From a short article in the New York Times, comes the assertion that scientists who drink more beer publish less often. ”After years of argument over the roles of factors like genius, sex and dumb luck, a new study shows that something entirely unexpected and considerably sudsier may be at play in determining the success or failure of scientists — beer. According to the study, published in February in Oikos, a highly respected scientific journal, the more beer a scientist drinks, the less likely the scientist is to publish a paper or to have a paper cited by another researcher, a measure of a paper’s quality and importance.” Could a pint a day – or less – really be a recipe for success?
Archive for March, 2008
Here’s a link to a story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s food section about American craft brewers and the wide selection of stouts for St. Patrick’s Day feasting. The story concludes with a recipe for Fudgy Stout Brownies:
It’s been almost 20 years since I first poured stout into a batch of brownies, but one taste of these moist, fudgy and deeply chocolaty bars will convince even the stoutest of skeptics. No matter what style of stout you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy the roasty flavors of the dark ale with these truffle-like treats.
Recipe adapted from “The Best of American Beer & Food: Pairing and Cooking with Craft Beer,” by Lucy Saunders (Brewers Publications, $22.95, available at www.amazon.com).
Fudge Stout Brownies
Makes 16 fudgy brownies
Butter to coat pan
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coffee stout (see note)
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
¾ cup sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (such as macadamia, pecans or walnuts) (optional)
Suggested pairing: Coffee stout or Imperial stout
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch metal baking pan by buttering it well and dusting the inside with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. Set aside.
In 2-quart saucepan, melt the ½ cup butter over low heat. Add chopped chocolate, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool to lukewarm (still liquid but not hot).
Stir in sugars and mix well 1 minute. In large measuring cup, beat together 2 eggs, yolks, vanilla, stout and whiskey until smooth. Sift flour with salt into a separate bowl. Stir stout mixture into saucepan in thirds, alternating with flour by 1/3 cupfuls, and stirring after each addition until batter is just blended. Stir in nuts if desired. Do not overbeat.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven about 1 hour. Let cool to lukewarm before slicing. Use a knife dipped in warm water and wiped clean with each slice (otherwise, because of the very fudgy texture, the brownies will clump).
Note: Coffee stouts are made by breweries across North America, but if you can’t find one, substitute 2 ounces sweet stout mixed with 1 ounce brewed espresso.
I’m heading to St. Louis today to celebrate a birthday – and mourn a loss. Mark Pollman, the only Missouri-based inductee into the “Bartender Hall of Fame” and a legend at the Fox & Hounds, died last week. Here’s a remembrance from the River Front Times blog that pays tribute to Mark Pollman and his incredible knowledge of all things drinkable, including beer. He was so kind, and shared his recipes in many interviews with me and hundreds of other food and drink writers, over the decades. Cheers and last call.
Julia Herz at the Brewers Association sent me a nice invite to the SAVORcraftbeer.org festival – but I’ve already bought tickets. In fact, I bought several pairs of tickets! I’m going to be giving away tickets to be my guest at this fabulous new food and beer festival, to be held in May 16-17, 2008 in Washington D.C. at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. Just sign up for my recipe enewsletter before April 30 to be eligible for the SAVOR ticket giveaway.If you prefer not to wait, tickets are on sale now, at $85 per person for each session. The festival will sell out soon, and here’s a list from Julia detailing why this event is such a draw: “1) The U.S. had 1,449 total breweries in operation during 2007, including 1,406 small, independent, and traditional craft brewers. So the majority of breweries in the U.S. are craft brewers and craft beer is showing the most significant growth in the beer category.
2) This is a national festival with a local tie to each region in the U.S. Of the 48 craft breweries at SAVOR representatives from all 8 regions will be there.
3). Never before have craft brewers personally presented their beer and food pairings (and as a plug, note that many of the cookbook’s recipes will be featured and served!) http://beertown.org/events/SAVOR/beers.html. This is your opportunity to personally meet many of the rock stars of the craft beer scene and taste firsthand why pairing craft beer and food is such a hot topic.
4) Brewers and owners in attendance include The Boston Beer Company, The Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, F.X. Matt Brewing Company, Flying Dog Brewery, Harpoon Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Company, Rogue Ales, Reyes Beverage Group, and others. New Holland Brewing Co. beervangelist Fred Bueltmann is on the organizing committee, and he says, “It’s both a food festival and a craft beer festival, designed to bring in connoisseurs who enjoy and are serious about culinary appreciation of craft beer.”
5) SAVOR is happening during and because of ‘American Craft Beer Week’ (May 12-18) which is why Washington D.C. is such an appropriate location.
6) In addition to the main attraction of tasting in the great hall, there are educational salons. Dave Lieberman, of Here’s To Beer and the Food Network, is speaking. Beer vs. Wine is a topic presented by Sam Calagione and Marnie Olds; Craft Beer and Seafood pairings presented by Hugh Sisson, Cross Drinking without social stigma will be a talk; Beer and Cheese and Beer and Food are all topics at SAVOR. http://beertown.org/events/SAVOR/schedule.html
7) The Brewers Association, presenters of SAVOR, also organizes the Great American Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup (the Olympics of beer) and establishes the beer style guidelines many refer to as the main guidelines to follow.”
And I’ll add a point to consider – if traveling to DC from out of town, remember that hotels are in demand in May due to graduations from the many colleges and universities in the area. I’ll have more information about affordable hotels within easy distance of craft beer destinations posted next month.
A short review in the San Francisco Bay Guardian gave “the best new restaurant name” to the Monk’s Kettle, yet to this writer, it seems odd to nominate that name with nary a mention of the Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia. Really, a nod should have been given to the iconic ale emporium that really started the craze for Belgian ales stateside, through the partnership of Fergus Carey and Tom Peters. Monk’s Cafe is one of the founding members of Philly Beer Week, and hosts events throughout the 10-day celebration. Wish I could be there tonight for the haute beer dinner with Stephen Beaumont, but it sold out last month!
At last week’s fantastic Clipper City beer dinner at the Royal Mile Pub, Chef Ian asked me why I didn’t include his recipe for Butter-Poached Lobster with Lobster Mashed Potatoes in the cookbook. I explained that the recipe was a bit long and involved for the average home cook. Yet at the dinner, so many people clamored for the recipe that I promised to post it to the blog, so here it is:
Butter Poached Lobster Tail with Lobster Mash and Vanilla Beurre Blanc
Thank you to Chef Ian of the Royal Mile Pub, Wheaton, MD, and the entire Morrison family, for your hospitality!
Yield: 4 servings
For the Vanilla Beurre Blanc:
1 whole Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup white wine
1 large shallot, peeled and diced
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Pound Unsalted Butter Chopped
Halve Vanilla bean and remove and reserve seeds.
Combine Vanilla bean pod, diced shallot and white wine in sauce pan. Reduce
wine mixture till syrupy, add heavy cream, reduce till thick again. Over a
very low flame whisk in butter bit by bit melting it, but not breaking the
butter so the sauce looks greasy. Do not boil the sauce at this point.
When all butter is emulsified strain out shallots. Then add reserved
vanilla seeds and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Hold in warm
120 degree environment (back of range with the burner off while you are
cooking on the front burners).
4 ea Whole Live Lobsters (1 1/4 pounds each)
2 Pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Quart Heavy Cream
4 ounces unsalted butter
Salt and Pepper
Kill the lobsters by sticking a chef knife through their heads from the top
down right behind their eyes. They are dead immediately but they will have
nervous reactions for a few minutes. Take the tails off and reserve. Take
the claws off and reserve. Simmer the lobster bodies in the cream for 20
minutes. Peel and boil
When the potatoes are about four minutes from being done (almost tender, but not
quite) add in the lobster claws and simmer. Drain the potatoes, remove the
lobster claws. Return the potatoes to the pot. When the lobster claws are
cool enough to handle crack and remove the meat. Discard the shells and
reserve the meat. Mash the potatoes in the pot with the butter some salt
and white pepper. Strain the lobster cream. Add the strained cream to the
potatoes little by little adding as much as you can without making the
potatoes soupy. Mash as little as possible to incorporate. Finally fold in
reserved claw meat and hold warm. Do a final taste test for salt and
Butter Poaching Lobster Tails
4 reserved Lobster Tails
Salt and Pepper
2 Pounds of Butter heated to 175 degrees
Melt butter in a saucepan just large enough to hold lobster tails and
butter. Salt and pepper lobster tails. Once butter has reached 175 degrees
drop in lobster tails. The lobsters should be submerged and maintained at a
heat at 165 degrees for approximately 15 minutes (If you undercook them the
tails will be tough, If you over cook them the tails will fall apart).
Remove with a slotted spoon.
Plating the Lobsters
Place a two ounce ladle of vanilla beurre blanc on the plate, mound one
fourth of lobster mash next two beurre blanc, place poached tail half on mash
half on beurre blanc. Accompany with fresh asparagus – and at last week’s dinner,
presented with a glass of the zesty Clipper City Small Craft Warning Uber Pils.
Thanks to Chef Jerry of Chef’s Expressions in Baltimore, MD, the private party hosted by Hugh Sisson at Clipper City was a wonderful wrap to celebrate last week’s cookbook tour through MD and VA. The 6-course menu featured recipes from the book, with pairings from Clipper City’s cellars. It was fun to meet so many fans of Baltimore beer, including the WBAL’s own “Beltway Gourmet.” I wanted to try the new Oxford Brewing Co. Organic Raspberry Wheat Beer, in time for the session #12, but it was still awaiting bottling. I’ll add more details about the entire trip, beer dinners and photos when I get back to my desk next week…