Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beer, Food, and Cooking

I began cooking a bit less than a year ago. My interest was sparked when a friend of mine told me about a book he had about pairing food and beer. I had always heard about using beer in marinades and eaten my fair share of beer can chicken in college.

I missed a seminar at the GABF regarding beer and food by author Lucy Saunders. She was at the festival promoting her book "The Best of American Beer & Food: Pairing and Cooking with Craft Beer" I arrived home from Denver late Sunday night to find a package waiting for me back in Oklahoma. I opened it up and it was Saunders' book! I had pre-ordered it months earlier and forgotten my purchase.

This afternoon I made my first recipe from the book. An omelet entitled: "Smoky Haystack Omelet". I made some modifications to the recipe. Here is the procedure I followed if you want to re-create it at home:

  • 12 ounces of a bottle-conditioned(has a yeast cake in the bottom of the bottle) wheat ale, a bottle conditioned Belgian ale will work nicely as well (I used a bottle of my Belgian Pale Ale)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 drops of hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco Habanero Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 strips Turkey bacon
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, freshly shredded
  1. Let bottle set at room temperature.
  2. Decant beer slowly off yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Leave about one ounce, or half an inch of beer in the bottle. If desired, you can cool down the remaining beer in the freezer or refrigerator and drink it later.
  3. Add the 3 eggs, hot sauce, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Vigorously shake up the bottle of beer to mix the yeast into the remaining beer and add this to the bowl. Whisk ingredients vigorously together.
  4. Cook strips of turkey bacon on a skillet under medium heat (about 4 minutes on a side or to desired crispiness). Remove bacon, and set aside. Begin melting butter on skillet.
  5. Once butter has melted, pour egg mixture onto skillet. As eggs begin to set, rip bacon into small pieces and sprinkle onto the egg. Shred smoked Gouda onto the setting eggs.
  6. When cheese is starting to melt, flip the egg over on itself using a spatula. Cook until golden brown on those sides and enjoy! Serve with a citrus juice of your choosing or, in the tradition of second breakfast, you can serve the omelet with a wheat beer of your choosing.
The omelet turned out great. I had to omit some ingredients (chives, milk) from the recipe and I substituted turkey bacon for the Black Forest smoked ham the book calls for. It was very flavorful and creamy with a nice little bread-like spice in the finish, complements of the yeast. Next time I will probably add some sauteed green peppers and onions into the mix.

I've skimmed through the book a couple of times and I highly recommend it. It makes me excited about cooking and even (gasp) going to the dreaded grocery store!

1 comment:

Lucy said...

lol, that makes me realize the difference between those who do, and don't, work outside the home - the housebound look forward to grocery shopping! thanks for posting the recipe, cheers, Lucy