Pork Medallions in Porter

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Ingredients

    1 pound         pork tenderloin
    10-12 small     onions (or 1 large one chopped)
    10 oz small     cremini mushrooms
    1 tbsp          AP flour
    4 oz            Bucket Park Loop Porter
    8 oz            stock*
    4 tbsp          heavy cream
    2 tbsp          butter
    4 tbsp          chopper flat-leaf parsley
                    EVOO
                    Salt and Pepper to taste

Yet another way to serve pork with Porter! I think pork is under-rated. I went to buy some beef flap the other day and it was $7+ per pound! You can’t even put that stuff on the grill! It’s delicious, but it needs to be ground or braised or your teeth are gonna hurt. Right next to the flap, over in the pig section, were pork tenderloins for $3.98/pound! This is a cut that has so little trimming that you are getting ALL bang for your buck AND it’s tenderloin! For the uninitiated, this is not “the other white meat” part of the pig. Pork tenderloins are red meat that, when treated tenderly, cook up juicy like a steak. (In our dish we going to braise ’em a bit, but this dish could be done a bit differently and the medallions could be left lightly pink inside.)

Slice the ‘shrooms and chop the onions. Mrs Drudge has had a lovely harvest of tiny onions from the Kitchen Drudge kitchen garden, so I have blanched the little guys in boiling water and popped off the skins. I have to say, I really like the look and feel of whole onions in my dishes.

Slice the tenderloin into 1″ or 1 1/4″ medallions and pat them a bit to flatten. Season them to your taste with salt and pepper of your choice.

Add the EVOO to a sauté pan and brown the medallions, about 2 minutes a side. Move them to a plate.

I like my mushrooms cooked in butter, so add the 2 tbsp of butter to the sauté pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden. (If you are using chopped onions you’ll want to add them to this sauté. If you are using whole small onions you can wait until the mushrooms are just about done.) Dust on the flour and stir it in, cooking it just a minute or two. Then add the 4oz of Porter. You want to cook this down until the porter is almost gone. Don’t worry the flavor is all still there! The dish is pretty dry at this point, with a nice thick gravy.

Now stir in the stock. This will thin things out again, but were going to cook this mixture down again, reducing the stock by about half. After 5 minutes, add the medallions back to the pan, lower the heat to simmer and cook, covered for 20 minutes. If the sauce is too thin at this point, you could move the medallions to a plate again, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce to a thicker consistency. Not a lot of real rules when cooking. I just wrestle my dishes into submission sometimes.

At the very end, stir in the cream. The flat-leaf parsley, chopped, is a nice garnish when you plate the dish.

A nice rice pilaf would be great with this dish, but I’ll let you improvise.

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* Stock: I rummaged around my freezer and found some stock from my last batch of Park Loop Pulled Pork. It one of the perks for making the pulled pork recipe. But you can use chicken stock or even roasted vegetable stock.

This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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Maple Stout Doughnut Muffins

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Ingredients

    6 oz            butter, softened
    7.5 oz          sugar
    2 large         eggs
    3 cups/15oz     AP flour
    2 1/2 tsp       baking powder
    1/4 tsp         baking soda
    3/4 tsp         salt
    1 tsp           freshly grated nutmeg
    3/4 cup/6oz     milk
    1 tbsp          buttermilk powder
    2 oz            Maple Stout Reduction
    
    for dipping:
    8 oz            butter
    2 cups          sugar
    4 tbsp          ground cinnamon
    

Miss me?! Yeah, this week’s post is late. Lack of inspiration, then too much. Get over it. I have.

Ok. After Beeramisu, doughnut muffins look like part of a trend. They are not. I hope. This recipe is an adaptation from a friend, mentor and baking professional, Amy Lozier; proprietor of Omega Artisan Baking in Columbus, OH. She deserves all the credit, or blame, as the case may be. This bakery delight is a your cardiologists wet dream. By the time you drowned these little critters in melted butter, two dozen mini-muffins will consume almost a pound of butter. Hey they’re light on the salt!

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in one egg at a time just until blended. Then add the 13th Original Maple Stout Reduction and mix just until blended.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

With a spatula, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter/egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ones. As for many baked goods, don’t over mix. See my photos.

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As Amy advises, at this point, you can chill the dough and keep it refrigerated for up to three days. I advise chilling it for an hour or so before scooping it into the baking pan. Just much easier to handle.

Scoop into butter/floured (or sprayed) mini muffin cups. Don’t use paper or foil liners, since these will be dipped after baking. I use a small ice cream scoop to get about 1 ounce portions, but batter should be even with the top of the cups. Disclaimer: Amy makes these as full-size muffins. I could never eat a whole one at one sitting, so decided to adapt them for my mini-muffin pan.

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Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 18 minutes. They won’t brown much, but they’ll be done.

While these bake melt the dipping butter and combine the dipping sugar with the cinnamon in a large bowl. Have the melted butter in a container that will allow you to submerge at least one muffin at a time. I watched Amy use a five pound bucket of butter and dunk a dozen at a time. It’s intense to watch.

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As soon as the muffins are cool enough to touch, remove them from the pan a begin ducking them in the melted butter, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. I found I needed to really douse them with the sugar since they soak in the cinnamon sugar. Then place them on a rack to cool and dry.

This recipe should yield 24+ mini’s.

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In this recipe I substituted the butter milk powder for 2 tbsp of real butter milk to accommodate the extra liquid in the beer reduction. Seemed to work fine.

This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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Beeramisu

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from Wikipedia: "Most accounts of the origin of tiramisu date its invention to the 1960s in the region of Veneto, Italy, at the restaurant "Le Beccherie" in Treviso, Italy. Some debate remains, however. 

Ingredients

    1 cup   Heavy Cream     
    8 oz    Marscapone Cheese
    12 oz   13 Original Maple Stout 
    4 oz    Dark Chocolate for grating
    2 oz    Maple Stout Reduction (optional)
            Lady Fingers

Wikipedia is sometimes known for it’s understatement. “Some debate remains, however.”, is a great example. While there seems no debate about tiramisu originating in Italy, almost nothing else about the dish remains without question. Including 3 other regions of Italy, several other restaurants and chefs and, perhaps, most in question is the recipe!

Fortunately for us, our intention is to take this half century old Italian pick-me-up and reinvent it for beer lovers. As for it being a pick me up as the Italian name suggests, we’re going to omit the coffee from the original recipe and replace it with Bucket Brewery’s 13 Original Maple Stout.

In the Drudge’s kitchen, we like to build individual servings in stemmed glasses. If you have stemmed beer glasses even better. We were drinking our dinner and dessert beer from the only stemmed beer tulips we have, so we made do with wine glasses.

The dessert is best if it sits in the glasses in the fridge for an hour or two before serving, so its a great do-ahead dessert. There are two prep steps that you can do earlier in the day, or even the day before you want to serve these. You need to whip the heavy cream and then fold the marscapone into it. Marscapone cheese is not very cheese-like. It is made from heavy cream with a pinch of tactic acid in it. It’s tart, compared to plain fresh whipped cream, but no so very different in consistency.

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Begin each serving with a tablespoon of beer in the bottom of the glass. Then line the glass with ladyfinger cakes, dipping each in the Maple Stout just before adding it to the glass. Traditional ladyfingers are pretty delicate, so go gingerly with the soaking or you’ll end up with mush.

Once the glass is lined, add some of the whipped-cream/marscapone mixture and top it with some grated chocolate. Then repeat the process, beginning with another dipped ladyfinger.

Now if you have some Maple Stout Reduction, hanging about in your fridge as I do, drizzle it over the top!

You may feel like beeramisu is enough beer for dessert. That might be fine in some kitchens, but its not anything I would want for myself. We paired this fabulous dish with Park Loop Porter, just to be sure we had coffee flavor notes from the original tiramisu recipe.

This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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Quesadillas Inside-Out

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Ingredients

    Flour Tortillas
    Park Loop Porter Pulled Pork
    Shredded cheese 

The quesadilla is a much abused dish. It has its traditionalists in the American Southwest, but every chain restaurant in the US has one on the menu. Not to be outdone, I came up with a nice twist. The inside-out quesadilla.

I put cheese inside along with whatever I find in the fridge, but I also grill cheese on the outside!

Simple trick really. Fill your tortilla with cheese and other ingredients, in this case I had some Park Loop Pulled Pork handy. Heat up a non-stick frying pan that will fit a whole tortilla of the size your are using. Fill two tortillas and fold each over. Now both should fit in the pan at the same time. You want to get the pan hot but not smoking; you’re going to grill the quesadillas without oil, so you do have to pay attention.

When the pan is hot add the folded quesadillas. Let then get hot and melt the cheese inside. I like to use a bacon press on top. It seems to hurry the melting. Once the cheese starts to melt, flip them over. The first side should have begun to brown up. Give the second side a minute or two to toast up and melt the inside cheese completely.

Now comes the outside trick. Remove the hot quesadillas from the pan temporarily. You’ll want a plate or cutting board that can take the heat. Now sprinkle more of the shredded cheese directly in the pan. This is why the non-stick pan is important. I won’t be responsible for the aftermath if you choose to try this without a non-stick pan. As soon as you added the cheese put the quesadillas back in the pan, on top of the cheese. It should brown up and get crunchy, but this won’t take long and you should not leave the scene.

Using a non-stick spatula, remove the quesadillas one more time, spindle in more cheese and flip the quesadillas back on top of the cheese to brown the final side. Another minute and they should be crunchy on both sides.

Toppings can include salsa, sour cream, guacamole or my favorite Green Juice Sauce

You need a good melting cheese to make this work. One that will take some direct heat without burning. I tend to always have a bag of pre-shredded 4 Italian cheeses in my fridge. I know, hard to call it a quesadilla with Italian cheeses but it works great!

You can’t go wrong pairing this dish with Bucket’s refreshing Rhodes Scholar (kolsh style) brew.

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This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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Halibut with Citrus Tomatoes

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon EVOO
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers
sea salt and black pepper to taste
4 6-ounce pieces skinless halibut fillet

Citrus and tomato, together? Who knew? But yes they, really complement each other. While both are acidic, the sweetness of the OJ and the tartness of cherry or grape tomatoes make this sauce a keeper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, orange juice, parsley, capers, dash of salt, and dash of pepper and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down or pop, if you have not sliced them.

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Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I dust ever so lightly with flour too, to promote a nice “crust” on the finish piece.

In a separate pan, lightly brown and cook the fish. We choose an 8oz piece that took about 4 minutes per side. We put the fish into the sauce pan for a few minutes just before serving to help infuse the fish.

Put some of the sauce on the plate, the fish on top, then more sauce.

We paired this with Bucket’s Rhodes Scholar and enjoyed it, but when we cooked it again this week we paired it with Bucket’s BOG; the cranberry/orange essence of the beer was an even better complement.

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This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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Blackstone Valley Culinaria Comes to Bucket Brewery

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Blackstone Valley Tourism Council brought Culinaria to Bucket Brewery last night. Blackstone Culinaria is an ongoing food tour of Blackstone Valley establishments, designed to acquaint area residents and visitor alike with comestible venues throughout the area. The hook that separates this food tour from other dining out experiences is the included demonstration provided by the the night’s hosts.

In the Case of Bucket Brewery Brewmaster, Erik Aslaksen, was on hand to provide an in-depth tour of the brewery as well as a beer tasting. Even the Kitchen Drudge got into the act, by providing snacks to pair with the Bucket brews.

The evening was conducted by BVTC Special Projects Manager, Lisa Castellone and council President Bob Billington was also on hand to greet guests.

Brews tasted were Pawtucket Pail Ale, Bucket of Gratitude (BOG) cranberry-orange farmhouse ale, 13th Original Maple Stout and Park Loop Porter. Erik even went out on a limb and mixed up a pitcher of my Watermelon Shandy, which was a surprise hit!

Bucket Multigrain Beer Bread made and appearance along with some tasty cheese and chili oil cocktail crackers and sweet sneek-peek (and taste) of the Kitchen Drudge’s Bucket Brewery Pawtucket Pail Ale Butter Caramels.

Some of the Kitchen Drudge’s past recipe posts were discussed and debated. Here are some reminder links for those who chatted with me last evening:

Maple Stout Glazed Salmon

Pork Steaks in Park Loop Porter Marinade

Park Loop Pulled Pork

This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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Vermont Cheese Makers Festival Recap

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Vermont Cheese Makers Festival

Over 50 cheese makers, 40 artisan food makers, 20 beer, wine, and spirits vendors and an assortment of artisan products and one stellar food truck. All brought together for one summer day at Shelburne Farm on beautiful Lake Champlain. I couldn’t get over the fact that all of this was just for one day. We could have spent three and still not sampled everything we wanted to try.

But in the beginning it was the beer/cheese cooking demonstration that attracted Mrs Drudge’s attention to this wonderful festival in Vermont. Conducted by Chef Steve Sicinski of Crop Bistro, the dish was Braised Pork Belly Bits with heirloom squash in cheddar/beer sauce. I love all things pork, but putting it on the same plate with a cheddar/beer topping could drive me to drink. Oh, and it did. Chef Steve has given demos in front of crowds and cameras before. Many times is my guess, because he not only did all the prep in front of us while delivering a non-stop narration, but prepared enough of the dish to serve it to all 90 people gathered in the big tent.

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I’ll attempt to give you a taste of the event by highlighting a few of our favorites, but this is an event to put on your radar form next summer. Let’s begin with the venue, Shelburne Farm, Shelburne VT. The farm is “a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, National Historic Landmark and campus”. That’s right, it’s a non-profit with an educational mission. What was not so obvious from the Cheese Maker Fest promotion was that the festival venue, the Coach Barn is located on the shores of Lake Champlain. Wow, what a view!

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Cheese: Twig Farm is a small goat dairy and cheese making business run by Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman, located in West Cornwall, VT. I first tasted Twig Farm cheese at a cheese restaurant in NYC called Casellula. That evening it was Goat Tomme, which was my first choice to taste again in VT. But my favorite was Old Goat, a longer aged Tomme.

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Spirits: The standout for us was the Whistlepig 10 year old Rye whiskey. A special edition made with 100% Vermont rye and bottled at 102 proof. Other notables were Barr Hill Tom Cat, a oak barrel aged gin from Caladonia Spirits and a Maple Rum from Mad River Distillers.

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Beer: What no photos of beer?! Too busy drinkin’ it! It was a very warm day in VT. Our best-of-show candidate was Hodad Porter from Fiddlehead Brewing Co, brewed just up the road from the fest venue in Shelburne. Promoted as chocolate vanilla toasted coconut porter, it lived up to its billing and at $5 a pint it was a big hit with the suds crowd.

Food Truck: Ok, Ben and Jerry’s had an ice cream truck and King Arthur Flour had a bakery truck. Both are Vermont originals. Personally, I don’t bake without KAF and their website is a great resource for bakers of all kinds. But for us, the hands down winner was the BBQ truck from the Hindquarter, of Burlington VT. I swear I’m going have these folks cater something!

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This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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the Kitchen Drudge

July 24, 2014

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a big tip-o-the-hat to Pia Peterson for ecoRI News: 

"...More experimentation with beer...comes from collaboration with Tim Sadler, the the kitchen drudge at Bucket and the man responsible for its kitchen blog, where he works with beer in recipes such as granola bars, reductions, pork steak tostadas and marinades. He hopes to work on a line of sweet, beer-based caramels available for sale sometime in the near future." 

your humble blogger & Kitchen Drudge

the Kitchen Drudge

July 22, 2014

Some of my most interesting food ideas are the result of playing with my food. My original twice baked cocktail crackers and all of the variations are a great example.

The original cracker began as a cheddar/buttermilk biscuit recipe from the William Sonoma catalog.  The biscuits were ok, but the leftovers ended up being sliced in thin layers and baked again as a cracker. Much like you might bake biscotti.

After some experimentation, my original twice baked cocktail cracker became a three cheese sensation beloved by friends and family. This year I began mashing up the recipe with infused olive oils from my friends at Olive del Mondo. And recently I created a "nuclear cheese" option baked with green chili oil to pair well with beer.

I forgot to set a timer on the last batch into the oven and when I remembered them they were unrecognizably dark; ok burned. But as I played with a few to see if they were still edible, the very dark color reminded me of a pumpernickel bread I like to bake. Could I make a pumpernickel cracker?

While I'm a few bug fixes away from a release candidate, the beta version of the twice baked pumpernickel cocktail cracker shows promise. I think I'll keep on playing with my food.

   
Photos left to right: Original Recipe, Nuclear Cheese, Burned and Pumpernickel 

your humble blogger & Kitchen Drudge

Beer Batter Fish Tacos

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Ingredients

    3 oz            all purpose floor
    1/2 tsp         garlic powder
    1/4 tsp         ground cumin
    1/4 tsp         salt
    1/2 tsp         ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp         cayenne pepper
    
    6 oz            Bucket Pail Ale
                    peanut  or other vegetable oil
    16 oz           firm white fish
                    corn or flour tortillas
                    shredded lettuce
                    additional taco condiments to suit
    

This week we had thunderstorms and with no rain-date for our Bucket recipe night, we cooked in the kitchen rather than on the grill. Turned out to be the perfect excuse to try a beer-batter recipe!

During the winter I bought some frozen hake fillets which were not very good and have been taking up freezer space, so we decided to enhance them with beer batter, fry ’em up and stuff them into tortillas with lots of fun, flavorful condiments. It worked!

In a small bowl stir together the first 6 ingredients. Then wish in the beer. This is one recipe where fresh beer is important. The bubbles are good for the batter.

Be certain to dry off the fish. My hake fillets were full of water, so full I not only had to pat them dry, but squeeze them out! Too much water will give you fits when you fry them and may even keep the fish from cooking inside the batter.

Cut the fish into large bite-sized pieces. Adding the batter and frying will make each piece about twice the size of the cut fish. My water logged hake just sort of fell apart. I was nervous but but the batter held it together long enough to fry up into taco filling sized pieces.

Its good to have the cold taco ingredients all ready before you fry the fish. True to our kitchen-drudge system, Mrs Drudge, prepped whilst I fried. For our tacos, we found some leftover grilled pineapple and made a chipotle sauce from homemade yogurt and some chipotle ketchup we found in the fridge. 

We used peanut oil for frying, mostly because we had a quart of lightly used oil in the pantry. But of course any good vegetable oil will do. It’s not a good idea to mix different kinds of oil when frying. Each type will “smoke” at a different temperature, making a good cooking temp very hard to control. I used about 3/4 of an inch of oil and still had to turn my pieces once.

Dip each piece of fish in the batter and slip it into the oil. Frying will take about 2-3 minutes per side, but I go by color. To keep the oil temp more constant don’t crowd the pot; fry in small batches. Drain pieces on paper towel as they are finished and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. As with most fried foods, these will probably not be fit to eat the next day, so just fry what you can eat. It did not try, but I would not be surprised if the batter might be good from the fridge for second round the next day.

I favor flour tortillas while Mrs Drudge favors corn. Roll cold tortillas in a clean dish towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds. You can keep extra tortillas in the towel until ready for round two.

Build your taco to suit. I favor sauce on the bottom, then greens, then fish, some more sauce and then your favorite topper, in our case the grilled pineapple.

This entry cross-posted at Bucket’s Kitchen.
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