Monday, July 26, 2010

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.

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