cook until the flour has turned brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the beef stock and stout. Simmer until thickened. Add the chicken cubes back into the pan, simmer until cooked through.
I’ve never really been the girl with the sweet tooth. I’ve had a meat tooth. A salt tooth. A beer tooth. I could eat my weight in guacamole or tater tots and it takes a small act of God to get me to stop eating sushi. But sweets don’t give me the mad rabid cravings that get me to lose my mind. I love chocolate, and pie and cake, and I’ll always eat dessert if it’s around. I’ll take a small slice of every single pie at the Thanksgiving table, but those late night cravings that come after a few IPA’s are almost always of the salty variety.
But every once in a while something will hit the right note. Like this toffee that I ate the entire batch of before I could share and then lied and said it fell on the ground when really it just fell into my mouth. The perfect combination of sweet and salty will get me every time. A little sea salt sprinkle on a danish before it’s baked, or salted caramel, or candied bacon, it’s hard for me to really fall in love with a dessert that doesn’t kick me some salt. Which is why pretzels seem to make it into my desserts more often than fruit does. Maybe you like this too, after all, chocolate and pretzels go perfectly with beer.
If you’re going to make me a salad, it better be a damn good salad. After all, you’re asking me to skip carbs and satisfying fried finger foods, I might resent you if it isn’t a really good salad.
Bacon is a good start, and so is beer. Scallops are a fan favorite as well. Let’s talk about those for a second while we’re at it. Scallops will most likely come to you via a grocery store seafood counter soaking in a milky phosphate solution (yum!) that will help keep it fresh longer as well as give it an unfortunate soapy taste and an inability to sear properly. The solution to this is beer. Well, more accurately, a brine. Soaking the scallops in a brine will flush out that unappetizing liquid and give you a great taste and a great sear. Which will help that salad taste amazing. And make people forget all about the missing french fries.
But there is beer and bacon and perfect scallops, so no one should complain. If they do, take away their beer.
Beer Brined Scallops over Spinach Salad With Bacon Stout Dressing
In a large bowl stir together the pale ale, salt, water and lemon juice.
Add the scallops, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove the scallops from fridge and place on top of a stack of 4-5 paper towels. Add another layer of paper towels and allow to drain and dry for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper on both sides.
Cook the bacon in a pan over medium high heat until cooked through, remove from pan, chop and set aside. Add the shallots to the bacon grease, cook until shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stout beer, scraping to deglaze the pan. Add the mustard, honey and pepper, whisking to combine. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the scallops, flat side down, and allow to cook until a dark golden brown crust forms on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until seared on the opposite side. Remove from pan when a slight hint of translucent pink still remains at the center, don’t over cook.
Trim asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces. Cook the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for one minute, drain and allow to dry.
Plate the spinach, top with asparagus, goat cheese, and crumbled bacon, dizzle with dressing, top with scallops.
It’s seems a cruel twist of fate that beer-drinking-burgers-dogs-dips-eating season and bikini season line up perfectly. The same time that we load our paper plates with baked beans, slow roasted ribs, chips and creamy dips, is the same part of the year that we shed our clothes and romp in the sunshine in our bikini clad bodies.
I’m a strong advocate for both summer time gluttony and semi-nude public frolicking, I refuse to chose between the two. Although I’m also an advocate for flaunting your post-lunch glow in all it’s splendor, not everyone is quite so brave.
So here we are, bikini/beer/barbecue season in full swing and here I am as the least diet friendly blogger in all of Blogland. Yet, I’m still a girl. A girl who loves beer, has a large collection black bikinis, and not a lot of modesty. I’m trying to find some balance.
Here is my entry for Healthy Appetizer For A Back Yard Party. Although there isn’t a way to strongly argue that beer is healthy, as a replacement for the butter I would normally use to caramelize onions, it’s much lower calories and gives you a great flavor.
Plus you get to say that the healthy dips has beer in it, which is a win.
And it gives you more room for beer in your pint glass.
Porter Caramelized Onion Greek Yogurt Dip: 42 Calories a Serving
Place garlic on a sheet of tin foil, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Fold foil tightly around garlic.
Bake at 425 until garlic head is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining oil and the onions. Cook until onions have started to soften. Add ¼ cup porter beer, cook over medium/low heat until beer has reduced and pan looks dry, about 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ¼ cup porter beer.
Once the onions are a dark amber color and pan looks dry, remove from heat.
Add the Greek yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and onions to a food processor. Gently squeeze the garlic until the soft cloves protrude. Add the cloves to the food processor, discard the rest of the head. Process until smooth.
Chill until ready to serve (dip has the best flavor the day after it’s made).
Top with chives prior to serving
For added flavor (and added calories) and 4 oz cream cheese to the food processor in step 6.
Beer and fruit have a bit of a sordid past. From the ill-advised orange slice served on the side of a hefeweizen, to the cringe inducing Bud Light Lime. Thankfully, plenty of remarkable unions have a sordid pasts. Beer and fruit just needed a few takes to get it right. The current state of beer and fruit, in the hands of remarkable brewers, is exciting.
Craft brewers have pushed the limits of what these two can do, bringing us remarkable examples like Festina Peche from Dogfish Head, and Orange Wheat from Hangar 24. Those brilliant brewers make beer with watermelon, cherries, marionberries, and pretty much everything else they can get their hands on.
It’s evidence of what beer can do, what it’s capable of. Think for a second of the first beer you ever tasted, probably a pale lager poured from a keg out of the back of a pick-up truck. The flavors in that beer were small, a ground floor offering, a beer made to vaguely satiate the masses. Craft beer being made now is being made to get people excited, make us think. Love it or hate it, it’s beer you remember.
It’s why beer and food go so well together. It’s the only alcoholic beverage that’s made with just about any ingredient in that meal on your plate. It was only a matter of time, and dozens of brilliant brewers, before beer and fruit started to make sense. And that was only the begining. You should see what those brewers do with chai, and chocolate, and carrots, and everything else you can throw at them.
Coconut Cake with Pale Ale Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
Let’s say you and I get into it over pizza. We hash it out over the best pizza we’ve ever had. We talk about Naples, and LA, and both agree that New York beats Chicago, unless you want a casserole, then Chicago pizza will do.
And then I tell you that the best Ray’s pizza in New York is the one at 4th and Houston, to which (if you’re a New Yorker) you recoiler in horror that I’ve chosen said Ray’s instead of one of the 147 other Ray’s in Manhattan.
We finally just agree to get a beer and pizza and call it a day. Nowhere in our spirited conversation do we mention Seattle. Because the thing about Seattle is that beer is world class, so is the coffee and the produce can’t be beat, but the pizza…
We’ll just talk about the beer and the coffee and the produce and leave talk of the pizza out of it shall we? Similar to a discussion of the best people in the world named Joe wouldn’t include talk of either Buttafuoco or Francis. Let’s just stick to the good stuff.
Of course I have a theory about this. The same water that makes the beer fantastic and coffee legendary isn’t so kind with the pizza dough. But here is the thing about baking your pizza dough with beer, wherever you go in the world, your dough will be the same.
Water is for the weak, switch to beer and your pizza dough will become the stuff of folklore.
It might even be brought up in the New York vs Chicago debate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, yeast and sugar. Mix until combined.
In a microwave safe bowl add the beer. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperature with a cooking thermometer and repeat until temperature reaches between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the beer to the stand mixer and mix on medium speed. Once most of the dough has been moistened, add the oil and salt while the mixer is still running.
Turn speed to high and beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm room until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove from bowl and add to a lightly floured surface. Knead several times, cut into 4 equal sized pieces. Form each piece into 6 inch circles.
While the dough is rising, make the chicken. Place the chicken in a bowl, cover with 1 cup beer. Chill for 30 to 60 minutes. Remove from beer, rinse and pat dry.
Preheat the grill.
In a small bowl combine the onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin and salt.
Sprinkle chicken on all sides with spice mixture.
Grill chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
Remove from grill, slice.
Oil the grill (alternately, you can oil the flatbreads). Grill one side of the flatbread until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes, flip and very lightly grill the other side, about 30 seconds, remove from grill. Place the flatbreads on a flat surface with the well grilled side facing up. Top with barbeque sauce, cheese, chicken, sliced apricots, cilantro, and onions. Place back on the grill, close over, cook until cheese has melted.
I’m going to confess to you the least foodie thing I’ve ever done.
A few years ago I was in Spain, I’d missed my flight out of Madrid because of an ill-timed visit to the Prado, some churros, and a bullfighting poster and I was stuck for an indefinite amount of time. I wanted some comfort food.
I wanted something familiar to help me deal with the fact that I was stuck half way across the world, dealing with an airline that was refusing to help, and all the budget hotels and hostels were sold out for the night. So I went to McDonald’s.
I was in one of the most culinary rich countries in the world and I went right past all those great markets and family run cafes right to the American capital of sub-mediocre food to order a milkshake and some french fries.
And it worked. It was bland, and salty and creamy and reminded me of my processed food childhood and made me feel like everything was going to be OK. I’m not proud of myself, I could have had cured meats and cheese and fresh bread.
But I don’t care. Sometimes, you just need a milkshake.
Jalapeno Cornbread Beer Bread Muffins, cooking with beer
There’s a contradictory element to cornbread.
It’s enough to be a meal all on it’s own, especially when you eat 4 of them, with a beer and some honey butter, but you miss the rest. You miss the ribs, and the greens, and the coleslaw and the mac n cheese and the fried chicken. You miss all those things that cornbread always sits beside on the plate. Maybe it’s just that cornbread is a social food, it just goes with everything. Or maybe it’s because your cornbread memories are accompanied by other comforting good-time food.
I was once invited to leave The Viper Room when the guy I’d been chatting with escalated past douche bag right up into unignorably obnoxious territory and I was swept up in his wake.
I not so subtly parted ways with him to cross the street towards The Roxy when he escalated further,"You’re leaving?! I pulled out my best stuff for you!" I had no idea that he’d been trying to get somewhere with his meaningless rambling.
Oh, you mean the uber-impressive story about having lunch with Alan Thicke last week? Or telling me that your ex-girlfriend was a sexsomniac?
Or bragging about stealing wifi from your neighbor? Because it was all gold, so clearly I have no reason to leave with this depth of conversational wealth that’s being offered to me.
Sometimes, people just try too hard when what they really want is to impress. We can do the equivalent of Over-Sharing-Drunk-Viper-Room-Guy with food. We can try too hard, do too many things, and make a mess of it all.
Keep it simple this summer, some grilled produce, good ingredients, real butter and great beer.
And save the stories of your ex-girlfriend for your guy friends and only after they’re too drunk to object.
I’ve been told that a writer is no greater than the sum of their experiences.
Experiences, those I’ve got, more than most. More than I’ll ever admit to. But are the ones I’ve accumulated the right inlay for the foundation of the life I want? I was never anyones high school sweetheart, but I was the mysterious girl at an Italian hotel. I’m not sure I’ve been anyone’s best friend, but I was the girl drinking beer at Elton Johns birthday party. I’ve never made cookies with my grandmother but I did learn to make a noodle kugel from a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor. I’ve never been to Disney World, but I’ve taken a taxi ride to feed monkeys in Middle Atlas. I’ll never be the person who works at the same company for 20 years, but I have taught anger management skills to gang members in South Central Los Angeles.
Are these the experiences that I’ll be glad I’ve accumulated? Are they the right ones because they’re more rare? Am I missing out on the beauty of a more traditional life? I’m not sure.
But I know that I have a gypsy soul that likes to wander, and doesn’t gravitate towards convention.
Cream ales found their way into the American beer system during prohibition, an ironic time for many great alcoholic beverages to have gotten their start. The name is a bit misleading, cream isn’t involved in the brewing process, but the taste is smooth and even a bit creamy which is where the name comes from.
As we hurdle towards summer, and events which center around our tub of craft beer offerings, cream ales are a great style to include when trying to satisfy the masses. These are easy to drink beers that have low hop character, smooth crispy flavors and some hints of fruit.
I used a cream ale from the Pacific Northwest, from a brewery that has become a mainstay in my fridge since I moved north. Nuptiale from Ninkasi is a great beer to stock up on for those summer get togethers, it’s what I refer to as a Gateway Beer. Perfect for the craft beer snobs, and just what a craft beer newbie needs to get hooked.
For what seems like decades brewers have been involved in a bit of an ABV arms race to see who can bring to the table the IPA with highest alcohol content. The Top That ABV Game seems to be waining in favor of the Full Flavor Session IPA game, to the relief of lightweights across the land.
Now that summer is around the corner and long days of eating Hot Meat off the grill and drinking all day, session beers are more important. A session beer is a beer with low alcohol that you can spend a "long drinking session" consuming without becoming a cautionary tale. Mostly, these are beers that have less than 5% alcohol by volume (ABV).
Although a low ABV session beer becomes an important part of not becoming an unintended YouTube sensation with drunk antics, we also want to continue to perpetuate our status as the Craft Beer Queen, so "lite" beer won’t be considered. Session IPA’s are what we go to. The hops we want, the low alcohol that keeps us functional all day.
Here are some to seek out. This isn’t a "top ten"list, or a "best of" list. It’s just a list. A list of great session IPA’s to seek out when you want to drink all day without embarrassing yourself. If you have a session IPA you love, let me know.
In a food processor or blender add the apricots, IPA, sriracha, cornstarch, and balsamic, blend until smooth.
Salt and pepper the chicken thighs on all sides,.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
Sear the chicken breasts on both sides. Add the shallots, stir until shallots have softened.
Add the apricot mixture, reduce heat to a low simmer, simmer until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley.
This recipe needs fully ripe, sweet apricots. If you use under-ripe apricots, the dish will be overly sour. If you don't have over ripe (almost mushy) apricots, add 2 tbs honey to combat the bitterness.
I grew up on a farm, surrounded by cowboys and farms and it didn’t take long to notice how different their "job" was from those 9 to 5’s that other people had. There were no days off, and this had nothing to do with the fact that ranches and farms never shut down, it was because you can’t keep a cowboy away. Give him a day off and he’ll still be there, boots laced up at dawn, hat pulled on as he heads out the door, driving a truck through the fields.
Give a brewer a day off and his brain will still be there. He’ll write down notes about what he wants to brew next, try to solve the problems with his last batch, wonder how the fermentation is going on what he’s brewing now, briefly considering going in to check. You can’t take the brewery out of the brewer.
Maybe that’s what life is about. Finding a job you’d do on your off time, finding a way to earn a paycheck from your obsessions. Even if that paycheck is smaller than the one you get from that job that you can’t wait to leave when the clock hits 5:00. Maybe it just comes down to a quality of life issues. The best advice I got in grad school was "Never get paid to do a job that you wouldn’t do for free."
Maybe it isn’t the doctors and CEO’s we should be jealous of, maybe it’s really the brewers and the cowboys that really have it all figured out.
Let’s just say that you want to dive into the world of craft beer. Or even that you’re curious enough that you just want to know a bit more. Or maybe you’re just as much of a geek as I am and you just like to know stuff.
Let’s also assume that you’re starting with little more knowledge than knowing what IPA stands for and that Guinness is a stout. Or maybe less.
I was there once, we all were. No one is born with a head full of beer knowledge, and unlike other adult beverages, very few people were born into the world of beer. People are born into vineyards, or distilleries, but very few are born into breweries. Most of us start out knowing nothing, wondering what’s past the pale macro lager, dabbling in craft beer, and then wondering why it’s so much better than that stuff we chugged out of kegs in college. We seek out the knowledge, and most of us self educate. So, where do you start?
My picks for the best introduction to craft beer books, great for the beer novice, or even those who claim Beer Geek status:
The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer,By Christina Perozzi, Hallie Beaune*
The Brewmaster’s Table ,By Garrett Oliver*
The Oxford Companion to Beer, By Garrett Oliver
The Complete Beer Course, By Joshua M. Bernstein
Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink, By Randy Mosher
Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros, by Julia Herz and Gwen Conley
*two personal favorites of mine
If you know a great introduction to craft beer book let me know in the comments section.
1lbsabout 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cores and thinly sliced
½tspcinnamonVietnamese cinnamon preferred
¼cupcream alepale ale or wheat beer
Put all the crepe ingredients in a blender, blend until combined. Put the batter in the fridge for one hour and up to 12 (can be made the night before).
To make the apples melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cook until the apples have softened. Add the beer and simmer until the liquid has thickened to a syrup, set aside.
In a 10 inch non-stick skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter.
Add about ¼ cup batter, swirl the pan to spread the batter into a thin circle.
Cook over medium high heat until the top is dry. Flip the crepe using a spatula, cook until the underside is golden brown. Continue until all batter is used.
I’m not crazy. There is an actually practical reason to soak your potatoes in a beer brine before they hit the grill. Potatoes are mostly water, held in by the starch. Using the water extracting powder of salt you can help remove the water and give your potatoes a crispier outside with a creamy middle while cooking.
And let’s talk about that cooking. For well over a year I’ve been taunting you with grill recipes, like grilled Beer & Buttermilk Sriracha Chicken, and Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter, but what if you don’t have a grill? First, you should buy one, but if you can’t swing it, a grill pan is a great alternative. I went nearly two years without a grill and I used my grill pan weekly as a substitute.
Because no matter what life throws your way, there is something about grilled food and cold beer that makes it seem like all is right in the world again.
When you’re a kid, there are monsters in the closet. Monsters that terrify you, chill your blood and ice your bones. You don’t know they aren’t real, because to you they exist in a way that’s more real than death and taxes.
When we grow up the monsters don’t leave our lives, they just change shape. They come in scarier, bigger forms that exist outside our closets. Conversations that need to be had, admissions that need to see light, relationships that need to end. And what we often can’t see is that the monster is bigger when it’s in the dark, it can only control us if it stays hidden. Once we unleash the beast, and face his teeth it’s often that he’s much smaller than we would have thought. More often than not, his power isn’t what we’d imagined.
And now we have space for all those things the monster would have eaten up. I’ve faced some recently. I’ve found courage. Not without tears, not without consequence, but in a way that feels like I am finally able to figure out what I was really scared of all along.