Monday, 20 May 2013

Grilled Beer Sandwich

As you can tell, this blog has taken either a tragic or delicious turn for the better by featuring beer in multiple recipes. After a peek into my incredibly well stocked pantry, and a spin of the imagination wheel, I landed on a grilled cheese sandwich, but beerified. If fried sandwiches are good enough for Elvis…well they're good enough for me.

It's about to get all gooey
Gather the following:
  • 1 loaf of multigrain beer bread 
  • 1 jar of beer mustard 
  • 1 block of beer washed or beer infused cheese
  • 1 giant pile of beer glazed onions (see below) 
  • Coconut oil, or butter if you’re a traditionalist
  • 1 solid fry pan 
Pull your beer mustard out of the fridge and allow to warm slightly. Slice the bread into fry-able slices and shred the cheese.

For the Beer Glazed onions you will need the following:
  • 2 large onions 
  • 2 tsp of butter 
  • ½ c water 
  • ½ cup beer 
A quadruple beer threat of awesomeness
Thinly slice the onions, use a mandoline if you happen to have one. Warm your pan at medium and add the butter. Add all the onions – yes all of them and cook until they just become translucent, a little golden browning is okay, just don’t burn these guys. Stir as often as is necessary. Once the onions are translucent and the pan is mostly dry begin adding the beer a couple of TBSP at a time to deglaze the pan, allow the beer to fully evaporate. Continue this process alternating between beer and water deglazes until the onions are brown and sticky.

The sandwich fry:

Assemble the sandwich, collect your 2 pieces of beer bread, slather one slice with beer mustard, top with beer glazed onions and as much cheese as your heart can handle. Place those sandwiches in a preheated & buttered pan and fry with the lid on to encourage the cheese to melt and flip at your leisure.

You should turn up with something like what's in the picture - be classy and top the whole business with some chopped parsley. Serving a grilled beer sandwich with a glass of craft beer is a centre field home run for anyone looking to impress their beer inclined friends. Now get out there and knock one outta the park.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Curried Lentil and Cauliflower Soup

It's not yet past soup season and given the days here on the wet coast plague us with the "Damp" something warming is a welcome relief. It doesn't need to be fancy or French to sooth the hunched back surly symptoms of the Damp, just a solid stew/soup that'll fire up the burn from the inside out. 

Get some:
The soup horizon  - there's no going back
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander 
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups low sodium veggie broth
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • use all the soaking water from lentils
  • 2 thai chilli's or 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Fresh herbs cilantro, parsley, fennel or chives
  • Sour cream or yogurt
  • Lime juice
  • sprinkle of salt
Rinse the lentils multiple times in cool water to remove the outside starches place in the cooking pot & cover with boiling water by at least 2 inches. Allow to stand for at least 15 mins to soak. Meanwhile sweat the onions with a sprinkle of salt. Add the garlic and ginger briefly sweat. Push veggies to the side and dry fry the coriander, cumin & curry powder. Add the stock, & lentils with all the soaking water.

Bring the soup to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, add carrots and clamp the lid on and cook for 10 mins. Feel free to add more stock or water to loosen the soup up of it's getting too thick. After the 10 min has elapsed add the cauliflower and cook for another 10 mins. Stir often to stop the lentils from sticking to the bottom. Lastly add a chopped chilli pepper & stir well, cook for another 5 mins. 

Add the fresh toppings, these brighten the flavour and add dimension to the soup
try:  chopped fresh, cilantro, parsley, fennel or chives and a spoon of sour cream or yogurt.

Like all good soups this get better when it takes a little fridge nap over night. Excellent for freezing and nomnomnoming at a later date when your world is inside out and upside down and eating is just a matter of getting through the next 8 hrs.

Beer Pairing: A Belgian style triple works great here. L'Herbe à Détourne matches well with its sweet creamy malts and dry bitter hops that compliment each other perfectly. The sweetness of the triple is present and the addition of bitter hops accentuate the creaminess of the soup perfectly.