During Great American Beer Festival, all kinds of new beers were debuted. One of them was Magic Hat’s newest creation, Hop Drip IPA. The brewery invited me to the morning release to try out the new coffee-infused IPA along with some donuts. I’m sure I’ve had a coffee IPA before, but none of their names seem to come to mind. Hop Drip on the other hand, is a name I won’t forget. When I think of coffee and beer, my mind usually goes right to porters and stouts – never an IPA. Hop Drip is brewed with coffee from Speeder and Earl’s – a coffee shop that is down the street from the brewery and fuels brewers like Ross Thompson on a daily basis. Now that I’ve officially tried a coffee infused IPA (that I can remember), I can proudly say that I’m a fan. You’d think that hops and coffee would be overwhelmingly bitter, but that wasn’t the case. Hop Drip was actually quite refreshing, including the flavors of the roasted coffee beans without adding to much bite. It also happened to be perfect way to start day 2 of GABF.
So I’m not a huge seafood person. Of course, I love sushi like every other white girl in America but I just have a hard time getting past the fishy taste of most cooked sea creatures. Although I will pretty much never order salmon at dinner, I will frequently request a bagel with lox. Part of me likes to believe it’s making my bagel healthy (which is not possible). In order to get over my fear of the pink fish, I decided to face it head on and take my favorite parts about salmon at breakfast and use them to create a delicious dinner. Beer fits into this equation because Consilium, the brew by Renegade used in this dish, is made with orange peel – adding the perfect amount of zippy zest to the pasta.
The other night, I popped in to Barrels and Bottles to check out the new creations of head brewer, Kim Collins. I tried Piney the First, the sessionable Lil’ IPA, and Hot Lips, a sour mash blonde ale. The first three releases of the B&B flagship line were pretty great, especially Piney. The rest of the line-up for the brewery/taproom/wine bar is set to come out throughout the month of July.
While sippin’ on some goodness, we also chowed down on the baked camembert with fruit compote and let me tell you – it was to die for. I’m excited to see what else Kim has up her sleeve as the rest of the brews roll out and I’ll definitely be heading back to Barrels and Bottles to get more of that delectable baked cheese.
From guest-poster Luis Molina:
First, a little back story on this dish: pupusas is the traditional dish of El Salvador, where my mother, father, and the rest of my family come from. Growing up, I enjoyed a variety of versions of this dish, with pumpkin, refried beans, chicken, pork, or an herb known as loroco, and all were combined with Monterey Jack cheese. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t exactly the healthiest dish in the Latin American countries, but my bias, as a product of people from El Salvador, forces me to tell everyone that this is by far one of the greatest dishes to come out of Central America. Pupusa is a Pipil (indigenous Indian tribe of El Salvador) word that means “sacred food”. Typically, Pupusas are served with a pickled cabbage known as “curtido” and a mild, watery tomato salsa, but, since I did not use them for this dish, I will not be providing the recipe. (I will make available upon request.)
Red. Hoppy. Portable.
Last night we went over to River North Brewery to grab a 4-pack of the brand new River North IPA cans. Once again, they have created another fantastic brew. The IPA is a spin-off of BPR and it is a citrusy, hoppy delight. I planned on saving some for cooking, but I guess I’ll just have to go grab some more because we drank them all. Don’t wait, go try it out.
Have you ever prepared a whole chicken before? Does it frighten you too? I must start out by saying that I already am not a big fan of touching raw meat. It is scary and kind of gross. Now, a whole chicken, well… that is absolutely terrifying. Not only is it dripping with some sort of scary red fluid, there are guts inside that you actually have to pull out. Doing this on my own turned out to be quite the task. I had chicken livers flinging across the kitchen. Some may say that the blood and guts are delicacies, but not me. I’d like to stay as far away from them as possible. The sad part is, I can’t do that if I want to make a beautiful roasted chicken. So I’ve decided to suck it up and deal with the chicken parts because this recipe was too good not to. An herbal roasted chicken cooked on a bed of potatoes, soaked in a delicious Double India Pale Ale by Dry Dock Brewing Company was what this near-disaster turned into. The end result made the treacherous process worth it and if I had to (or even if I didn’t have to) I’d do it all again to eat this tasty meal.