Saturday, November 23, 2013


Like I even need to say anything else...but I WILL give you some awesome recipes to help you actually incorporate MORE beer into your diet.  The key to cooking with beer, I feel, is to always pick a NON-hoppy beer, and to reduce it down.  This concentrates the sugars in the beer, and makes it easier to add lots of flavor, without really changing the composition of the recipe.

First up, a nice vegetable side dish.  Delicata are awesome, cause you don't have to peel them.  Just slice, scoop out the seeds and fry in some olive oil.  Top it with a fresh, crunchy apple fennel relish and all is right with the vegetarians.  

Squash with Fennel and Apple Relish
2 Delicata squash
olive oil

 Slice the ends off of the squash. Slice into 1/2" rings and remove the seeds with a spoon. 
Lightly salt the squash and let sit for 30 minutes. Completely dry off with paper towels, removing the salt. Heat enough oil to coat a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add them to the pan. They should sizzle the moment they hit the pan. Don't crowd them or they'll steam more than they'll brown. Saute until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side).
Fennel and Apple Relish

 1 crisp apple, peeled, seeded, very small dice
 1fennel bulb, outer layer removed, very small dice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (if you want)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1 cup Beehive Ale from New Holland, reduced in a saucepan to 1 Tablespoon
salt and pepper

Mix all the relish ingredients together and season well with salt and pepper.  Serve the relish sprinkled over the squash.

For the turkey, make it however you normally do.  I rub mine with herb butter, under the skin.  This year I took the infamous +Founders Brewing Co. Backwoods Bastard, reduced it down, and then basted the turkey with it the last 15 minutes.  It picked up the bourbon notes, and made an awesome gravy.  Plus, then you'll have three more to drink.

The pie really turned out amazing, thanks to the winter pack from +ShortsBrewingCompany .  Reduce the Gingersnap and add it to your pie like you would vanilla extract. KICK ASS.  I've now had a 3/4 of the pie for breakfast.  No, you can't have any. Make your own.

Pumpkin Pie

For the crust:
2 1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
2 egg yolks
2 tBLS cream

In the bowl of a food processor, place the flour and sugar and pulse to combine.  Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas.  Mix the yolks and cream together in a small cup and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse until a dough forms.  Remove the dough from the machine and form into a disk.  Wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle your work area with some more flour.  Place a disk on the work surface, sprinkle with more flour and gently roll out the dough to fit the pie or tart pan.  Press into place.  Prick the tart with a fork and place back in the freezer for half an hour, or up to 24 hours.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375,  Par bake the pie crust for abut 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Time the baking of the crust with the making of the filling because you want to add hot filling to a hot crust.

For the filling:
1 bottle Short's Gingersnap Ale
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can evaporated milk
4 eggs

Place the beer in a saucepan and reduce down until very thick and syrupy.  Meanwhile, mix all the rest of the ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat.  Add about 2 Tablespoons of the reduced beer to the pumpkin and whisk well.   Heat the filling up until just hot.  Pour the hot filling into the hot crust and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the center if jiggly like jello and the edges are firm.  Cool for at least an hour.

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