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Archive for July, 2012

An Olympic menu for the competitor in all of us

The 2012 Summer Olympic opening ceremony is TONIGHT, kicking off nearly two weeks of heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping competition. And since we didn’t get an invitation (ahem) to join the giant party across the pond, we’ve come up with an Olympic-themed menu for all of us stateside couch coaches (including you) to celebrate with. Consider this your Olympic entertainment cheat sheet.

Olympic Rings Pizza

Photo and recipe courtesy of TasteofHome.com

We won’t penalize you for wanting to stick to an American favorite during these two weeks of non-stop British action, so why not try your hand at an Olympics rings pizza? It’ll pair just as well with our picks for English brew.

What You’ll Need

  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (120° to 130°)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni

What You’ll Do

  • In a bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Add water and oil; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a 16-in. x 11-in. rectangle; transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Press dough 1/2 in. up the sides of pan. Spread with pizza sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Arrange pepperoni on top in five interlocking circles. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until crust and cheese are lightly browned. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Jolly Good Chex Mix

Grab by the handful this party favorite. Buy it premade or follow the recipe below for a quick and impressive snack that’s sure to add a little zest to your party.

Photo courtesy of delicious-cooks.com

What You’ll Need

  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 c. Corn Chex
  • 2 c. Rice Chex
  • 2 c. Wheat Chex
  • 1 1/2 c. Planters mixed nuts
  • 1 c. tiny pretzels or pretzel sticks

What You’ll Do 

  • Melt butter in shallow pan over low heat. Stir in salt and Worcestershire sauce. Add Chex, nuts, and pretzels. Mix until all pieces are coated. Heat in a 250 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Serve.

Gold Medal Molasses Cookies

No game night would be complete without something sweet at the end, so go for the gold with these easy cookies.

Photo and recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (we suggest Gold Medal…see what we did there?)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

What You’ll Do

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.

Now that you’re set on the snacks, it’s time to select the perfect beer for the occasion. We suggest Boddington’s, Bass Ale or Fuller’s to add a little English flavor to the meal. Plus, they’re worth a little competition of their own. Ask your buds to bring their own versions of each meal above and vote on whose you think is the best. The winner takes home the left over brew (if there is any) and most importantly, bragging rights for the next four years!

The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Texas time, with the Queen of England kicking things off (who else would it be?). Grab a cold one, sit back and let the games begin!

Cheers, Pint Jockeys!

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ZiegenBock Amber

Another Wednesday, another craft brew recommendation handpicked for you, Pint Jockeys. Put on some country music and get ready to giddy up, because we’re returning to our Texas roots. Today, we’re focusing on a craft beer brewed with pride in the heart of Texas – ZiegenBock Amber.

ZiegenBock is a true beer of the South. This American-style amber lager offers notes of roasted grains in the aroma, a sweet, smooth taste and a hop finish. The select imported hops and specialty malts create a flavor worthy of the 2006 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal.

It’s no surprise that a beer with a taste big enough for the Lone Star State also puts on its own music festivals to celebrate all things, you guessed it, beer and Texan! So keep your ears peeled for the sweet sound of country music coming to a city near you this Fall.

Can’t wait ‘til the festivals and want a taste of the ice cold, Texas-brewed craft beer by the same name right now? Look no further than your refrigerator or favorite bar, because ZiegenBock is available in bottles and on tap.

Put your cowboy boots on, grab a few friends and let the Texan in you run wild, because no matter where you are or what you’re doing, the taste of Texas is just an arm’s reach away.

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This week: Bangers and Mash

It’s the third Friday of the month, Pint Jockeys, which means another tasting event has come and gone. We hope you enjoyed sampling some of our tastiest craft brews yesterday. Tell us, which was your favorite? We know it’s hard to pick just one, so while you’re ruminating over the tough choice at hand, we’ll continue with our Foodie Friday series on great British grub in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With the games just one week away, you better believe we’re serving up some of England’s most loved dishes for you!

Last week, we showed you how to make pub favorite fish and chips. Today, we continue the tradition with another English staple – Bangers and Mash. It’s a hearty sausage and mashed potato dish, and we assure you, it’s just as fun to eat as it is to say. With a prep and cook time totaling only an hour and five minutes, you’ll be feasting on this British delight quicker than we can say “on your marks, get set, go!”.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 links pork sausage
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups red wine

What You’ll Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
  2. Cook the sausage links in a skillet over medium-low heat until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to an oven-safe dish and move to the preheated oven to keep warm.
  3. Place potatoes into a saucepan over medium heat, cover with water, and boil gently until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Mix in 1/4 cup of butter, milk, dry mustard, salt, and black pepper; mash until fluffy and smooth. Set aside.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook the onions until translucent and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and red wine; boil the mixture down to about half its volume, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place a sausage onto a serving plate with about a half cup of mashed potatoes. Pour the onion gravy over the sausage and potatoes and you’ve got yourself a jolly good dinner. Don’t worry if your gravy is a little runny for your liking; it’s supposed to be like that. Though we Texans love a thick cream gravy, it’s time to branch out and try it the British way!

And should you and your friends engage in a friendly game of pre-Olympics trivia during dinner, you’ll surely need to know the origin of the dish’s great name. According to AllRecipes.com user WSF, “bangers and mash gets its name because sausages used to burst (or bang) while cooking, due to rush (dried bread) being added to the meat.” And now you know.

Pair with a good English Pale Ale and we fancy you’ve got yourself a meal fit for any Olympic athlete!

Cheers, Pint Jockeys!

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The Pint Jockeys tastings are back with an impressive lineup and room for surprises

It’s only Wednesday, but with our Pint Jockeys tasting events happening tomorrow evening, Thursday will feel more like Friday than ever! And it’s a good thing too, because after a couple of weeks of rain, we’re ready to get out and enjoy some delicious brew!

For the July event, we’re featuring a few of our rich, sometimes sweet, brews and ciders. Including….

  • Woodchuck Fall Limited Release – Inspired by the Green Mountains that surround Woodchuck cidery, this special limited release features notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of American white oak. The results are a unique, not-too-sweet cider for all to enjoy.

 

  • Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel – Clear and deep copper in color, this Abbey Dubbel has a complex and rich malty sweetness with hints of caramelized sugar.  The aroma is a heady and layered mix of fruit and spice with hints of clove, raisin and black pepper from the use of an abbey-style yeast.

           

  • Magic Hat Elder Betey – A golden haze for a summer’s daze.  Elder Betty is a weiss-style ale with a bready malt flavor, balanced by a touch of hops and complemented by the tart berry flavors of elderberry.

 

  • Southern Star Walloon – This Belgian-style grisette is brewed to be the lightest in the Southern Star lineup.  It’s a farmhouse style ale with a Belgian witbier and Belgian tripel.  While it may be light, the added clove and noble hops ensure it’s not without flavor.

 

  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Cans – This pale ale has a deep, amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character.  And now, Sierra Nevada’s most popular beer is available in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans!  Take your favorite beer anywhere without scarifying great taste, quality or craftsmanship.

Now, that’s a pretty strong lineup on its own, but don’t be surprised if you find a couple of surprises, too.

Want to join? By now you should know the drill but for those of you who are new to the site, here’s a few things you should know: The Pint Jockeys tastings are free, open to public ages 21 and older, held at the Del Papa Distributing Centers in Texas City, Beaumont and Victoria and take place from 5-7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. Did we mention they’re free?!

Can’t think of a better reason to try some new craft brews with a few new friends. So, join us!  Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!
Cheers!

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This week: Beer-Battered Fish and Chips

Hiya, Pint Jockeys! You’ve made it to the weekend and now we have only one directive for you:  read this Foodie Friday post in its entirety, with a British accent and an empty stomach.  That’s right. The 2012 Olympics will commence in London in just two weeks and we’re feeling the English spirit! To prepare for the festivities, we’ll spend the next few weeks featuring our favorite British brews and fare. And we promise to make a (half-hearted) attempt to keep our use of those bloody British puns and phrases to a minimum.

What better way to kick off our British Invasion than with a British (and American) pub favorite – fish and chips! We’re using Alton Brown’s recipe, which includes a bottle of beer in the batter (say that ten times fast). He would argue (and we’d agree) that everything’s better with a splash of beer. So whether you’re using it to cook or drink (or maybe both), go ahead and grab your favorite – may we suggest Pint Jockeys’ July BOTM, Rahr & Sons Pecker Wrecker? – and get ready to deep-fry some jolly ol’ goodness.

What You’ll Need:

For the chips (fries):

  • 1 gallon safflower oil
  • 4 large Russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt

 For the fish batter:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Dash Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 bottle beer, cold
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed whitefish (tilapia, pollock, cod), cut into 1-ounce strips
  • Cornstarch, for dredging

What You’ll Do:

  • Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat the safflower oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 320 degrees.
  • Using a V-slicer with a wide blade, slice the potatoes with the skin on. Place in a large bowl with cold water.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in the beer until the batter is completely smooth and free of any lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Note: The batter can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time.
  • Drain potatoes thoroughly, removing any excess water. When oil reaches 320 degrees, submerge the potatoes in the oil. Working in small batches, fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they are pale and floppy. Remove from oil, drain, and cool to room temperature.
  • Increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees. Re-immerse fries and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on roasting rack. Season with kosher salt while hot and hold in the oven.
  • Allow oil to return to 350 degrees. Lightly dredge fish strips in cornstarch. Working in small batches, dip the fish into batter and immerse into hot oil. When the batter is set, turn the pieces of fish over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain the fish on the roasting rack.

Fish and chips is best served hot, so make sure you have a few brewskis on hand as soon as the fish is out of the fryer! Once complete, serve the dish with malt vinegar or tartar sauce.  Ketchup and/ or mayonnaise are also options if you would prefer to keep things American.

Now, plop down in front of the computer and read up on the 2012 Olympics roster because it’s always more fun to watch when you know the team. You and your buds can even make a game out of it – just find a few hometown Olympic hopefuls (we’re rooting for Texas’ own Jonathan Horton from the US Men’s Gymnastics team) and have your friends buy you a drink for every medal they win. Sound like a good enough reason to become a fan?

That’s all for now. We’ll be back next week with more Olympics-inspired recipes and games.

Cheerio, Pint Jockeys!

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Join the Beer of the Month club with Rahr & Sons Pecker Wrecker

BOTM’s Up, Pint Jockeys! We’re back with our regularly scheduled programming and present to you our July beer of the month: Rahr & Son’s Pecker Wrecker. We apologize for the delay, and guarantee this unforgettable seasonal is well worth the wait!

Available for a very limited time as part of the To Thee Series, Pecker Wrecker was originally released in 2005 as the first of Rahr & Sons’ seasonal brews, and has since created quite the (ahem) name for itself.   The unique logo, seen today on t-shirts, glasses and tap handles everywhere, was selected when the brewer called on beer lovers to submit logos using only a woodpecker and a red tow truck. So sure, some of the popularity may stem from Pecker Wrecker’s memorable logo and innuendo-laden name, but the main thing that gets hopheads talking is the unforgettable flavor.

This seasonal Bohemian-style, Imperial Rye pilsner (that’s a mouthful!) has a rich, amber color and is highly hopped at 7% ABV.  With a medium-to-full body and malty backbone, you’ll love this bock-like pilsner!  As hop characteristics explode in your mouth, you’ll be left wanting more. And you can feel justified in your cravings; Tastings.com gave Pecker Wrecker a 91 points rating, which qualifies the beer as “exceptional.”

It’s no surprise that Pecker Wrecker was re-released as part of the To Thee Series,  a group of brews meant to celebrate more than 160 years of Rahr Brewing history and traditions. These limited quantity selections are known to fly off the shelves, so be sure to pick some up this weekend!

Time to raise your glass (or 22 oz bottle) and cheers to another unforgettable brew!

Until next time, Pint Jockeys!

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Green Olive Chili Beer Dip!

What’s better than a Friday? TWO Fridays! And because Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday this year, that’s exactly what most of us had! Since you probably spent your holiday chowing down on something delicious from the grill, and you’ve only had two days to recover from your patriotic food coma, we thought we’d change it up today and offer you an unexpected, refreshing grill-free recipe. Worry not, Pint Jockeys, this will be just as (if not even more so) satisfying, as it contains our favorite ingredient – BEER!

So buy yourself a few cases and invite a few friends over; today we’re making a delicious Green Olive Chili Beer Dip!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle (12 oz) pale Lager Beer (we suggest  New Belgium Shift Pale Lager)
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper
  • 3 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz) large pitted stuffed olives, drained
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1½ TBLS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 2 TBLS unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

What You’ll Do:

  • Make slit in one side of Serrano chili; place in small saucepan over medium heat. Add Shift’s Pale Lager; bring to boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep 1 hour to make Chili Beer.
  • In large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil; add onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes; add olives and sauté 2 minutes longer. Add Chili Beer (and chili pepper); boil 10 minutes, until most of the beer has cooked away. Cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer olive mixture to food processor; add tahini, lemon juice, honey, coriander, cumin and pepper. Process mixture until dip is smooth, with some pieces of olive still visible. Stir in cilantro. Spread mixture on plate or in shallow soup bowl, cover and refrigerate 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

For an impressive presentation, place the dip on a platter and garnish with tomatoes and pistachios. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Serve with warm, sliced bread or pita chips.

Since you prepared the dip, ask your buds to bring the main dish. For an all-out Greek affair, might we suggest making gyros or maybe some roasted lamb ? (That’s right, give them the tough job!)

No matter what you serve with the dip, it goes without saying (though we’ve said it twice) that the best part of this meal can be found sitting in that 16 ounce can next to you. And, since the recipe only calls for 12 ounces of beer, you’ll have three full brews and four precious ounces leftover to enjoy at your leisure.

Raise your glass and cheers to the weekend, Pint Jockeys!

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