Every so often a small but dedicated group of our employees gather to talk beer and food. The group includes our Executive and R&D Chefs, our Brewmaster, and a few other foodies lucky enough to make the guest list. During these discussions we chat about great beers we’ve tried, restaurants we’ve visited, and even dishes we’ve prepared at home. By taking ourselves out of “work” mode, we’re able to get great work done. Our Chefs Gunther and Corey use these gatherings as an opportunity to prepare and share their latest beer and food pairings. Over the years these guys have done some truly remarkable things with beer in the kitchen – and this month’s post is a homage to their passion for beer and food. Below is a recipe inspired by their Belgian IPA Mussels, created especially for April’s menu. This version uses ingredients available at local farmers markets, including the Carlsbad Aquafarm mussels we use in our brewery restaurants. I picked up the mussels, produce, and bread at Sunday’s Hillcrest Farmers Market.
Ingredients: Prep Time – 25 Minutes
2 lbs Carlsbad Black Mussels (cleaned and de-bearded)
6 Slices Bacon Chopped (pre-cook and pat dry before chopping)
½ Cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
½ Cup Finely Chopped Fennel
1 Shallot Finely Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves Crushed
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Tbs Clover Honey
2 Tbs Butter
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1 ½ Cup Blackball Belgian IPA (room temperature)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Step 1: Scrub mussels with a coarse brush under cold running water. Remove any beards and discard any mussels that are broken or open. Reserve cleaned mussels in a large bowl of ice water until ready to steam.
Step 2: Melt butter in large saucepan. Add bacon, fennel, onions, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Step 3: Add Blackball Belgian IPA and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover, and steam until mussels have opened (4-5 Minutes). Remove from heat and discard any mussels that have not opened.
Step 4: Transfer mussels to serving dish, reserving the broth in the saucepan. Return broth to medium heat and stir in honey and cream. Ladle broth over mussels and serve with grilled French bread.
Misty Birchall, the founder/owner/baker of PubCakes, has made a name for herself in the San Diego beer scene by combining her passion for baking with her love of craft beer. Her avant-garde method of using beer to craft decadent desserts has caught the attention of foodies far beyond America’s finest city – most notably the folks at Food Network. Misty is a champion of San Diego’s brewing community and was kind enough to create a recipe celebrating our birthday with our 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout.
Our 22nd Anniversary PubCake will be available on Saturdays at the PubCakes shop, starting March 12th. If you’re unable to make it down on a Saturday, drop by during the week and try the Top 10 Cake made with Tower 10 IPA. For those of you jonesing to get your bake on at home, follow Misty’s DIY recipe below and let us know what you think.
Karl Strauss 22nd Anniversary PubCake
*Pour remaining beer into a tulip or snifter and enjoy while baking.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground coffee (I used Treehouse Coffee Co’s Costa Rican)
1 tsp ground cloves
*Bourbon Vanilla Bean Buttercream (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring the beer to a boil, remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. While the beer is cooling, place cupcake liners into your muffin pan (you’ll need about 12 standard size cupcake liners).
2. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar on high until mixture lightens and increases in volume. Next, add the egg and beat in well. Finally, set the mixer to low and add dry ingredients and beer in 1/3 increments until fully incorporated.
3. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven half way through the cooking time for even baking. The cupcakes are done when a stick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan as soon as they’ve cooled enough to touch, this will prevent the bottoms from steaming.
Bourbon Vanilla Bean Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 tbs Bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
1. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add butter,sugar and vanilla bean to your standing mixer bowl which should be fitted with the whisk attachment.Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and bourbon and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute, adding more vanilla (or bourbon) if needed for spreading consistency.
2. Use a piping bag with a number 9 round decorating tip to get the same look achieved by PubCakes. Sprinkle with a bit of Mexican chocolate, if you have it on hand. Otherwise, a dash of cloves will work.
Pintail Pale Ale 5.3% ABV – An American Pale Ale brewed with Cascade and Amarillo hops for a vibrant floral aroma and citrus hoppiness. Caramel malts provide balance, rounding out its dry refreshing finish.
Oatmeal Stout 5.5% ABV – We brew our Oat Stout once a year, just in time for St. Patty’s Day. A generous amount of dark roasted malts lend coffee and dark chocolate flavors, while rolled oats provide a smooth body and delicate finish.
Scotch Ale 8.0 % ABV – A hearty Scottish-style Wee Heavy brewed with caramel and cherry wood smoked malts. This full-bodied strong ale has rich toffee flavors, hints of dark fruit, and a touch of smoke in its warming finish.
Red Trolley Ale had a banner year in 2010, winning gold medals at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival. It takes more than two thousand pounds of hand-milled caramel malts to brew each batch but after enjoying this malty red ale for more than twenty years, we’re convinced it’s worth the extra effort.
Red Trolley Roasted Chicken: Red Trolley-brined ½ chicken, spice-rubbed, and oven-roasted. It’s served over edamame hash with corn, bacon, peppers, onions, potatoes, and Red Trolley BBQ sauce.
The Pairing: This delectable pairing is an inviting departure from Dad’s beer can chicken. The Red Trolley brine seals in layers of flavor that complement the sweetness of the succulent chicken, while its caramel malt character and undertones of dried fruit balance the savory spice between bites.
Thanksgiving is around the corner and like many of you, we’re thankful for beer. Aside from being a social lubricant for family gatherings and our beverage of choice, beer is also a handy ingredient in the kitchen. From baking to brining, there is a beer for every culinary occasion – and the best part is, you don’t have to be on Top Chef to create great dishes. If you’re unfamiliar with lofty kitchen vernacular like anglaise or gastrique, rest assured none of those words will be used in this post. Here you’ll find a few quick and easy ways to use beer to enhance your Thanksgiving dinner, along with a couple tips on cooking with beer. If your kitchen is undergoing a remodel or if you’re just avoiding your in-laws, we’ve got you covered. We’re planning to serve a full Thanksgiving dinner with a celebratory cask at several of our Brewery Restaurants (Downtown, Carlsbad & CityWalk).
1 cup Red Trolley Ale
1 cup Sugar
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
Optional – 1 tsp Orange Zest
Optional – 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Directions: Combine sugar and Red Trolley Ale in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving.
Tips: When cooking with beer, be mindful of the bitterness (IBU’s). When reducing a beer, you’re concentrating the bitterness so maltier beers like Red Trolley are better for braising, sauces, and reductions.
Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale Turkey Brine:
8 Cups (64oz) Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale8 Cups Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Honey
3 Bay Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Yellow Onion (Chopped)
1 Tbs Black Peppercorns
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tsp Clove
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
1/2 Stick Cinnamon
Directions: Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add salt, sugar, honey, garlic, onion, and spices. Stir until salt, sugar, and honey are dissolved and cool to room temperature. This should take around 30 minutes and will allow the spices to lend their flavors to the brine. Once your brine has cooled, add Fullsuit to the mixture and refrigerate until cold. Once your brine is cold, submerge your turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hen and return to the refrigerator for 24hrs. This will yield 1 gallon of brine; feel free to scale the recipe up or down to accommodate the size of your bird.
Tips: Brining a turkey is a great way to keep it moist and avoid a Griswold family dinner moment. However; be sure to THOROUGLY RINSE your bird in cold water after removing it from the brine. Your brine will lock-in the turkey’s natural juices, while adding tons of flavor. Rinsing your turkey simply removes the residual salt from the brine. You can use this recipe to brine bacon, chops, wings, or any other meats you plan to have around on Turkey Day. Beer-brined bacon is a killer addition to stuffing… Speaking of stuffing, substitute half a cup of chicken/vegetable stock with Fullsuit in your favorite stuffing recipe to complement your beer-brined bird.
1 Box Fudge Brownie Mix – Baker Source (any store bought)
1 Cup Parrot in a Palm Tree Baltic Porter
1 ½ Cup Water
Directions: Follow the box directions subbing Parrot in a Palm Tree for roughly half the amount of water – it’s that easy. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl; gently mix ingredients until blended. Pour into parchment-lined baking pans (1/2 sheets) and spread mix evenly. Cook for 25-30 minutes in 300-degree oven or until toothpick slides out easily. Cool, cut and serve with vanilla ice cream, Parrot in a Palm Tree Fudge Sauce and of course a glass of beer.
Parrot in a Palm Tree Fudge Sauce:
1 Cup Chocolate Fudge Sauce (store bought)
1 Cup Karl Strauss Parrot in a Palm Tree Baltic Porter
Directions: Reduce beer in saucepan to a ½ cup. Place both ingredients in mixing bowl, whisk together. Pour over brownies and ice cream. BAM! Yeah, that just happened.