Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spicy Sweet And Sour Brown Ale Pickles

My hopped up IPA pickles were a big hit (see recipe).  That left me wanting experiment with a different style of pickle utilizing a different style of beer.  

I thought that a brown ale would go will in a sweet and sour pickle recipe because if the mild sweetness of the beer.  And, of course, I had to throw hot peppers into the mix.  Why not, right?

These pickles are gently sweet and a little tart with just the right bite of spicy goodness.  

I did good!

I used Six Point Brownstone Ale, but you can use any brown ale you like.  

Spicy Sweet And Sour Brown Ale Pickles
Refrigerator Pickles

Makes 4 Quarts 

20-24 Small Pickling Cucumbers
1 Small Onion, Sliced Thin
2 Stalks Celery, Cut In Half
4 Hot Peppers, Halved
4 Cups Raw Sugar
1/2 Cup Pickling Salt
1 Quart Vinegar
1 16-ounce Can Sixpoint Brownstone Ale

Cut off the ends of cucumbers.  This is important because there are enzymes in the ends that will soften the pickles . . . i.e. less crispy. 

Cut the cucumbers into quarters, make sure they’re short enough to fit in quart mason jars without sticking up too high.  Pack the cucumbers into the jars.  (Note: I used a half gallon canning jar with swing top and gasket)

Add 2-3 onion slices, half a celery stalk and one hot pepper to each jar.

In a large saucepan, dissolve sugar and salt in vinegar and beer.  Bring to just boiling.  Be careful the syrup doesn't boil over.

Using a ladle, pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers leaving about a 1/4 inch of headspace.

Screw the lid tops on and allow the jars to cool on the countertop.

Put the jars in the fridge and allow the pickles to absorb all the wonderful spices.

After about a week open the jar, take a bite and be completely impressed with your awesome pickling skills! The longer they sit the better they will get. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hearty Fruit Oatmeal Smoothie

This smoothie recipe is quick and easy to make and has the added benefit of being a filling, healthy, portable breakfast.

I take a smoothie with me and sip it on my way to work.  It's delicious and keeps me satisfied until lunchtime.

The smoothie is simple to make and with most of the prep work done ahead of time it's ready in less than 5 minutes.

The full recipe makes about 24 ounces and 500 calories.  That's enough to fill you up or to share for a lighter treat.  

I normally buy enough fruit for a week's worth of smoothies.  Then prep and freeze them all together in a zipper bag so they're ready to go in the blender every morning.

Hearty Fruit Oatmeal Smoothie

1 Small Banana, cut into chunks and frozen
10 Medium Strawberries, frozen
1/2 Cup Other Fruit Or Berries, cut into chunks, if necessary, frozen
1/4 Non-fat Plain Or Vanilla Yogurt
3/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats*
2 Teaspoons Unflavored, Non-Thickening Fiber*
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Raw, Organic Honey* Or
1 Tablespoon Natural Maple Syrup
1 Cup Cold Water

In a blender, combine the oats, fiber and cinnamon.  Blend on high for about 10 seconds to pulverize the oats into a coarse powder.

To the blender add the honey/syrup, yogurt, frozen fruit, and water.  

Blend on high until smooth.   Pour into a glass or to-go cup and enjoy.

*don't use quick oats as they are super processed.  The less processed the oat the more good stuff remains intact.  

*the additional fiber adds no flavor or bulk but does help keep you full longer and aids digestion.  (Metamucil, Benefiber, Fibersmart or similar)

*make sure you get raw, natural organic honey from either a local beekeeper or from a health food store.  Most of the honey sold in grocery stores are from questionable sources (like China) and have most or all of the healthy pollen stripped from it.  Even if it's labeled as all-natural or raw it's probably not due to loose federal regulations regarding honey.

*use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup which is nothing more than flavored corn syrup and lacks the flavor and health benefits of real, natural maple syrup.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Beer Braised Pork Loin

Peter Brady succinctly expressed it with the shrug of his shoulders and upper lip curled against his teeth when uttered in a Humphrey Bogartish voice, "Porkchopsh and appleshauce." 

Somehow the combination of succulent pork and sweet juicy apples are perfect together.  

Pair that with a spiced Autumn ale and you got yourself a little slice of heaven right there!

Beer Braised Pork Loin

1 Tablespoon Bacon Fat
1 Pork Loin Roast, About 5 Pounds
3 Cups Chopped Sweet Onion
2 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled and Diced
1 Tablespoon Spicy Guinness Mustard
12 Ounces Woodstock Autumn Ale
3 Teaspoons Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
1 Bay Leaf

Rub pork loin all over with Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning.  Brown pork loin roast in hot fat in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan.  

Sauté onions until they start to brown.  Add apples and continue to sauté until softened.  Stir in mustard.  

Return pork to pan or Dutch oven and pour beer over top.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 2 hours, or until pork is tender. 

Place pork loin on a serving platter and keep warm.

Place liquid with vegetables into a blender; cover and process at low speed until smooth. Or, press through sieve or process in food processor in batches.

Pour sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil

Slice pork and serve with sauce ladled over top.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Double Sauced Ribs

The sweet and sassy contrast of flavors in this recipe is mouthwatering.  These baby back ribs are baked in a sticky sweet apricot and honey beer glaze and then finished with a tangy mustard vinegar sauce.  You'll think you died and went to heaven.

I used Yuengling lager for the Apricot Honey Glaze and my Spicy Guinness Mustard in the mustard vinegar sauce.

Double Sauced Ribs
with Apricot & Honey Beer Glaze and Spicy Guinness Mustard Vinegar Sauce

2 Tablespoon Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
6 Pounds Baby Back Ribs

Apricot & Honey Beer Glaze 
1 Bottle Lager Beer
1 Cup Apricot Preserves
3 Tablespoons Honey

In a small saucepan, combine ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook for 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and reduced to 3/4 cup.

Spicy Guinness Mustard Vinegar Sauce
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Spicy Guinness Mustard
1/4 Cup Onion Finely Minced
2 Cloves Garlic Pureed
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Hot Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

In a small saucepan, combine ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the ribs:

Preheat oven to 250° Fahrenheit.

Rub both sides of the ribs with the Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning.  Spread the Apricot & Honey Beer Glaze all over the ribs and bake on a large baking sheet for 2 hours. (You can also cook the ribs on a grill over indirect heat for the same amount of time. I find the oven is a more consistent heat source for low temperature cooking.)

Then grill the ribs over medium high heat for 15 minutes on each side or until done. The internal temperature should be 170° Fahrenheit at the thickest section of meat.

Remove the ribs from the grill and allow to rest for 5 - 10 minutes and then cut the ribs and top with the Spicy Guinness Mustard Vinegar Sauce before serving.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Stars and Stripes Shooter

Stars and Stripes Shooter

1 oz.  Blue Curacao
1 oz.  Heavy Cream
1 oz.  Grenadine

Starting with the grenadine, carefully build the layers in a short cocktail glass.

Print Recipe

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Über Pils Sausage Kabobs

The ideal combination is summer, beer and grilling.  Now you can combine them all together into something perfect for the season tasty!

This is a super easy recipe perfect for grilling.  By planning a little in advance, you can turn regular everyday kabobs into something über delicious simply by marinating the meat in yummy beer.

Über Pils Sausage Kabobs

2 Lbs Sweet Italian Sausage
4 Potatoes
1 Red Pepper
2 Small Zucchini
12 Wooden Or Metal Skewers
Season-All Seasoned Salt

With a sharp knife, cut the sausages into thirds leaving the casing intact.  Place into a container with a lid or a zipper bag.

Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pour beer over the sausages.  Refrigerate for at least an hour but longer is better.

Soak wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 to 1 1/2 chunks.  Add to a pot of salted water and parboil for 4 to 5 minutes.  You want them to be  somewhat tender but not too tender or they'll fall apart on the grill. 

Cut the red pepper and zucchini chunks.

Add all ingredients (zucchini, potato, pepper sausage, repeat) to the skewers. Leave a little space between the vegetables and the sausage so the meat cooks more evenly.

Grill the skewers over medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Enjoy!