I got another bottle of Dogfish Head Namaste because I liked it so much the last time I paired with it. I ended up using it in my dinner tonight. I made linguine and sauteed some shrimp with butter, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. After removing the shrimp, I added the beer and lemon juice to the pan and let it reduce a bit. Then stirred in some more butter and finished it off with a little fresh parsley. The brightness of the beer was lovely with the lemon juice and shrimp. Who needs to cook with wine when you've got beers like this?
Okay, so I made some crepes with beer in the batter. I wasn't really sure what direction to go in because there are so many options. Some beers would work better with a savory crepe, some would add a lighter flavor or a stronger flavor, and it might be fun to try a stout for a sweet one. So I decided to try three types for some variety. I made one big basic batch of batter, divided it into three equal parts, and added a different beer to each one. I built each crepe around the beer used in its batter, and they all turned out delicious. Sweaty Betty for my spinach, mushroom, and cheese crepe. Young's Double Chocolate Stout for my nutella, strawberry, and whipped cream crepe. And Gamma Ray for a banana, cinnamon, and brown sugar crepe.
First up: Sweaty Betty, a wheat ale. Brian said I should call them "sweaty crepes" but I didn't think that sounded too appetizing. I decided to use this one for my savory crepe. For the toppings I went with spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and melted swiss cheese. Then I paired it with the same beer. It was a wonderful pairing. As a matter of fact, all three of the crepe pairings were spectacular, and are probably in my top 10.
Next up, Young's Double Chocolate Stout. You can see the crepe is a little darker because of the stout. I think they're pretty. Sometimes I forget how yummy nutella really is, especially with strawberries. This was delicious, and the pairing with Young's Double Chocolate was perfect. The beer isn't overly sweet so the roastiness was a nice contrast to the sweet toppings. All of the crepes were awesome but out of the three I think this is the winner.
Last, but not least, Terrapin Gamma Ray. A wheatwine with 11% alcohol. It's made with honey and tastes almost like bananas, so why not go with a banana crepe? I tasted the crepe by itself and you seriously would have sworn there was banana in there. This beer really added some flavor. I combined the real banana pieces with cinnamon and brown sugar and topped it all with condensed milk. (If you're not using condensed milk as a dessert topping you are seriously missing out.)
Here's the basic recipe for beer crepes. This makes plenty since I was making three types, so you might want to cut the recipe in half. Also, experiment with adding more or less beer depending on how much flavor you want to come through.
- 2 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk or evaporated milk
- 1 cup beer
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar (optional, depending if you're going for sweet or savory)
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the milk and beer, and slowly mix in the flour. You can use a blender to get it really uniform if you prefer. Melt some butter in a small pan over medium high heat. Pour a small amount of batter into the center of the pan and swirl around so it coats the bottom. Let it cook until it starts to get golden brown on the bottom and then flip. Cook until the other side starts to get golden and then remove. Continue until all your batter is gone. Now top your crepes with whatever you like!
Here is a foolproof snack you can serve when guests are over. A few simple ingredients, incredibly easy to make, and always tastes amazing. It's pretty tough to go wrong with garlicky bread, tomatoes, and fresh basil. Yum. I paired my bruschetta with Joe's Pilsner from Avery. This crisp, clean pilsner is perfect between bites. Doesn't get much better than this.
- 3 large tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for bread
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 baguette
- salt and pepper to taste
Slice bread into 3/4 inch slices. Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side of the garlic on each piece of bread. Brush each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Toast in the oven until it starts to get crusty.
For the topping:
I boiled my tomatoes for 1 minute, peeled off the skin, and seeded them. You don't have to do this unless you want to. Dice the tomatoes and mince the garlic. Combine in a large bowl with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Chop the basil leaves and add to the mixture.
My sister and my brother-in-law requested something light for lunch on Friday, so I put together a salad with some stuff that was in the fridge. Strawberries, avocado, red onion, and baby arugula. I made a dressing with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper. This was a really good combination of flavors and a wonderful salad for the summer. The strawberries were especially delicious! I didn't initially plan on pairing anything with it, but that night I decided to pair the left overs with The Bruery's Hottenroth. I love this beer! It's a citrusy and refreshing Berliner Weissbier (hey, same style used in my last post!) and pretty much felt like an extension of the salad dressing. It also has an abv around 3% so it's great for a light salad. A simple and enjoyable pairing :)
(Hmm.. I just realized that a large percentage of my posts end with smiley faces)