Friday, November 30, 2007

Dinner à la The Best of American Beer & Food

As promised a few weeks ago, this is a report on some recipes we've tried from The Best of American Beer & Food. (In the interest of full disclosure, Colleen did the cooking. My only contribution was selecting the beer and assisting with the tasting.)

We started off with the Brickskeller Carrot Ginger Curry Soup (page 88). The recommended pairing was a Hefe Weizen so I selected Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier. This soup certainly lived up to expectations. Thick and rich, perfect for a cool Fall evening. The dish was a bit on the sweet side but the Hefe Weizen matched up perfectly and mitigated the sweetness of the soup. I may have consumed my beer too quickly, but the pairing suggestion was so spot on that I had to have a sip after each spoonful. Easy to prepare, we'll be having this one again.

The soup was followed by Slow Roasted Wild Salmon with Caramelized Belgian Endive and Almond Piccata (page 123). The suggested pairing is a Light India Pale Ale or Pilsener but we opted for a little more kick and went with Odell India Pale Ale. The slow cooked salmon was very moist and tender. The almond and garlic piccata added quite a bit of kick that the IPA handled quite well. The GABF Gold Medal Odell IPA is a well-balanced beer and the citrusy hops worked very well with the garlic, almond, parsley and sea salt garnish. The caramelized endive was a nice complement to the salmon and beer.

Both dishes were very enjoyable and the beers selected matched up extremely well. The only downside is the binding on my book has already separated and the pages are coming loose. But I guess it's not all a loss as Colleen remarked during dinner that we need to get a second copy of the book; one to keep in the kitchen where it will undoubtedly get soiled, and another to keep on the bookshelf for reading. The dinner was a success and we'll be trying more dishes from Lucy Saunders' The Best of American Beer & Food soon.

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