Monday, October 1, 2012

Beer Brunch 2012

THE MENU......
A plethora of olives, pickled quail eggs with Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
Skip's pickled green tomatoes with Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam*
Kiss Yo' Mama Soup (corn & crab) with Mr Cicerone's Robust Porter
Garlic shrimp and grits with Mr Cicerone's (famous) Rye Peppercorn Pale Ale
Bitter greens, tangerine, blood orange, walnuts, lemon-ginger vinaigrette, hop candy crunch with Mr Cicerone's Dynamomium IPA
Duck, pork, veal & pistachio terrine, La Roja pickled cherries with Mr Cicerone's Buster 2010
Spooky Trail Farm wildflower honey with Mr Cicerone's Atmospherium Saison

Linguine with ground walnuts & soft boiled egg ** with Sierra Nevada/Russian River Collaboration "Brux"
Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut, black vinegar & Sriracha dipping sauce with Chapeau Banana Lambic
(WTF? Banana Lambic? I borrowed some of Mr Cicerone's bloody-mindedness and set myself the task of making this hideous idea of a beer into something palatable with food. It worked! The rolls contained lots of candied ginger, which was the actual ingredient that made the sweet banana ickiness mellow out into just a nice tangy beverage. Really.)
Corridor Sausage Co green curry pork sausage sandwich with kimchee & pickled ginger with Mr Cicerone's Dynamomium IPA.  (This course was our Plan B for this unsuccessful attempt to find the perfect beer pairing for Corridor's Lamb Merguez sausage paired with harissa, grilled baby bell peppers and goat cheese sandwich. A killer sandwich! The closest we got was Sam Adams New World Tripel. An excellent Tripel and good with the sandwich, but not good enough!)
Nueskie cherrywood smoked bacon with Caspian Pink heirloom tomato stack, roasted bell pepper, avocado, edamame, fig, caramelized corn, fresh herbs & ranch dressing with  Mr Cicerone's Saison Sorachi, AND Mr Cicerone's "Bienna for my Jewess" ***   Vienna Lager
Gingersnap cookie & lemon custard ice cream sandwich with Sam Adams Harvest pumpkin ale
Chocolate cookie & rye malt ice cream sandwich with Mr Cicerone's Strong Scottish Ale

Pickly things

Kiss Yo' Mama!
A decadent terrine with pickled cherries
Linguine, walnuts, egg, but no runny yolk.
The group. Everyone is wearing stretchy pants.
Here's a link to more pictures.

* For the first time since I married Mr Cicerone, we have a commercial beer in our dispensing fridge! Our friend Nicole  was lucky enough to be given a 1/6 barrel of this lovely beer for a birthday gift recently. Not having the facilities to dispense the beer, she brought it here. We served it at Brunch, which she attended, and now have the rest of it at our disposal, as Nicole has gone Walkabout for 3 weeks, and declined the offer to take some packaged into growlers with her. But Uncle Dave took some home. (Oh....I think I'm incorrect in saying that this is the first commercial beer we've had on tap at our house. I remember a keg of Schneider Aventinus here, and all the work it took to get it to pour. Back in the days of me being the rep for B. United.)
** Despite exact timing at exact temperature the yolks were set.
*** Bienna For My Jewess?  On Esquivel!!, the live album, Esquivel introduces his singers, Yvonne Di Carlo, from France, and Sharon, "a Jewiss girl from Bienna" (sic).

The weather didn't co-operate. We fit 17 people into our basement.
Our friends Susan & Jeff came all the way from Milford.Our friends Ray & Karen came all the way from Chicago. (Thanks!)
My chintzy gold & tassled napkin rings made great epaulets on Skip's gay jacket.
We used 60 glasses in total.
The most difficult chore out of everything (weeks of planning, shopping, prepping and cooking, serving 8 plated courses to 17 people, and including all the cleaning up) was peeling the membrane from 18 blood orange segments. Though peeling 36 quail eggs in one sitting was pretty bad.
The pickled quail eggs were outrageous.
Our friend Ray thought the porter would be too big for the soup. Until he tasted it. (This is one BIG soup, with some heat too.)
The terrine and cherries with Mr Cicerone's B10 was absolutely my favourite pairing. (To make this, firstly I had to debone a whole duck and make stock with the carcass. Then I had to cut 6 oz of pork FAT into tiny, tiny dice. (Pork fat, ANY fat, is sticky. It's hard to chop.) The terrine also contained ground pork & veal, 2 duck livers and the duck stock reduced to 4 ounces. Plus loads of spices. And pistachios, which I forgot to add, but which garnished the plate. The pans were lined with bacon, the meat mix layered with slices of duck breast, cooked in a Bain Marie, then weighted in the fridge for 24 hours.)
The garlic shrimp (12 heads of garlic for 2.5 pounds of shrimp) and rye peppercorn pale ale was absolutely my favourite pairing.
The Corridor pork sausage with Dynamomium IPA was absolutely my favourite pairing.
The gingersnap lemon custard ice cream sandwich with Sam Adams Harvest pumpkin ale was absolutely my favourite pairing.
The eggs in the walnut pasta course had set yolks. Tasted good, but not nearly as much fun.
Nobody smacked me for serving them banana lambic.
New to the group this year were Mark & Sandina Polgar.(She's an actual chef!)
There was so much talking and laughing coming from the basement that we couldn't even hear our friend Nicole from the kitchen. (She's been known to be quite loud at times.) She also liked the ranch dressing, and the Frippery, a term she coined.
My First Bacon attended the party, but was pretty quiet overall. I think he was asleep under Alex's baseball cap.
Only one person asked me why I liked to cook with poo.
Skip did a really gay dance before he went home.
Uncle Dave "twittered", which was good because I used his pictures. He's gay.
I am drinking a Dogfish Head Punkin as I type. Yippee! (I don't like Fall. Unlike 99.9% of the population, for me Fall means The Start Of Cold Weather. Yich. However, the ONE good thing about Fall is Fall Beer. Oktoberfest, and pumpkin ale. Not all of them mind you, but I do love Dogfish's. And Sam Adams'!)


  1. While I thought each pairing was a sucess, it was a stroke of genius pairing that horrid banana lambic with the spring roll! By the time it was half gone, I couldn't imagine anything tasting so good.

  2. Nicole took plenty of pictures of everything, including "Frippery" (really, "Bacon with Frippery"). Meant to send them today but got busy and then was too lazy to go downstairs and get the camera out of the car...