Friday, August 23, 2013

Pale Ale Brined Eggs (Beer Pickled Eggs)

A hamburger and a french fry walk into a bar. The bartender says, "I'm sorry we don't serve food here.

Actually, that's pretty unlikely.  Most bars do have food available to the customers, in some form or another. Whether it be bowls of pretzels and nuts, or hot wings, or pickled eggs.

Bar food is usually inexpensive. It is often hot or salty or mouth puckery, and it is almost always some form of finger food.

Why?  Because they want  you to eat when you drink so that you don't get totally sh!t faced, so you can drink more.  And all that spicy, sour, salty food makes thirsty, so you will drink more.  And, if you're not distracted by cutlery like which fork to use for which whatever, you will drink more.

It's all about drinking more.  And I, for one, am all for that!

You may or may not have ever seen a big jar of pickled eggs sitting on the corner of a bar.  If you've been in a dive, you probably have.

Although, I've never eaten a pickled egg in a bar, I like them.  I just won't eat them if they're sitting there and I don't know how long they've been sitting there.

I've decided to bring the bar to the egg to make beer brined eggs. I must say they are surprisingly tasty and go great with a cold, frosty brew.

I used Denver Pale Ale, which is an English style pale ale, because it's a little sweeter and  not as bitter as American pale ales. Also, it's light in color.  I didn't want to use an intense flavored beer so to not overpower the eggs. Nor did I want to use a dark beer because it will discolor the

That being said, use whatever you like.  Pickles eggs made with an amber ale might be pretty; pretty tasty, too.

Pale Ale Brined Eggs (Beer Pickled Eggs)

24 Small Hard-Boiled Eggs
1 (12 Fluid Ounce) Bottle Beer
2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Pickling Spice
2 Tbsp Parsley Flakes
4 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Hot Peppers

Place eggs in a large, deep pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Drain and place in fresh cold water.  When the eggs are cool peel. Stab each egg with fork so that all that tasty brine can fully penetrate the egg.

(She said fully penetrate! Yes, yes I did)

Divide the eggs into two quart sized canning jars ( or other air tight glass container).

In each jar place, 1 tablespoon each of the pickling spice and parsley flakes plus 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and a hot pepper.  Use whatever kind of pepper you like or omit the pepper if you don't want spicy eggs.  You can use the pepper whole or seeded or whatever you like depending on level of spiciness you like.

Combine the beer and vinegar and pour over eggs until they are fully submerged. Add additional vinegar if you need more liquid to cover the eggs.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 week before using.

Enjoy with your favorite beer or as a snack or even chopped up on a salad.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

IPA Vinaigrette

I've been on a bit of a salad kick lately.  When I'm making a lot of salads I like to use various salad dressings to keep things interesting.  

I also like to make my own fresh salad dressings.  So, I'm always looking for something different and tasty to drizzle over my greens.

You may not think that beer and salad pair well.  But I made a dressing using one of my favorite India Pale Ales and it was superb. A wonderful combination of sweet and tart and citrus, it was refreshing and a perfect accompaniment to a hearty salad.

I used Alaskan IPA, but you can use whatever you like.  Experiment with different beer types for a new flavor sensation.

IPA Vinaigrette

3 Ounces Alaskan IPA
1 Tbsp Vidalia Onion, Minced
1 Tsp Orange Zest, Grated
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

In a food processor or blender combine onion, orange zest, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. 

Slowly add the olive oil and process until mixture well combined.

Toss with your favorite greens and pile on your favorite toppings.

I used this dressing on a salad topped with grilled steak, frizzled onions, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, green olives and pepperoncini.  Yum!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beer'd Warm German Potato Salad

I love potato salad in the summertime.   It's creamy and fresh; the perfect compliment to the typical summer fare.

I wanted to try something different to go with barbecued flank steak, I found a recipe for a German potato salad that was just what I was looking for!  Warm potato salad made with a beer dressing.  That's my kind of thing!  And, it it rocked!

I used Headwall Alt., a German brown ale, by Tuckerman Brewery.  You can use whatever beer you like, but I recommend something lighter in flavor and color.  A strong tasting beer will overpower the other flavors in the salad and a dark beer will give the  potatoes an unappealing color.

Beer'd Warm German Potato Salad 

12  Small to Medium Red Potatoes
6 Slices Cooked Bacon, Crispy
3 Stalks Celery, Minced
3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Lager or Brown Ale
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
Salt And Fresh Ground Pepper, To Taste

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium high and cook for 15 minutes or just tender.  Remove from heat and drain. Return to pan and cover with cold water.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into quarters.  Place in a large mixing bowl, set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour until blended and smooth. Add the mustard and sugar. Slowly stir in the beer and Tabasco sauce. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as it begins to boil.

Pour the beer dressing over the potatoes and mix gently so as to not smoosh the potatoes. Add the hard-cooked eggs, celery, and bacon. Add salt and pepper, if desisred.  Again, mix gently.

Serve warm or at room temperature.