BLT Pasta

What does one eat with an unbelievably bitter, dark as night, stout?  Generally I will drink a pint of stout and then switch to a lighter beer if I am having food.  I find that while quite tasty, stouts can overwhelm both my taste buds and stomach if I am not extremely choosy with my food selections.  Enter Bacon, Lemon and Tomato Pasta, and Pelican Pub & Brewery Tsunami Stout.  Homemade pasta, and a lemony hollandaise sauce, both of which have bacon fat in them.  Fried bacon, tomato, basil and goat cheese feta to top it off.  And the stout.  Nothing subtle about this pairing, it is all out flavor war in your mouth. I like it that way.

Photo: Pelican Pub & Brewing Website

Photo: Pelican Pub & Brewing Website

Pelican’s website talks about their belief in beer cuisine.  An intentional melding of beer and food that is well thought out and integrated in an effort to create memorable food pairings.  I hope this recipe follows in that tradition.  Pairing equally strong flavors is what makes recipe work.  The crunch of bacon and lemony sauce are equally as explosive in your mouth as the stout. Sweet tomato bites here and there work well with the bitter espresso flavor of this beer.  My farmers market find of Ferns Edge Goat Dairy feta is an unexpected twist, soft and salty, it tempers this unusual stout.  This cheese would be a great addition to a cheese plate pairing with this beer.

Bacon, Lemon and Tomato Pasta

Spaghetti pasta, homemade or store bought.  I used this recipe here, and simply added 3 Tbsp bacon fat to the dough when I mixed it together

1 lbs bacon, chopped and fried

1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup goat milk feta cheese

Basil roughly chopped

For the Hollandaise:

Juice of one lemon

7 egg yolks

3 Tbsp bacon grease

salt & pepper to taste

IMG_3159

If you are going to make your own pasta, do so about an hour or so ahead of time. You have to let the dough rest for a good twenty minutes before you can start the thinning and cutting process, so plan accordingly.

This dish is meant to be served lukewarm, not hot, and it moves fast once you start.  Boil your pasta in water that has been salted like the sea and a bit of oil so the noodles don’t stick together.  Pour your beer in a few glasses and let it come up a few degrees too, it is better closer to room temperature than just out of the refrigerator.  At the same time, mix your hollandaise ingredients up and let them sit.  Chop your tomatoes, basil and crumble your cheese if it isn’t already.

IMG_3167

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour into the hollandaise sauce and mix well.  Plate your pasta and throw some of the above accouterments on top.

Paired with this dish, Tsunami Stout worked wonders for my palate, balancing out the normally overwhelming flavor of salty pig. Bitter, but not acidic, with flavor notes hitting on licorice and a biting cocoa powder after taste.  Pelican says that this stout will “bowl you over”.  They are not joking.  It is not for the faint of heart.  At their restaurant, they recommend pairing it with their Clam Chowder or their Tsunami Stout Chili.  At home, I recommend this pasta. Simple and quick to make, this could easily become part of a work week recipe repertoire.

For more information about Pelican Pub & Brewery, please visit their website, facebook page, or take a drive on a Saturday up to Pacific City and let us at Hopped Up know what you enjoyed most about Pelican’s Beer Cuisine.

pelican brewery

 

 

 

 

Party Downtown…and at home! Inspirations of a Brewers Dinner.

I have had the pleasure to attend two of Party Downtown’s Brewers Dinners recently, and both time’s have walked away inspired to re create one of their dish pairings in my own home. Of the seven courses we dined on for the Brewers Dinner, the plate that made the biggest impression was the hot link sausage, cider braised greens, cornbread, apple jam and pig ear, paired with 2 Towns Ciderhouse Bourbon Barrel aged cider.

Having now sampled several varieties, I can say with confidence that Party excel’s at making their own sausage. I happened to walk by their smoker before the dinner started and pretty much wanted to crawl inside it so I could bathe in the aroma of goodness coming out of that thing. Au de smoked sausage.

If you will imagine with me for a second, walking by the smoker that houses your future meal. Several hours later, having said sausage on a plate in front of you, and a glass of the Bourbon Barrel Cider sparkling right next to it. Anticipating how the sausage will taste, pull the flute full of cider to your nose and inhale the intoxicating scent of cider aged for four and a half months in a Buffalo Trace Barrel. It is strong and heady. A dry cider with a slightly sweet after taste, you know this course is going to be great. And it is.

sauscid

For this work week meal inspiration, I picked up some German Oktoberfest sausages made in Woodburn Oregon. Mustard greens from the farmer’s market were already in the fridge, and I have cornmeal galore in the garage. As the specific cider is not something readily available in the grocery stores I frequent, I decided to go for beer. This is a bold dish. I needed something in kind. A strong, forward flavor with citrus notes to replace the bourbon barrel infused aroma of the cider. I picked up some Hop Valley Citrus Mistress.

I would recommend this beer to anyone looking to drink their first IPA. Yes it is bitter and hoppy as any IPA should be, but the citrus seems to round that off a bit and make it a rather friendly first try. Citrus Mistress is a beer I could drink year round. It is an easy IPA to pair with BBQ’d food, and I am looking forward to stocking up while it is still on the shelves.

BBQ’d Mustard Greens, Sausage and Cornbread Pudding

1 package sausage, kielbasa preferred

1 – 2 bunches mustard greens (recipe below)

1 cornbread pudding (recipe below)

PicMonkey Collage

First make the Cornbread Pudding (adapted from www.sophistimom.com).

1 cups water

1 cup cornmeal

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

5 eggs

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Heat the water, salt and butter in a pan until boiling. Take off heat and add sugar and cornmeal, stir until sugar is dissolved. In large bowl, mix the eggs, cream and nutmeg. Combine the cornmeal mix with the cream mix, then add in cheese. Pour into a greased deep pie plate and bake for 45-60 minutes. At 40 minutes start checking it with  toothpick or knife. Once this comes out clean after a poke, turn the oven off and remove to cool.

After the pudding is in the oven, start your BBQ’d Mustard Greens.

1 – 2 bunches mustard greens

olive oil

salt

pepper

white balsamic vinegar

Turn your BBQ on medium-high heat, rinse your greens off and throw them on the grill in a bunch. After about two minutes, flip them over and grill again for two minutes. This does two things. One it steams the inner leaves a bit, and two creates a nice char on the outer leaves. 

Take the greens off the grill after both sides have been Q’d, chop them up, place in a tinfoil sheet about 12″ long. Sprinkle with salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss. You want a decent coating of the three, so do it one more time. Close up the tinfoil around the greens and get ready to throw them and the sausage on the grill. Timing is everything here – you want your pudding to be nearly done at this point, because you are about 10 minutes away from plating your food.

Grill the Sausages and Mustard Greens just enough to create nice sear lines on the sausages. When you flip the sausage, flip the tin foil packet. When you remove both from the grill, crack open the packet, so the greens stop cooking. Plate your food and call the family to dinner. I love Party’s use of various kinds of plates, so I pulled out Grandma’s old china bowls and got to work.

finalsausage

The char on the mustard greens helps to alleviate their usual bitterness. My only wish is that I had used two bunches, hence my suggestion for 1-2 in the recipe. None of us got quite enough. The savory sausage and sweet cornbread pudding together in one bite is a meal in itself. Pair that with the Citrus Mistress, and you have a party in your mouth!

I appreciate Party Downtown’s innovative food style, their dishes worked very well with the 2 Towns Cider picks. I am now on the hunt for a bottle of the bourbon barrel aged cider so I can work up a dish to pair with it. I look forward to watching both companies to see what else they produce, and dream of future recipes inspired from the pairings at the brewers dinner that night.