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craft beer

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake With A Pretzel Crust

Choosing a beer for a recipe isn’t as arbitrary as it may appear. It also isn’t difficult, but it does require thought and planning. Substituting your favorite beer in a recipe isn’t always a good idea, and may result in an end product that is nowhere near the intentions of the recipes author.

Where do you start? The recipe or the beer?

A fair question, and it’s a toss up. Which ever way you begin, the recipe or the beer, make sure to be mindful of the flavors. Dark beers go well with "dark" recipes. If that beer you want to cook with is a stout, look for a recipe that calls for "dark" ingredients: chocolate, beef, bacon, etc. If the beer you love is a Pilsner, look for a recipe with "light" ingredients, lemon, chicken, fish, etc. There is some room to move around with this rule, but finding complimentary flavors is the key to success when cooking with beer.

Be careful with IPA’s. It’s incredibly difficult to cook with high hop beers due to the fact that the hops reduce to a very bitter product. If you are in love with an IPA, or another high hop beer, strong starches and sugar mellow hops a bit. Try a pumpkin muffin, or a sweet potato pie. Or look for recipes where the beer won’t be reduced, like marinades, beermixology cocktails, or dips.

If the recipe is where you want to start, make note of the flavors and try to find a beer that mimics those. If you want to bake a chocolate dessert, for example, look for a beer with chocolate notes, or coffee, or malt. Look at the list of flavor notes that the beer has and try to imagine those in your dish. Most large chain retailers of craft beer (like BevMo or Total Wine) have cards near the beers that explain the flavors in that beer and give you a fairly accurate flavor profile. If you are making a chicken soup, for instance, you might look for a beer with lemon or basil notes, not a beer with coffee and caramel notes.

Now that you have had your crash course in beer recipe development, please, go cook your beer loving hearts out. And don’t forget to share.

For this recipe, I choose Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot. I had four craft beers, mostly stouts, that were in the running for this recipe, and all would have made great choices. In the end, it came down to a gut feeling. Lagunitas WTF won out, although loosly categories as a "brown? ale" and more hops that I would generally recommend for this recipe, the flavors of chocolate and malt were an incredible fit for this recipe. This is a beer to keep an eye out for, it’s smooth and bold and fantastic. A fabulous drinking and cooking beer.

A chocolate stout makes an excellent choice for this recipe as well. I’ve made it with both and although I love the WTF, a chocolate stout seems to give more consistent results as far as a general beer style.

If you can’t get your grubby little hands on some WTF, a stout with notes of chocolate would make a great substitution.

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake With A Pretzel Crust

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake With A Pretzel Crust

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 4 standard sized graham crackers
  • 1 cup pretzel rods
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 3 tbs melted butter, unsalted
  • For the filling:
  • 7 oz dark chocolate (60%)
  • 1 cup Chocolate Stout (or Laguanitas WTF)
  • 3, 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1 tbs espresso powder
  • For the Sour Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs Lagunitas WTF

Directions

  1. Place one oven rack in the middle position, with one rack below. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a food processor add the graham crackers, brown sugar and the pretzels and process until it's the consistency of crumbs. Turn the food processor on, remove the stopper from the lid and slowly add the butter and process until it resembles wet sand.
  3. Coat the inside of a 9 inch spring form pan with butter. Pour the crust into the spring form pan. Using the bottom of a heavy, flat bottom glass, press the crust very well into the bottom of the pan until well compacted.
  4. In a pot over medium high heat, add the beer and the chocolate, stir until melted and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the cream cheese and the sugar and mix until smooth. One at a time, add the eggs, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions. Pour the cooled chocolate into the mixer and beat until well combined. Lift the head of the mixer and sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt over the batter, stir on low speed until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan over the crust.
  7. Place the pan in the oven in the middle position. Place a baking dish on the rack below the cheesecake, fill with water.
  8. If you have experience with a water bath, feel free to use that technique instead of the water pan below the cheesecake.
  9. Bake the cheesecake until the center just slightly jiggles, but doesn't slosh, when you shake the rack, about 60-75 minutes. This isn't a situation where a tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean, you just need the center to set and it will continue to set as it cools. Remove from oven.
  10. For the sour cream topping: add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Top the cheesecake with the sour cream topping and return to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove cheesecake and chill in the pan until ready to serve, at least 3 hours.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-beer-cheesecake-with-a-pretzel-crust/

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Chocolate Porter Beer Tart With Porter Whipped Cream

The creaminess of chocolate pairs so well with a well crafted porter. For this tart I used Firestone Walker Reserve Porter, it has the perfect balance of flavors for this recipe with notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel and a touch of a citrus taste. You also want to use a really well made chocolate, because, like beer, craft chocolate has well developed flavors that can’t be matched by the "Macro" chocolatiers. I used Sharffen Berger 62% Semi Sweet chocolate for the perfect balance of richness and sweetness.

I’m a sucker for a well made dark beer, and this recipe pairs well with the cold bottle of Porter.

I also made a porter whipped cream, with a rich smooth sweetness and notes of dark beer, you’ll want to eat this right out of the mixing bowl.

 Chocolate Porter Beer Tart

For the crust:

1 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate graham crackers (NOT chocolate covered)

1 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs melted butter

For the filling:

2 (16 oz) cups semi sweet chocolate (Like Scharffen Berger 62%), broken into chunks

1 1/2 (12 tbs) sticks of butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup porter beer (I used Firestone Walkers Reserve Porter)

1/4 cup powdered sugar (plus additional 1/4 cup if desired)

For the porter whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tbs porter beer (I used Firestone Walkers Reserve Porter)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, add the chocolate wafer cookies and brown sugar. Pulse until nothing remains but fine crumbs. While the food processor is still running, remove the spout stopper and slowly add the melted butter. Process until it resembles wet sand.

Press very firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan (or tart pan with removable bottom) that has been sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until tart crust starts to look dry and you can smell it cooking. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a double boiler add the chocolate and the butter, stir over medium-high heat until chocolate has melted. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can place a metal bowl over a pot that has a few inches of water at the bottom. Make sure that the bottom of the metal bowl does not touch the water in the pot.

Add the beer and stir until combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the cream and stir to combine. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of powdered sugar over the chocolate and whisk until combined. I like my desserts on the bitter side, as I suspect a lot of you beer lovers do as well. The sweetness level of this dessert will depend on the type of beer you use as well as the level of sweetness you enjoy. Taste the chocolate and decide weather or not you want it sweeter and add additional sugar accordingly.

Pour chocolate in the spring form pan over the curst. Chill until set, about 4 hours.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream, 2/3 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbs of porter. Whip on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Once the tart has set, remove the sides of the spring for pan (or tart pan) and serve topped with whipped cream.

Irish Beer Brownies With Mint Sour Cream Frosting

This week will be full of recipes for Guinness. Although I will always favor local craft beer, I do harbor a soft spot for Ireland and their World Famous Brewery. Just out of college I scraped together enough money to put myself on a flight from LAX to Dublin.  I landed in Ireland on a drizzly morning, jet lagged and confused. I had no idea where to go, or how to get there. Before I really knew what was happening, I was being dragged though the streets of Dublin by a charming Irishman, clad in a newsboy cap and green wool sweater.  Through his thick accent I was able to discern that he was taking me to a youth hostel at the foot of the Guinness brewery.  Once we arrived at our destination, he said goodbye with a smile and a cheerful wave and he was on his way, leaving me to realized that this kind stranger had walked at least a mile in the wrong direction just to make sure I found a bed for the evening.

Although most of you will be breaking out the famous Irish Stout this weekend, I will be sticking with beer brewed a little closer to home. Rogue Brewery makes several beers that would be perfect for this recipe, including the Chocolate Stout, the Double Chocolate Stout, or even the Hazelnut Brown Nectar, I choose to go with the Mocha Porter although the idea of the Irish Lager almost drew me in.

Whatever you decide to consume on St. Patrick’s day, just remember:

Good beer does not need green food dye.

Drink well.

Irish Beer Brownies With Mint Sour Cream Frosting

For the brownies:

12 ounces dark beer, such as Rouge Mocha Porter

1 stick unsalted butter

10 ounces dark chocolate

3 whole eggs plus 2 additional egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

For the Mint Sour Cream Frosting:

2 sticks of butter, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp mint extract

In a sauce pan over medium high heat, cook the beer until reduced to about 3/4 of a cup, about 10 minutes.

Add the butter, stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, additional whites and sugar. Beat on high until very light and frothy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. While the mixer is still on high, slowly add the chocolate mixture in a slow stream. Once about half the chocolate mixture has been added to the egg mixture, dump the remaining chocolate into the stand mixer allowing to mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir on low until just combined, don’t over mix once the flour has been added or your brownies will be tough.

Generously spray a 9×12 inch glass baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until the surface of the brownies begin to look dry and cracked and a tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Make the frosting:

Softened butter is important to this process. If you use cold butter your frosting will have the consistency of ground beef, but melted butter will give you frosting that is too soft.

Add the softened butter and the sour cream to a stand mixer and beat until well combined. Add the sugar and beat on low until the sugar is mostly mixed in. Add the mint and beat on high until frosting is light and fluff.

Allow the brownies to cool before frosting.


Lemon Pilsner Cake

 If you have ever had the opportunity to talk to a brewmaster, you have seen it. You’ve seen that look that lets you know that there is an art and a respect for what they do that goes far past what most Americans experience at their day jobs. The look that tells you that the paycheck isn’t the reason he does the job. The flavors, the journey, the solving of the problems that yield to an end result of a drinkable, shareable masterpiece. You’ve seen that look.

It’s because of that look that I try to create recipes that respect the years of love and hard work that go into the process of making Craft Beer. I had the idea of making a lemon cake with pilsner, but the issue is always the hops. Hops are a hard ingredient to cook and bake with, given that they often reduce to a very bitter product. Scrimshaw Pilsner, while still a pilsner, has a low, and well balanced hop taste. It is also from one of my favorite breweries, North Coast, that produces an incredible variety of craft beer. And you can bet that if you are ever lucky enough to take a tour of the brewery, you will see that look I’m talking about, all over the place.

Lemon Pilsner Cake

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp salt

2 tbs lemon zest

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup Pilsner

Icing:

4 oz cream cheese, softened (cold cream cheese will result in lumpy icing)

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Pilsner

1/2 tsp vanilla

Direction:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a large loaf pan with butter flavored cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest until well mixed.

In the bowl of  stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl between additions. Add the lemon juice and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour a bit at a time until just barely combined, do not over mix.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the pilsner, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until the top turns a light golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and whip until smooth.

Top the cake with the icing, chill prior to serving.

 Cooking and baking with craft beer. 

Jalapeno Pale Ale Cornbread

The past few weeks I’ve been craving summer. I live in Los Angeles, so feel free to laugh at my inability to cope with a mild seasonal chill. It isn’t so much the weather of the Summer months that I miss, but the culture of the season. Backyard barbecues, a slower life pace, vacations and water related activities. There is something about the way that summer feels in my bones, the feeling of endless possibilities that the days bring that I miss. Cornbread is an epicurean reminder of what I’m missing out on, and brings a comfort that the Summer isn’t too far away.

Beer is a great way to add a new dimension to cornbread. Not only is it a leavening agent, insuring that your bread won’t be overly dense, it is also a preservative, giving you a few extra days to consume it. But I don’t think you’ll need them.

I chose Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale because it has a beautiful chili flavor, without the heat, a hard thing to accomplish. It also has a bit of a cinnamon and spice finish that pairs very well with a recipe that runs the line between savory and sweet.

If you can’t get your hands on this beer, look for a pale ale with strong, bold flavors of chili and spice.

Jalapeno Pale Ale Cornbread 

Jalapeno Pale Ale Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh jalapenos, seeds removed
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup dry polenta (course corn meal)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup pale ale with notes of spice (I used Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh is better. If you use frozen, make sure they are thawed)
  • 2 tbs melted unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a large, deep dish loaf pan generously with butter flavored cooking spray.
  3. In a sauce pan over medium/heat, add the butter and the jalapenos and cook until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and polenta and stir until the milk starts to bubble and is well combined with the polenta. Cover and remove from heat, allowing to rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  6. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and the honey until well combined.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the polenta pan and stir. Add the dry ingredients and stir until incorperated. Add the beer and the corn kernels, stirring until just combined.
  8. Add to the prepared baking dish and pour the 2 tbs of melted butter over the top.
  9. Bake at 350 until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/jalapeno-pale-ale-cornbread/

Chipotle Stout Braised Beef Tacos With Fresh Pico De Gallo

I love the huge array of flavors that we now have in our Craft Beers. Chipotle? Yes please. Coffee? Couldn’t live without it. Both of these flavors, along with the fact that beer is a natural meat tenderizer make this Black Phoenix Chipotle Coffee Stout the perfect beer for the job of making tacos.

Bootleggers Brewery makes this fabulous taco braising liquid that also doubles as a smooth drinking Stout Beer. Pretty handy. If you can’t seem to get your hands on this stuff, and I DO recommend that you try, look for a dark stout that has spicy or coffee notes. This is no task for a pale ale.

Chipotle Stout Braised Beef Tacos With Fresh Pico De Gallo

Chipotle Stout Braised Beef Tacos With Fresh Pico De Gallo

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 lb Tri Tip Roast
  • 1 Large Bottle (1 pint, 6 oz) Dark Stout such as Bootleggers Black Phoneix
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce, chopped, plus 1 tbs Adobo sauce
  • 12 6 inch tortillas
  • For the Pico De Gallo:
  • 1 large jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. In a large pot or cast iron enamel dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Sprinkle the roast on all side with salt and pepper. Sear the meat on all sides until browned, about 4 minutes per side.
  2. Add beer and broth, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Stir in the garlic, onions, chilies and adobo sauce, add the lid at a vent.
  3. Allow to simmer until fork tender and falling apart, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. During the cooking process, turn the meat over about every 30 minutes. If the liquid in the pot gets low, and too thick, add additional beer or hot water.
  4. Once the meat is done, shred in the pot using two forks, remove any large pieces of fat that have not rendered. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. While the meat is cooking, make the Pico De Gallo by placing all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Remove meat from pot, serve inside tortillas, covered with Pico De Gallo.
https://domesticfits.com/chipotle-stout-braised-beef-tacos-with-fresh-de-gallo/

I use these beer corn tortillas

Ale Steamed Salmon With Belgian Wheat Beer Bearnaise

There are always exception to even the most powerful rules. This leaves a movement and an honestly to the lives we live, without the guilt of hypocrisy. The rule I am adding an addendum to is my strong allegiance to West Coast beers. Although great beer can be found nearly everywhere in the world these days, I have a powerful draw to local food and drink. I’ll make a unabashed exemption to my locavore attitude in support of my love for Allagash. In fact, Allagash Black was one of the beers I choose for my profile shot, and a fabulous example of a well crafted stout. If I ever make it up to Portland Maine, I’ll be making a very long stop at the brewery.

Today, I used Allagash’s freshman beer, their first ever product that was an undeniable success and pioneer in American Brewed Belgian Wheat Beers, The Allagash White.

Ale Steamed Salmon With Belgian Wheat Beer Bearnaise 

4 Salmon Fillets, about 3 oz each

2 bottles of Allagash White

2 tbs vinegar

1 tbs finely chopped shallots

1/4 tsp white pepper

2 tbs fresh tarragon

1 tbs chervil

1 sprig fresh parsley

4 egg yolks

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

Rice or pasta for serving

Preheat oven to 350.

Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet, place the salmon fillets on the rack. Pour one bottle of Allagash White in the bottom of the baking sheet, making sure that the beer does not submerge the wire rack. You want at least 1/2 inch between the beer and the top of the wire rack.

Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, making sure to tent the foil over the salmon so that the foil does not touch the fish at all. Secure tightly, in order to trap the steam inside the foil.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. 

While the salmon is cooking, make the Bearnaise.

Add ½ cup of the remaining Allagash beer, the vinegar, shallots, pepper, tarragon, chervil, and parsley to a pan over medium heat. Allow to simmer and reduce until about 2 tbs of liquid remain, about ten minutes. Pour through a fin mesh strainer to remove the solids, allow to cool.

In a food processor add the 2 tbs of liquid, egg yolks and salt. Melt the butter in a sauce pan until very hot and just starting to bubble. Remove the stopper from the top of the food processor lid. Turn on the food processor, allowing to process for a few seconds before beginning to slowly pour the melted butter into the food processor while it is still running. Allow to process until well combined and frothy, about 3 minutes.

Plate the salmon over rice or pasta, pour about ¼ cup sauce over each plate.

Serve with Allagash White.

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Chocolate, Bacon & Porter Muffins

There is something mysterious and alluring about Alaska. Beautiful landscapes pushing past a transcendental, white washed façade. I’ll even forgive her the birth of ignorant, poorly spoken, female politicians to glimpse the majesty of the Aurora Borealis. It just may be because of this enchanted terrain that the beer seems to have a prestigious eminence. The water is clearer and more ethereal, giving rise to a superior scaffolding for the detailed flavors put forth in Alaskan craft beer.

The Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter has a bold, creamy, smoked profile that bridges the flavors of bacon and chocolate in these muffins. The savory sweet interplay works well for breakfast or dessert, or anytime in between.

Chocolate, Bacon & Porter Muffins

Chocolate, Bacon & Porter Muffins

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup Smoked Porter
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 400.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and smoked paprika, whisk until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and the oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg/oil, chocolate chips and the beer. Stir until combined.
  4. Spray muffin tins with butter flavored cooking spray (or line with muffin papers). Add the batter to the muffin tins until about 2/3 full. Top with the chopped bacon, evenly distributed between the muffin tins.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-bacon-porter-muffins/

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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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Craft Ale Risotto

Risotto is the first recipe that I ever mastered. To this day, I count this among my favorite comfort food, downing giant bowls whenever the opportunity arises.

The classic recipe is made with white wine, but the substitution of a citrusy, medium-bodied craft beer only adds to the profile of flavors. I used another California beer: Telegraph California Ale, although this recipe would lend itself very well to the Telegraph White Ale.

Craft Ale Risotto 
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbs chopped shallots
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ cups arborio rice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz Telegraph Ale
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper
  1. Place the chicken broth in a sauce pan and bring to a mild simmer, keeping to warm, but not boiling.
  2. In a separate pot, add the butter and allow to melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until transparent, but don’t allow to brown. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell them, about 20 seconds
  3. Stir in the rice and the oil, cooking until the rice is completely coated with oil and it smells slightly nutty, don’t allow to brown. About 2 minutes.
  4. Add the beer and cook until the pan begins to dry, stirring frequently. About 6 minutes.
  5. Add a ladle full (about 2/3 cups) of broth into the rice. Stir frequently until the broth is almost dry, and then add another ladle full and repeat. This process should take about 20 minutes. Don’t leave the risotto while it’s cooking, the rice on the bottom of the pan burns easily. (if you run out of broth, just use hot water the same way you would broth)
  6. Once your risotto is cooked through (taste it to verify that the rice is cooked and not crunchy), turn heat to low and add the cheese, cream and salt and pepper to taste. Risotto should be soft and wet, not dry like typical rice. It should be firm enough to be served as a side on a plate, but soft enough to jiggle when the plate is shaken.
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IPA Sweet Potato Mash

IPA’s make difficult cooking subjects. The bitterness is high maintenance. But then a beer comes along that is just so worth the effort of figutring out how to work those flavors into my food.

Like Le Freak, by Green Flash Brewing out of San Diego.

It’s a non traditional American IPA meets Belgium style IPA. Not your run of the mill hoppy beer. I love this. LOVED it so much, I drank it mid-morning as I was cooking up this little dish for you all. And, it turns out, sweet potatoes are an amazing vessel for hops. Or maybe the other way around.

IPA Sweet Potato Mash

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)

2 tbs butter, chopped into cubes

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup pecans

1/2 cup Green Flash by Le Freak

Preheat oven to 400.

Place your chopped yams in a large loaf pan, sprinkle the top with cubes of butter. Drizzle with the maple syrup, then the beer and then top with the brown sugar.

Bake, uncovered at 400 for about 40 minutes or until the yams are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Drain off most of the liquid (leaving about 2 tbs in the bottom of the pan). Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt then mash with a potato masher until creamy, add the pecans and stir.

Serve warm.

Chocolate Stout Cake With Porter Ganache & Beer Brown Sugar Buttercream

I’m going to start this post by telling you that I am biased. That being said and out of the way:

The West Coast of the United States has the best beer in the world. At least, it has the highest concentration of fantastic craft breweries.

I used two old favorites for this post. Black Butte Porter, from Descutes Brewery and Chocolate Stout from one of my favorites Breweries, Bison.

Of course there are other fantastic beers all over the world, and all over this fantastic beer loving country of ours, but the West Coast is like a Mecca. There are just so many all up and down the coast.

Now if someone will just organize a Beer Tour, we can all take 6 months out of our lives to travel up and down the Pacific Coast and drink ourselves silly with incredible craft beer. You get on that, I’m waiting.

Chocolate Stout Cake with Beer Brown Sugar Butter Cream Filling & Porter Ganache

Chocolate Stout Cake with Beer Brown Sugar Butter Cream Filling & Porter Ganache

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tbs) unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (2 3.5 oz bars) 72% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 1 cup of brewed coffee, cooled
  • For The Filling (Buttercream):
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 12 tbs of butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • For The Ganache:
  • 2 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cups of Blake Butte Porter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

    Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, add the 72% chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted.
  5. Add the melted chocolate to the sugar/egg mixture and blend well. While the mixer is on a medium-low setting, add the stout and then the coffee, continue to combine until well mixed, then add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined.
  6. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Bake for between 25 and 35 minutes (for cupcakes about 18 minutes) or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. Filling:
  8. Place the beer in a microwave safe bowl, heat on high until very hot, add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter (must be softened to room temperature or it will not work), salt and powdered sugar, beat until combined. Add the brown sugar mixture and mix slowly until mostly combined, then turn the mixer on high and then whip until the frosting is fluffy and well combined.
  10. Ganache:
  11. Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. In a pot on the stove, add the heavy cream and the beer and cook over medium heat until hot and bubbly, stirring frequently, about 5-8 minutes. Pour the cream/beer over the chocolate chips and stir until well combined. Place in the fridge and allow to cool until slightly below room temperature.
  12. Assembly:
  13. Place the first layer of your cake on a a cake plate. Top with your brown sugar butter cream. Add the second cake layer. Pour the warm ganache over the top and allow it to run down the sides. Spread with a knife if necessary.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-stout-cake-with-porter-ganache/

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Beer Brined Turkey

Beer Brined Turkey will give you the juiciest, tastiest bird you’ve ever had! This recipe also tells you how to also get a crispy skin. You’ll never make it another way again!

Beer-Brined-Roasted-TurkeyThere are two ways to look at this post. Either it’s a week late, or 11 1/2 months early. I prefer the latter. Unless you are a turkey on Christmas type of person, in that case, I’m right on time.

I use Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar for several reasons. This is a beer with the perfect flavor profile to brine a turkey, and it is also a beer that is becoming available at more and more locations worldwide. Making it the perfect beer to recommend for this recipe. If you live in a land where Rogue isn’t available, look for another malty brown ale that isn’t too hoppy instead.

Why brine with beer?  This beer brine does two things: First, alcohol is a natural meat tenderizer. Second, the brown ale gives a beautiful but faint flavor of the hazelnut and malt that Rogue took so much time crafting.

Turkey cooking is tricky, while the dark meat should be cooked to 175°, the white meat is done at 165°. Giving you only two basic options when cooking the whole bird: overcook the white meat, or undercook the dark meat.

The beer brine infuses the meat, making it possible to get that dark meat up to the temperature it needs to be without drying the white meat out. This gives you the coveted juicy bird. But what about the skin? Brine can make it soggy.

Follow the steps to dry the skin in a roasting rack in the fridge and you’ll have that crispy skin.

Crispy skin: check. Juicy bird: check. You might even have some beer left over to celebrate your turkey win.

More tips throwing a Craft Beer Thanksgiving 

Beer Brined Turkey

Beer Brined Turkey

How To Truss A Turkey, Alton Brown.

Weight Total Roasting Time
8-12 pounds 2 to 3.5 hours
12-16 pounds 3 to 4 hours
16-20 pounds 4 to 5 hours
20-25 pounds 5 to 6 hours
25-30 pounds 6+ hours

 

Beer Brined Turkey

5 from 8 votes

Equipment

  • 2 large turkey oven bags, or bucket large enough to fit the turkey, but small enough so that the entire turkey is submerged.

Ingredients
  

  • 1, 12-16 lb turkey* thawed
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups Kosher or Sea Salt don't use iodized table salt
  • 5 cloves of garlic quartered
  • 1/4 cup whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 onions quartered
  • 2 (22 oz) large bottles of brown ale or wheat beer (about 5 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cup ice
  • 3 celery ribs cut in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of chicken broth plus 4-6 cups water if needed

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, add the water, salt, garlic, allspice, cloves, and one of the onions. Bring to just barely boiling and remove from heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt. Add the beer and ice, stir. (if your turkey is over 18 lbs, double the brine recipe)
  • Allow to cool to room temp, refrigerating if necessary. The brine must be cooled before you add your turkey or it will start to cook.
  • Rinse the thawed turkey and remove anything that has been placed inside the cavity.
  • Place turkey in either the large bucket or the oven bags. If you are using the oven bags, place one inside the other and the turkey inside those. Pour the brine over the turkey. If using the oven bags, make sure to remove as much air as possible and seal as tightly as you can, place in a roasting pan in case the brine starts to leak. Place in the refrigerator.
  • Brine for 16-18 hours. If using the oven bags, rotate the turkey every 6-8 hours to ensure an even brine.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse really well, inside and out with cold water.
  • Place turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 12-18 hours to dry the skin. This is the step that will give you a nice crispy skin to go along with your juicy bird.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Truss your turkey if desired.
  • Brush your entire turkey with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
  • Stuff the other quartered onion, and the celery inside the cavity of the bird.
  • Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Add the broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. If the pan starts to dry out during the cooking, add the additional water to the bottom of the roasting pan. Do not allow the broth/water in the roasting pan to touch the turkey.
  • Cook until your turkey reaches about 160 degrees (it will continue to cook once out of the oven to meet the 165-degree temperature). Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Notes

Turkey that has been pre-treated or pre-brined will be too salty. Large commercial poultry farms often add a salt brine to increase the weight and therefore the cost of the bird, "Kosher" turkeys are generally pre-treated with salt and aren't the best to use with a brine, as they will be too salty. "Natural" turkeys will most likely not be pre-treated with salt. If the label list "sodium" as an ingredient, it will likely be too salty to use with a brine. Look for a natural turkey or one that has never been exposed to salt

 

Orange Blossom Ale Cranberry Sauce

I could get really cheesy about this. I could even call it CranBEERy sauce. But I’m not going to do that, because, that would be lame.

And I respect you too much for obvious puns. Drunken cranberry sauce? Boozy? All of those overused descriptors miss the point, and the fact that high heat burns off alcohol.

A light ale, with a strong citrus note, like  Buffalo Bill’s  Orange Blossom Ale, lends a beautiful balance to the strong acid of cranberries that you usually see sitting around your Thanksgiving table. I won’t even speak to those of you whose only preparation for anything Cranberry related is the use of a can opener to dispense a hideously ridged gelatinous mass of phallic shaped berry-adjacent matter onto a crystal serving dish.

Other things we won’t be speaking of today: the sound that thing makes when it comes out of said can.

Clear your head of all thoughts tin related and focus on a sweet and tart taste of a cranberry sauce with back notes of an American Pale Ale. You’ll thank me for the reprieve.

Orange Blossom Ale Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Pale Ale with citrus notes (do not use an IPA, too much hop. I used an Orange Blossom Ale)
  • 4 cups Cranberries
  • 1 tbs fine orange zest

Directions

  1. Put it all in a sauce pan and allow to simmer over medium low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. The longer you cook, the thicker it becomes.
https://domesticfits.com/orange-blossom-ale-cranberry-sauce/

Salted Hefeweizen Brioche Rolls

Napa SmithWheat is a perfect baking beer. It has crisp, clean flavors, sweetness and bold tones that hold up to the oven. A smooth wheat beer with citrus and peach notes.

I enjoyed this beer, the baking, the drinking, the flavors. It was an easy beer to enjoy and gave me a sense of the brewery. Relaxed, comfortable and welcoming. I’ve lived in California most of my life, and traveled all over the world and I have a firm believe that Napa is a place that needs to be experienced, a beautiful escape from the rest of reality. Winding along the back roads of  Napa county, meeting locals, sampling the local food, drinks, produce…You’ll feel like you are living in a distant land far away from the life you know. In Napa, people love to eat, drink and cook with only local ingredients. It’s charming, as if Napa could exist all on it’s own. A little bubble, a snow globe of a world, swirling around itself filled with fresh-baked bread, handmade pies and locally sourced beer.

 Salted Hefeweizen Brioche Rolls

1/2 cup room temperature Hefeweizen Beer (Napa Smith Wheat Preferred)

1 envelope of dry active yeast (1/4 oz)

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoons sea salt,

3 large eggs

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Topping:

1 tbs melted butter

1 tbs sea salt

  1. Add the beer to a microwave safe container heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, test the temperature (you want it between 105 and 110) and repeat until the desired temperature is reached. Put the beer in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to get foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, salt and sugar and mix on low with the dough hook attachment until shaggy, flaky lumps form (about 1 1/2 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined.
  5. Add the softened butter (softened is important), beat until the dough gathers around the hook and is smooth and shiny.
  6. Coat the inside of a bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball in inside.
  7. Wrap with plastic wrap leave in a warm place until it’s double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Grab the dough at the sides until it has deflated.
  9. Allow to rise a second time at room temperature, until it has doubled in size, deflating every 15 minutes by grabbing the sides, about 45 minutes.
  10. Remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface, shape into a long log, about 4 inches wide and 1 foot long.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut in 3 equal sized pieces.
  12. Then cut each of those pieces in half (you will now have 6 pieces.)
  13. Now cut each of those pieces in half and you will have 12 equal sized pieces.
  14. Each of these pieces will be a roll, but you have to make some more cuts first.
  15. Cut each slice into 3 equal sized pieces, rolling each into a ball and placing all three into the same well of a greased muffin tin. Repeat for each slice.
  16. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and allow to double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  17. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle generously with sea salt. This is when you break out the fanciest salt you have. Or buy some just for the occasion.
  18. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown.
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Beer Poached Apples With An Amber Ale Caramel Sauce

I came across Albion Amber Ale, from Marin Brewing Co this week. It isn’t a traditional Amber, but the flavors are bright and complex. One taste of this brown ale, and a caramel sauce immediately came to mind. The rich toffee and nut flavors paired beautifully with this recipe and the strong caramel and malt flavors came through in the sauce in such an amazing way.

Even if you skip the apple, this sauce is so incredible you can eat it right out of the jar with your fingers.

Beer Poached Apples with Amber Ale Caramel Sauce

4 fuji apples

2 1/2 cups (20 oz) Amber Ale

2-4 cups hot water

2 cups brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tbs butter

Peel all four apples with a vegetable peeler. With an apple corer remove the core of the apples. Place in a large sauce pan or pot, cover with the beer. Add enough water so that the apples are no longer touching the bottom of the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a strong simmer. Roll the apples with a fork frequently to insure that all side of the apples are evenly cooked. Poach for 20 minutes or until the apples are fork tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the apples.

Raise the heat to a strong boil and reduce the liquid to 1 cup. Depending on how much water you added, this should take about 20-30 minutes. 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.

Boil, without stirring, until the temperature reaches between 225-230 degrees. Remove from heat and stir until the bubbling subsides. Add the cream and butter, stir to combine. Allow to cool.

Top the apples with the caramel and the chopped nuts.

Another fabulous way to serve this is to chop the apples, and serve the apples, nuts and caramel over vanilla ice cream. Amazing.

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Gingerbread Ale Beer Bread

Beer bread is simple. A few ingredients creates a soft, but dense bread. The basic principle is to use the beer as the yeast. Although beer is great in this capacity, adding a leavening agent like baking soda, or self rising flour, is important to help keep the bread from becoming too dense. The simple ingredients open the possibility to so many different types of flavorings. Beer bread can be sweet or savory.

I got my hands on a few bottles of the Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewery for this batch of beer bread. The gingerbread flavors worked so well with the recipe, leaving a mild but distinct flavors of ginger and beer.

Gingerbread Beer Bread

3 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 cup chopped pecans

12 oz Bison Gingerbread Ale

TOPPING:

2 tbs melted butter

2 tbs brown sugar

 

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a large loaf pan with butter flavored cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pecans. Stir until well combined.  Add the beer all at once. It will foam up. Stir quickly to combine. Don’t worry about lumps, thats normal.

Add to your batter greased loaf pan. Pour the melted butter on top of your loaf and sprinkle with the brown sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the butter has completely absorbed into your loaf and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of your loaf comes out clean.


Beer Cheese Chicken Pot Pie

This is the ultimate comfort food, combining three great comfort food players: Beer, Cheese, Warm Soup. Add to that a flaky pastry crust and you pretty much have pot pie perfection. I use Mission Street Blonde Ale for this, from the Mission Brewery out of San Diego.

A really beautiful blend with the mild cheddar I used. It cooks really well, leaving a mild lemony flavor with traces of wheat. The hops are subtle and blend well with the rest of the recipe.

Beer cheese has started to climb out of frat boy myths into actual culinary acceptance of the past decade. This recipe isn’t a traditional Beer Cheese recipe, but the idea is captured and transformed into a hearty soup and a filling entrée. A great recipe to have in your beer cooking arsenal.

Beer Cheese Chicken Pot Pie 

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 5 tbs butter cold, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tbs vodka
  • 2 tbs cold water

For the Filling:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced leeks (white and very light green portion only)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cups raw chicken, cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  •  1 1/3 cup Mission Street Blonde Ale
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup peas
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup melted butter

1. Combine 1 cups of flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor, pulse a few times until its combined. Add the butter and the shortening and process until it forms a ball around the blade, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the remaining flour and process until well incorporated, about 1 minute.

3. Move to a bowl and add the water and the vodka, combine with a spatula or wooden spoon.

4. Form the dough into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill until very firm, about two hours.

5.  Preheat oven to 400.

6. In a pan over medium, high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the leeks and the garlic, sauté until leeks are soft.

7. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

8. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and darkened.

9. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

10. In a separate bowl, add 2/3 cup of broth and the flour, stir until combined. Pour mixture into the pan through a small mesh strainer to remove any lumps.

11. Add the beer to the pan and stir to combine. Add the peas, corn, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted and is well combined with the broth.

12. Pour into small, portion sized, oven safe ceramic dishes. Makes about 4.

 

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13. Once the dough has chilled, place disk on a very well floured surface, add flour to the top of the disk as well. Roll out into an even thickness.

14. Cut out circles that will cover the dishes with at least a one inch overhang on each side.

15. To prevent sticking, spray the rim of the baking dish with cooking spray.

16. Top each dish with the dough circle, cutting a slit to vent at the top. Then brush the dough with melted butter.

17. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool a bit before serving.