Southern Tier Creme Brulee Banana Wontons with Creme Brulee Ice Cream

The name says it all. Another beer from Southern Tier that tastes like a decadent dessert. Just the smell of it is amazing. Butterscotch, caramel, and a hint of coffee. How could I not make a dessert with this? I had some left over wontons and thought of making banana wontons. Then I remembered the Creme Brulee and I decided to go all out and make banana wontons with the bananas cooked in Creme Brulee, Creme Brulee ice cream, and a Creme Brulee syrup. The ice cream itself is simply the perfect ice cream flavor. It's like butterscotch and coffee ice cream combined. Two of my favorite flavors! I even added some butter to the ice cream to highlight the butterscotch. I'll post the ice cream recipe another day when I redo it so I can write it all down. The beer was instantly compatible with the banana, cinnamon, and caramel flavors throughout the dessert. And the syrup... I should keep that on hand at all times. Here's the recipe for the wontons and syrup.

banana wontons:
2 bananas
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp Creme Brulee
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
20 wonton wrappers
oil for frying

1/4 cup Creme Brulee
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar

For the wontons, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes. Fill each wonton with a teaspoon of the filling. Seal the edges with water and pat out any air.  Heat a large pan over high heat and fill with enough oil for frying. When the oil is hot, add the wontons. Reduce the heat to medium and cook on both sides until golden brown.
For the syrup, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cook until thickened.

Crab Rangoons Paired with a Pilsner

Crab Rangoons and Lagunitas Pils
Crab rangoons are basically wonton wrappers filled with cream cheese, crab, and green onion.  I wanted to pair them with a beer and decided to try a pilsner so the clean and crisp flavors could complement the fried wontons. I tried them with both Lagunitas Pils and Victory Prima Pils to see what would work better. Lagunitas Pils is maltier and Prima Pils is hoppier, so they both complemented the dish in different ways. I liked the way Prima Pils' hoppiness and crispness worked between bites of the rangoon. It was not too overpowering but still enough to wake up your mouth. It was more of a contrast to the dish whereas Laguintas Pils kind of melded into the dish because it was less hoppy and a little sweeter. My mom preferred Lagunitas with it and I think I preferred the contrast Prima Pils gave, but they both worked. I'd also be interested in trying a saison, a hefeweizen, or even a sour beer. There's lots of flavors to play off of with the cripsy wonton, cream cheese and crab mixture, and sweet and sour dipping sauce. There's no exact science to pairing, so experiment...that's half the fun!

I also tried pairing them with Victory Prima Pils

6 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces crab
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
2 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tbsp chopped red onion
1/8 tsp white pepper
salt to taste
wonton wrappers

sweet and sour sauce:
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ginger powder
4 tbsp pineapple juice ( you can use orange juice or even just water)
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp soy sauce

Combine the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl. Place a small amount of the mixture in each wonton wrapper. Fold in half and seal with water. Heat a large pan over high heat and fill with about half an inch of oil. When the oil is hot, add the wontons. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Hefeweizen Battered Fish Tacos With Pineapple Salsa

So the goal of  this blog is basically to show that beer can be used for much more than just a beer batter or beer can chicken. It's so versatile and can be used in any part of cooking to enhance flavor or texture. It seems people don't just think of one thing when cooking with wine and there is absolutely no reason that beer can not be used as diversely. I believe that craft beer is classy and can work in many gourmet foods just as well and many times better than wine. And with all the different styles, there are endless amounts of flavors beer can give to food. But I don't have to preach to you guys. You already know all of that (and if you don't, you need to take a look at the rest of my recipes). However, I must admit beer does make a great light and crispy batter so I figured it was time I gave it a try.

I made beer battered tilapia fish tacos with a pineapple salsa. Battering stuff with beer is pretty easy and I will probably be doing it a lot more often. For the batter all you need is flour, a beer, and some spices. I used a hefeweizen because I wanted something light and tasty and was hoping to get some of those spicy banana and clove flavors through into the final product. And Sierra Nevada Kellerweis is definitely one of my favorites. The result was perfect in my opinion. Here is the recipe :)

1 pound tilapia
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup beer
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and ground black pepper
oil for frying
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
flour tortillas

1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and ground black pepper to taste

3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp lime juice
salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, beer, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I cut my fish into a few pieces and seasoned it with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Coat the fish with flour and dip into the batter. Put a large pan over high heat and add about a half inch of oil. When the oil is hot add the fish in batches, cooking for about three or four minutes per side. To assemble the taco put some lettuce on the flour tortilla. Combine the ingredients for the sauce and pour on top of the lettuce. Add a few pieces of fried fish and top with the salsa.

Beer Chicken Pot Pie

My boyfriend asked me to make him a chicken pot pie the other night, so I made a little individual portion. I used a beer to step up the flavors and give it that special tang. I chose a lager because I don't really cook with them that often and we thought the clean flavors and bready characteristics of Weihenstephaner Original might work with the dish.

I started out by cooking some onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and chicken with a bit of butter (everything cut into chunks). Then I poured in milk, evaporated milk, and some of the beer. To that I added chopped potatoes, carrots, and peas and seasoned everything with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chicken bouillon. I also included some fresh thyme. I let the vegetables finish cooking and used a little flour to thicken everything up. Then I just transferred the mixture into an oven safe bowl.

For the crust I actually used crescent rolls. I took three uncooked pieces and rolled them into a ball. I flattened out the ball of dough and covered the bowl with it, sticking it along the sides with egg wash. Worked perfectly. From there all you have to do is put it in the oven until the top is golden brown. The final result was interesting and flavorful and not at all dull. My boyfriend loved his chicken pot pie and the flavors the beer provided :)

Mokah Chocolate Soufflé

Mmm chocolate soufflé. It's surprisingly simple to make. The basic idea is just whipping up some egg whites and folding that into a mixture of egg yolks and melted chocolate along with some sugar. The fluffy egg whites are what makes the soufflé puff up in the oven. Before baking, it's already basically chocolate mousse, which you could just eat as is. Baking it gives it a little crunchy exterior and a warm gooey mousse-like center.  And what better beer to pair that with than a decadent chocolate and coffee imperial stout? Or better yet, why not add that beer INTO the soufflé? I incorporated Mokah from Southern Tier into the soufflé itself as well as the delicious chocolate topping. The final product of a Mokah chocolate soufflé paired with Mokah is perfect rich and delicious harmony.

I also wanted to mention that it's a whole different experience to eat cold. I had some leftovers that I ate after keeping in the fridge for a while and it is just as delicious with a bit of a different texture. And when the topping gets cold and a little more solid it is really good. So even though it deflates a little if you take a while to serve it (the last picture is actually after a few hours of being in the fridge) it will not stop being delicious, and that's what matters.

4 egg whites
2 egg yolks
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp Mokah
1 tsp vanilla

for topping:
3 tbsp Mokah
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar

Directions:  Prepare the serving glasses or ramekins (make sure they are oven safe) for your soufflé by rubbing the inside of them with butter and then coating that with sugar. Next, melt the chocolate chips. I just do it in the microwave being very careful to mix it every 30 seconds so they will not burn. Beat the egg yolks along with half of the sugar until frothy. Combine the melted chocolate with the egg yolks and add in the vanilla and beer. Beat the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and then pour into serving containers. Place them in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until they puff up and look a bit dry on the top.

While they are baking prepare the topping by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the chocolate, stirring until combined. Then add the sugar and beer.

When the soufflés are ready, remove them and dust with powdered sugar. Pour the topping on top or make a hole in your soufflé and pour it in.