This week’s post is a little different – I’ve teamed up with our local brewery Goat Ridge Brewing Co. for a food and beer pairing. I’m all about locally produced goods and scratch making everything and these guys are just that. A few years ago, two guys with a shared vision and a serious love for beer got together and opened a brewery along with a taproom on a river in our little corner of rural Minnesota. ‘The taproom embodies the spirit of a small town watering hole where locals and visitors, bikers and bicyclists, old-timers and newcomers, aficionados and novices come to meet, swap stories and raise a pint.’ Every beer is handcrafted and brewed on site. The quality of the product is immense. You can taste the heart and soul of this stuff. One of my personal favorites in the Beelzebubba – a Belgian Golden Strong Ale brewed with local white clover honey. This thing packs a wallop of flavor and alcohol (it comes in at 8.5%). I thought the floral and earthy flavors in the beer would pair nicely with the pungent flavor of blue cheese. And beer just pairs well with burgers. So, here it is – Beelzebubba and Grilled Burgers with Blue Cheese and Chive Topping.
It could be argued that the flavors of this chowder are more reflective of the summer months, but a friend of mine had some lemongrass growing in a planter and I just had to find a way to use it. There’s nothing like fresh lemongrass and if you manage to get your hands on some – use it. So, I’m claiming this as a fall soup. It’s warm, it’s got potatoes, it’s nice and hearty – all the elements that make you think fall. That’s one of the best things about cooking – you can make your own rules. It is hereby declared that this Thai-style Potato and Corn Chowder is a fall recipe.
Somewhere down the line, brussels sprouts got a bad rap. How did this happen? I remember the first time I ate brussels sprouts. My roommates and I looked at them curiously, shrugged, and then boiled them. They made the whole house stink and tasted awful. There are probably plenty of others out there with a similar experience. I’m here with a public service announcement: Don’t boil your brussels sprouts. There are far better ways to prepare them. My favorite cooking methods include roasting or grilling. That smokey flavor lends itself so well to these things. Adding a sweet and spicy glaze to them after they’ve roasted sends them over the top. I can now confidently say that brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables.
‘Tis the season – for all things pumpkin. Pumpkin has become wildly popular during the fall months over the past few years and for good reason – it’s delicious. It’s also one of those things that defines an entire season. There’s no mistaking it – when we think about pumpkins, we think about fall. So, I’ve been trying to think of ways to incorporate more pumpkin into my life. A few weeks ago, my spouse and I went to a wine bar for a few drinks and dessert. There was bread pudding on the menu. Decision made. The only thing that could make bread pudding any better than it is? Pumpkin. And maybe some caramel sauce. Hence, the scheme for this Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce was hatched.