Friday, July 30, 2010

Umami Burgers!

While doing some searching on the web to find some supporting information for our presentation at the National Homebrewers Conference, I ran across a blog entry by the White on Rice Couple, describing their recipe for hamburgers. Check it out. They use fish sauce kneaded into the ground beef, which adds lots of umami, for a decadent, rich meat patty. Fish sauce is made from fermented anchovies, and smells like stinky fish mixed with Parmesan cheese. Awesome, right? As an ingredient, it adds tons of umami-y goodness to foods. Now, Mrs. Cicerone is not a fan of burgers, or really any beef, but I thought she might make an exception for this one. And she did. Just to make sure this was the ultimate umami burger, I put some slivers of Manchego cheese on. Mmm, we drank Vienna beer with them, but might ultimately have liked something bigger, like maybe some bock bier. I file this recipe under "cheap thrills," ie dead easy things you can do to make your friends think you know more about cooking than you actually do....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brew Day, Batch 322: IPA

Old school 'Merican IPA, a streamlined version of batch 313, with a little less 'closet cleaning' going on. While the dumbass did add the salts, he was too busy blogging as the mashtun was filling with strike water, and so let it fill to just shy of overflowing, instead of halfway. Since the brewery here in the basement of Chez Cicerone has no pumps, putting that 5 gallons of near-boiling water back into the hot liquor tun took a bit of doing, a bit of steam burns, and a bit of melting laundry sink. Not content to rest on his laurels regarding dumbass status maintenance, once the mash was safely stabilized, the dumbass returned to blogging while topping up the hot liquor tun. Needless to say, said tun was duly overflowed. Good thing the dumbass brews near a floor drain....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another MBG Summer Fest, come and gone.....

And, another simply wonderful time. We went to the Saturday session, hence were lucky enough to miss the tornado and the flood that the Friday evening attendees enjoyed.
Favourites O'Mrs Cicerone...
Hopcat's Rhubarb Saison, Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza D'Hibiscus, Jolly Pumpkin Bier De Mars, Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam with lemongrass, Sherwood's Hemp Ale, Saugatuck's Spruce Tip Ale, Bell's Golden Funk,New Holland's Envious, New Holland's Beerhive Tripel, Short's Nicie Spicie, Leelanau Good Harbor Gold.SOME GAY GUY WE SAW, BLOGGING, OR SOMETHING...

Hmmm. Think that's it. As you can see, there are none of the fantastic Founders "do you in" beers, or Imperial Stouts listed, courtesy of the 90 degree weather and my wish to not fall down into the mud.

Mr Cicerone' favourites:

Michigan Malted Red Ale from Kuhnhenn, made with Wendell Banks' Michigan grown, Michigan malted malt. New Holland Envious. Ray Sherwood's Hemp Ale. Grizzly Peak Sheerwater IPA. Nicie Spicie, and all them Jolly Pumpkin goodies....

A Cicerone assignment

"Please help us with beer pairings for our wedding. Here is the menu"

Salad: Honeyed warm goat cheese salad with baby bibb, shaved pear, lemon oil vinagrette
Okay, that's easy.
Number one choice has to be Short's Nicie Spicie, a wheat beer spiced with lemon zest and peppercorns. It's one of our favourite beers, and it's on at The Oak Cafe right now if anyone wants to try it. Second choice- Uncle John's Perry. Third choice- Celis White.

Entree: Porcini and truffle infused CAB filet and Chicken breasts atop asparagus and thyme risotto, with broccolini.
Wow. Everything listed above is going to be on the ONE plate. With all those flavours, we decided to make our own version of the meal and taste a bunch of beers. Here we go....
Our version of the meal consisted of a nice piece of well marbled steak and a chicken breast, both coated with truffle-infused oil, and grilled simply. We made a porcini risotto infused with thyme, and drizzled with more truffle oil, and some simple steamed asparagus.

Beers- Dragonmead Final Absolution Tripel, Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale, Atwater Block Double Down Imperial Amber, North Peak Diabolical IPA, Arbor Brewing Brasserie Blonde, Mr Cicerone's Schepsele Schwarzbier, Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale (from Toronto, not available here), and KLB pale ale from another Toronto brewery. The winners were
*Brasserie Blonde The rich malt stood up to, and complemented all the umami flavours, and the citrus notes complemented the thyme and the chicken. Worked well with asparagus, too. The beer didn't fight with the steak, but there were no fireworks.
*Amsterdam Nut Brown Fabulous with the umami-ness from the porcini, and the complex chocolate malt notes worked wonderfully with the steak. This beer was too flavourful with the chicken.
We recommended having both these beers on the menu, though we changed the Amsterdam Brown to Motor City's Nut Brown Ale, a beer with very similar qualities that is available here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lamburgers, Mmmm...

E-Z but good dinner last night:

Ground lamb burgers seasoned with cumin, garlic, cayenne, S & P, on Avalon buns, dressed with baba gannoush, diced tomato, and some fire roasted red bell pepper.

Wild Devil to drink. Aww, yeah!

Wild Devil is Hop Devil wort fermented with 100% Brettanomyces, and the result is damn fine. The closest thing I can compare the bottle we had last night to would be Orval.

It had fizz, bitterness, and alcohol to cut the richness of the juicy lamb, the hops complemented the spice; the earthy, leathery brett hooked up with the baba and the peppers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mild At Fort Street

An English-style mild ale. Flavors of toffee and chocolate that are as likable as your best friend, Ed. How can anyone not like Ed?!

ABV= 3.25%
IBU's= 16

Yeah, buddy! Me' n' Ed's friends....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nice Chicago Tribune Article

A nice profile of our friend Ray, and the Cicerone program, can be found here. The picture at the top of the article is a good picture, and portrays Ray nicely. Of course, since this came out, this picture is probably going to be more realistic....

Brew Day, Batch 321: Special Bitter

It's a beautiful summer day, so I'm spending it like many would like to: in a basement. To be fair, there is beer in the basement...

From today's effort, I hope to have some Special Bitter to drink in a few weeks' time. Target OG is 1.040, BU 30 from Goldings, with one middling late addition of the same. There will also be a small (< 1/4 oz.) amount of dry hops in each 5 gallon keg. Today's grist is Muntons Marris Otter, with about 8% 40L domestic crystal malt and a pinch of British chocolate malt. Color should be a nice copper. Wyeast 1098, a fairly restrained, well-flocculating English ale yeast, will transmogrify the wort I'm making into beer.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot Glass and Cold Beer event

Hot Glass + Cold Beer A spectacular glassblowing beer tasting event on August 5th from 4-10pm; brought to you by Edible WOW of food samples.Hosted by the Glass Academy in Dearborn.
5 Michigan breweries, and hand crafted glass tumblers coupled with live glassblowing. Tickets can be purchased at the Glass Academy or on-line for $45 and include 1 hand blown tumbler, 2 complimentary drink tickets, and food samples. Tickets must be purchased in advance, no tickets sold at the door. Must be 21 years of age to purchase tickets, ID will be checked at the door.

Dogfish Head dinner at Uptown Grille

Wednesday, July 14th. 6:30 p.m.@ UPTOWN GRILLE
RSVP @ 248-960-3344
Purchase your tickets before July 14th For $34.99/person (Gratuity Included)*Tax Not included
The day of the Event ticket price will be $39.99/person

Presenting: Dogfish Head
Featured Menu.....

Festina Peche (Neo-Berliner Weisse)
Paired w/ Summer Grilled Peach Gazpacho: Grilled Sweet Summer Peaches paired with Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Crisp Asian Pear, Sweet Red Peppers and Garden Cilantro

Black and Blue (Belgian Strong Ale W/ Blackberries and Blueberries)
Paired w/ Seared Duck Belini Skillet: Seared Duck Breast with Sweet Chili Glaze, Tempura Shitake Mushroom presented with a Buckwheat Belini

Palo Santo Marron (Brown Ale)
Paired w/ Uptown Chorizo Queso: Grilled Chorizo Sausage Presented with Caramelized Sweet Onion, Black Bean Puree, Cheddar Cheese Jalapeno Cheese Sauce Set atop Pumpernickel Melba

90 Minute IPA
Paired w/ Gorgonzola Stuffed Ravioli Tossed with Sundried Tomatoes, Toasted Walnuts In A Light Cream Sauce finished with A Balsamic Glaze And Cast-Iron Black Pepper Seared Steak

Sah' Tea (9th Century Finnish Proto-Beer)
Paired w/ Pecan Butter Tart

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adventures in Barbecue

We made a barbecue dinner last night to mark Son of Cicerone's recent 24th birthday. Of course, I experimented on the poor lad. I'd been thinking a lot recently about marinating spareribs before applying the dry rub, and decided on a plan that, though crazy, just might work. The marinade was simply schwarzbier, malt vinegar, and some of the rub mix. I rested it overnight, and when I drained the meat prior to applying the rub, I noted the very strong aroma of malt, caramel, and toffee. Fearing I was overdoing the schwarz, I decided to use some Vienna lager for the mop base, while smoking the ribs low and slow. I needn't have worried; the very spicy rub and smoke would have had little trouble with even more schwarzy goodness. The final product was smoky, spicy, had excellent texture, and went wonderfully well with the schwarzbier. And the son was happy....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Brew Day, Batch 320: Ginger Wheat

Making another batch of one of our summer favorites, Ginger Wheat Ale, as described here previously. Might crank up the second addition of ginger a bit...

(Might also still be summer by the time it's ready....)

UPDATE- Might crank the ginger up a lot. Last time did 5oz. at 60 minutes and 5 at 5 minutes, this time did 5oz. and 12oz. Over a pound? Over the backboard!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

How To Tell If It's Summer

This would be a good indication, right here:

That would be your pan-seared salmon fillet with mango salsa, served with Baudelaire Eyo saison, which is colored and flavored with rose and hibiscus. That's summer al fresco dining at it's finest, yeah, buddy!

The Eyo has a bit of tartness that matches well to the salsa, setting off both fruit on one side, and flower on the other. This beer, now reflagged Io, is, we hope, to be a periodic release from the Jolly Pumpkin folks under the Baudelaire label.

...Full post