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Archive for July, 2017

RECIPE: Fried Green Tomatoes & Savory French Toast With Tomatoes

We haven’t read the novel, Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistlestop Cafe.

But in the film, while green tomatoes are fried up, we (a northerner and fan of heirloom tomatoes) missed a technical point.

We didn’t realize that the green tomatoes were fried because they were not yet ripe. Plucked off the vine green (photo #2) and dredged in cornmeal, they were a treat.

We initially thought that they were Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes (photo #1).

So, tomato growers: Take some of your green guys and fry them up! (And those who want to know more about Green Zebra tomatoes: Here it is.)

Fried green tomatoes are typically served as a side dish; in the South, with fried chicken. We enjoy them with grilled chicken and fish. We’ve been adding them to grilled cheese sandwiches, too, and highly recommend it.

When fresh red tomatoes aren’t great—which is the case for much of the year—fry them up and add to green salads.

McCormick serves fried green tomatoes with buttermilk chipotle dressing, or topped with lump crabmeat and Creole mustard—a nice first course.

Ready to fry some green tomatoes?

RECIPE #1: FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

This is the classic southern recipe (photo #3): buttermilk, cornmeal and green tomatoes (photo #2).

Use a heavy skillet. Some recipes we’ve read recommend the even heat of an electric skillet.

Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Vegetable oil*
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional garnish: minced fresh parsley or basil
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the egg and buttermilk; set aside.

    2. COMBINE 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, the cornmeal, salt, and pepper, in a shallow bowl or pan.

    3. DREDGE the tomato slices in the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Dip in the egg mixture and dredge in cornmeal mixture.

    4. ADD the oil to a large cast-iron skillet, to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Heat it to 375°F.

    5. DROP the tomatoes, in batches, into the hot oil. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or on a rack.

    6. SPRINKLE the hot tomatoes with salt, if desired. (We served flaky salt on the table.)
    ________________

    *Some recipes add bacon grease. If you have it, substitute three tablespoons bacon grease for an equal amount of oil.
    ________________
     
     
    RECIPE #2: SAVORY FRENCH TOAST WITH TOMATO SALAD

    Don’t want to fry your tomatoes? Then treat yourself to the gourmet’s green tomatoes: Green Zebras (photos #1 and #6), in a tomato salad.

    And, use the salad as a garnish for French Toast. Save the maple syrup for post-tomato-season.

    Look for Green Zebras in farmers markets. The season is fleeting, so enjoy as many of these (and other heirloom tomatoes) as you can.

       

    Green Zebra Tomatoes
    [1] Heirloom Green Zebra tomatoes, which remain green when ripe, are not meant to be fried, but to be enjoyed raw (photo courtesy Rare Seeds).

    Green Tomato On Vine
    [2] Green tomatoes that have not yet ripened to red are used to make fried green tomatoes (photo courtesy Chrissi Nerantzi | SXC).

    Fried Green Tomatoes
    [3] Cornmeal + tomatoes + skillet = fried green tomatoes (photo and recipe courtesy McCormick).

    Fried Green Tomatoes With Crab Meat

    [4] A first course: fried green tomatoes with lump crab and mustard sauce. Here’s the recipe from McCormick.

     

    Savory French Toast Recipe
    [5] Top French Toast with a green tomato salad (photo courtesy Quinciple).

    Green Zebra Tomatoes
    [6] Use Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes for a salad…including atop French Toast.

    Monte Cristo Sandwich

    [7] Monte Cristo sandwich (photo courtesy Kikkoman).

     

    This recipe is actually a grilled cheese hybrid. Instead of brushing bread with butter before grilling, the bread is dipped in “French Toast” batter: eggs and milk. Serve it for breakfast or lunch.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: 3-4 dashes hot sauce
  • 4 thick slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or any good melting cheese—we used gruyère)
  • 2 green or heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot or red onion
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK the eggs, milk, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture on both sides until fully coated and set aside.

    2. HEAT the butter in a large pan over medium heat and add the bread slices, cooking until golden brown. Flip the bread and cook on the other side until golden brown and cooked through.

    3. TURN off the heat and top each slice with some cheese; cover the pan to let the cheese melt. Meanwhile…

    4. TOSS together the tomatoes, parsley, chives, olive oil, vinegar, shallot and seasoning to taste. Divide the French Toast between two plates and top with the tomato salad.
     
    MORE SAVORY FRENCH TOAST RECIPES
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF FRENCH TOAST

    The dish known in America as French Toast has roots at least as far back as ancient Rome, where it was a sweet dish. In fact, pain perdu (lost bread), the current French name for the dish, was once called pain à la romaine, or Roman bread.

    While the story evolved that French Toast was a food of the poor, trying to scrape together a meal from stale bread—and that may also be true—recipes from ancient and medieval times denote that it was fare for wealthy people.

     
    Recipes used white bread, a luxury affordable only by the rich, with the crusts cut off. Poor people ate brown bread, which was much cheaper because the wheat endosperm did not have to be milled and painstakingly hand-sifted through screens to create the vastly more expensive white flour.

    (That’s right: The more nutritious whole grain brown bread was looked down on as food for the poor. To the thinking of the time, white bread was more “pure” and “elegant.” The same pattern was true in Asia, with white rice for the rich and brown rice for the poor.)

    When the wealthy discovered how tasty the dish was, costly ingredients such as spices (cinnamon, cloves, mace and nutmeg), sugar and almond milk appeared in the batter of numerous recipes. The cooked bread was topped with costly honey or sugar.

    Thus attests old cookbooks. Cookbooks themselves were the province of the privileged: Only wealthy people and the clergy learned to read.

    More recently, French Toast has evolved into a savory sandwich, the Monte Cristo. It is an evolution of the croque-monsieur, a crustless sandwich of ham and Gruyère cheese, buttered and lightly browned on both sides in a skillet or under a broiler.

    The Croque-Monsieur was invented in Paris in 1910. A variation with a baked egg on top is called a Croque-Madame. Neither sandwich was battered, like French Toast.

    The Monte Cristo sandwich (photo #7), a triple-decker sandwich, battered and pan-fried, was invented at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. According to the L.A. Times, the first recipe in print is in the Brown Derby Cookbook, published in 1949.

    Here’s the recipe so you can try it for lunch—although probably not on the same day you have French Toast for breakfast.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Summer Crudités & The History Of The Relish Tray

    When we were in college, we first learned that our grandmother’s “relish tray” snacks—carrots, celery sticks, radishes, olives—could be elevated to something our friend Carolyn—who had spent her junior year abroad in Paris—called crudités.

    At a dinner one day, she served what we now know as an crudités plate, artfully cut and arranged.

    The French, she said, turned raw vegetables of every description into a platter of vegetables that are a visual delight.

    There was no creamy dip, but a vinaigrette with minced fresh herbs.

    We fell hard for crudités and have prepared them for company ever since.

    In the summer, we go for whatever we can find in the farmers market: heirloom cherry tomatoes, red carrots, purple and orange cauliflower, quartered Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes (pr any good-looking heirloom variety)….

    But to give credit where credit is due, our contemporary, seasonal crudités plate began with the now-retro relish tray.

    HISTORY OF THE RELISH TRAY

    People in the earliest civilizations no doubt ate raw vegetables, perhaps with a condiment dip—olive oil? garum? tahini?

    But what was stood for a relish tray in Colonial America were dishes of actual relishes—corn relish, cranberry sauce, pickle relish, etc.—served with meals as condiments for the meats.

    Over time, the definition of “relish” expanded. By 1923, The Encyclopedia Of Food by Artemas Ward defined relishes as “a term flexibly applied to pickles, small fish variously preserved, and a number of other dishes intended to stimulate appetite.”

    The relish tray had become a variety of tidbits arranged on a platter. It was a small course before dinner—with drinks when entertaining and holiday and other special family meals.

    The Refrigerator Spurs Development

    But it wasn’t until the 1930s, with the advent of home refrigerators, that relish trays became a mainstay. Says a 1988 article in the Chicago Tribune, “It didn’t take Better Homes and Gardens long to figure out that cooks could prepare small batches of pickles and relishes well ahead of dinnertime and store them.”

    The magazine featured recipes for pickled carrot sticks and cranberry relish. They taught housewives to create their own pickles, instead of buying them from the barrel at the corner store.

    These ideas came from the home economists—Fanny Farmer started as one—women cooks, schooled in nutrition and the home arts. They worked in the background at women’s magazines, brand manufacturers and cookbook publishers, to devise and test recipes to make housewives’ cooking more interesting.

    They developed the recipes printed on the package labels, and featured in brand advertisements—recipes that housewives eagerly sought and prepared. Recipes that became iconic, from seven layer dip to Key lime pie. Green bean casserole made with canned mushroom soup from the soup manufacturer. How to use grape jelly for a sauce, from the jelly manufacturer. Velveta and Ro-tel dip. And on and on.

    At some point, no doubt, a home economist put together the ingredients for the relish trays of the 1940s.

    The Iconic Relish Tray Evolves

    By the 1940s, relish trays made of silver or cut glass were standard in dining-room china cabinets [source]. Our Nana, a very proper lady. had two: a rectangular boat shape, and a round plate divided into pie-shaped sections, to even more elegantly separate the tidbits. (We still have both of those plates, albeit “stored away somewhere.”)

    By then, the “modern” relish tray ingredients had become somewhat standard. These were decades to conform, not to seek creative alternatives. The relish tray of the day included:

  • Carrot sticks.
  • Celery sticks, often stuffed with cream cheese or, for the true gourmet, olive cream cheese and pimento cream cheese.
  • Olives; for the deluxe treatment, both black pitted and green stuffed with pimento.
  • Radishes, carved into roses by elegant cooks like Nana.
  • Sweet gherkins.
  •  

    Summer Crudites
    Summer crudités from the seasonal bounty. You don’t have to cook the corn: Raw corn is delicious (photo courtesy Good Food Kitchen).

    Everydaty Crudite Plate
    An everyday crudités plate before dinner.

    Relish Tray
    Then: An old-fashioned relish tray (photo Pinterest).

    Crudites With Pimento Cheese

    [4] Now: Crudités in an interesting presentation with pimento cheese at 33 Greenwich | NYC. We also like to serve them in baskets.

     
    Perhaps these nibbles did “stimulate the appetite;” but we came to see them as food that could be prepared in advance and set out, while Nana and her fellow housewives hustled to get the first course on the table. It was fare to enjoy with drinks and social talk until all participants had arrived.

    By the 1950s, when the American restaurant culture became mainstream, the relish tray was placed on the table along with the bread and butter: a way to satisfy the hungry diners before their orders arrived. “At home, however,” says the Chicago Tribune, “the relish-tray tradition began to decline.” We entered the era of frozen food, and no one manufactured a frozen relish tray.

    But by 1970, California cuisine was on the rise. We began to eat raw vegetables beyond carrots, celery and radishes.

    Hello raw broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, sugar snap peas, zucchini. Throw in some salad ingredients: bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber.

    And that’s what we were serving, when we learned about crudités.

    (Might we note that along with the raw vegetable tray came creamy dips: the onion dip on the soup package label, the spinach dip on the frozen spinach package, the artichoke dip on the sour cream package label…).

    Since then, we’ve learned to eat seasonally. And we just love raw corn, purple broccoli and heirloom tomatoes and yellow squash as summer crudités.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Jackson Pollock Your Plates

    Green Sauce Drips
    [1] A drip of basil oil, at Botanica | LA, dripped from a spoon (we use a teaspoon). Place your protein on top, or first add another color.

    Pollock - Green & Yellow
    [2] An actual Jackson Pollock painting.

    Dessert Plate
    [3] Sorbet and poached fruit with whipped cream from Matthew Kinney Cuisine. Fling the whipped cream above the plate with a spoon, then layer the dessert on top of it.

    Cucumber Rolls

    [4] A cucumber roll appetizer—not the most glamorous fare—gets sophistication from a splash of sauce, flung from a spoon above the plate. From Matthew Kinney Cuisine.

     

    This plate, covered with drips of house-infused basil oil from Botanica LA, inspired us to layer sauces like Jackson Pollock dripped and layered his paints.

    For almost two decades, creative chefs have been dripping, splashing, dotting, smearing, swirling and zigzagging sauces on the plate before adding the food, both savory and sweet.

    Today’s tip is to apply the sauce or condiment of the dish to the plate first, instead of spooning it on top of the protein or dessert.

    While photo #1 shows a one-color drip, you can use different colors for other layers., use a squeeze bottle on others (best for dots, swirls and zigzags).

    The world may be your oyster*, but the plate is your canvas.
     
     
    DRIPPING TIPS

    1. Match both the colors and flavors to your dish. You may want something pink, but does Russian dressing go with your scallops? (Maybe it does?)

    2. Limit yourself too three colors and space them out. When you layer too much, you’ll get a plate resembling photo #2.

    3. Use sauces or condiments with texture. The thinnest condiments don’t work. For example, teriyaki sauce, unless it’s reduced, will not keep its shape on the plate. Tabasco may not work but gochuchang will. Fresh salsa has too much texture to be used for plate painting, but many brands of pasteurized (shelf-stable) salsas are just right.

    4. Experiment with different tools. Pollock used a brush; you can use silicone basting or pastry brushes. A squeeze bottle is your friend. To make a splash like photos #3 and #4, put the sauce on a spoon and fling it onto the plate from above.

    Watch this video: You’ll love what you see—and don’t worry about the “Make Sushi” logo at the beginning. There’s no sushi involved.
     
     
    SAVORY “DRIP” SAUCES & CONDIMENTS

  • Beige: horseradish sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter/peanut sauce, tahini
  • Black/brown: balsamic glaze, reduced teriyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • Green: basil oil, chimichurri, guacamole (thinned), hot sauce, olive oil, wasabi mayonnaise
  • Orange: chile mayonnaise, creamy chipotle sauce, yum yum sauce
  • Pink: pasta sauce lightened with cream or yogurt, Russian dressing
  • Red: barbecue sauce, chili sauce, cocktail sauce, gochuchang hot sauce, ketchup, salsa (from jar)
  • White: ranch dressing, sour cream, yogurt
  • Yellow: mustard, nut oils
  •  
    You can make a vegetable coulis or purée in any color you need; for example, orange bell pepper for a bright orange purée, or purple bell pepper for a purple sauce.

    The difference between the coulis and purée is that a coulis is strained for a finer sauce with no seeds. Here’s more about it.
     
     
    SWEET “DRIP” SAUCES & CONDIMENTS

  • Beige: hard sauce, peanut butter sauce
  • Black/brown: balsamic glaze, chocolate sauce or syrup, nutella, sterling sauce
  • Green: lime curd, mint sauce
  • Orange/amber: maple syrup, orange curd
  • Red: raspberry or strawberry sauce, syrup or curd
  • White: homemade whipped cream, white chocolate sauce
  • Yellow: butterscotch, caramel sauce or syrup, crème anglaise, custard sauce, honey, lemon sauce, sabayon
  •  
    As with vegetables, you can make a fruit coulis or purée in any color you need; e.g., kiwi purée for a green sauce, mango purée for an orange sauce.

    Another option: melted ice cream in your color of choice. We discovered this years ago, when we accidentally placed a pint of mango sorbet in the fridge instead of the freezer.

    Ready to have fun?

    One…two…three: fling! drip! splash!

    ________________

    *The first form of the phrase, “The world is your oyster” first appears in print in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” in a discourse between Falstaff and Pistol, one of his followers:
    Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny.
    Pistol: Why then the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.

    The interpretation of the phrase is that Pistol will use his sword to steal money, referring to the pearl one finds in an oyster. The phrase evolved to mean that the world is yours to enjoy.

     
      

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Bagelfest Day & The History Of Bagels

    Perhaps we should have saved this post, published a few months ago, for today, because…

    July 26th is National Bagelfest Day, the perfect day for that article, which features delicious bagels with different savory and sweet spreads and toppings—including those off the beaten path.

    So if you want a true bagelfest, check out the article. Today, we’ll make the record clear on the history of bagels.
     
     
    BAGEL HISTORY

    One legend traces the history of the bagel to the shape of a stirrup, to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in 1683’s Battle Of Vienna. This is not true.

    It mirrors another legend of the creation of another popular bread that allegedly commemorates this battle: the croissant.

    The story is that the croissant was shaped for the crescent in the Turkish flag; that is to say, to symbolically eat the Turks. Here’s the real history of the croissant.

    What is it with these legends regarding bread and the Battle Of Vienna?

    The bagel was actually invented much earlier in Kraków, Poland, as an alternative (some would say, improvement) on the bublik, a traditional Polish-Russian roll that’s also very close to the Turkish simit (photo #3), and which some historians call the ur-bagel.

    It looks like a sibling of the bagel, but with a much bigger hole and a recipe to make it even denser and chewier than the bagel that emigrated to New York.

    The bublik was originally designed for Lent, but in the 16th century began to become a staple of the Polish diet.

    The bagel was evolution, not revolution. Other countries also had round, individual-serving breads with a hole in the middle (the hole was used for convenience in delivery (strung through with a string) and space-saving at stores and homes. They were also stacked on poles and hawked in the market place).

    Examples include Greek koulouri (with sesame seeds), Finnish vesirinkeli, and ciambella in Puglia, Italy.

    The first documentation of the bagel is in a 1610 list of sumptuary laws.

    Many food historians believe that bagel originated from the German word beugal, now spelled bügel, which has numerous meanings, including stirrup and ring.

    But why? Two explanations:

  • Traditional handmade bagels are not perfectly circular but slightly stirrup-shaped, a function of how the bagels are pressed together on the baking sheet.
  • Variants of the word beugal are used in Yiddish and Austrian German to describe a round loaf of bread.
  •  
     
    How Bagels Are Made

    Yeasted wheat dough is traditionally shaped by hand into a ring shape, around four inches in diameter. In the U.S. today, they are supersized. Measure the next bagel you buy!

    With true bagels, the rings are then boiled in water for about a minute. This sets the crust, resulting in the firm, shiny crust of a true bagel.

    The longer the boil, the more dense and chewy the interiors—along with the use of high-protein flour to make the dough.

    They then get pressed face down in the seeds or other toppings. These days, there are also different dough types such as bran, oat, pumpernickel, rye, whole-grain and gluten-free.
     
     
    Bagels Arrive In America

    Bagels came to the United States with Eastern European Jews, who began to immigrate to the United States in significant numbers after 1880.

       

    National Bagelfest DayBagelfest
    [1] Make your own bagelfest! A luscious bagelfest from Arla Cheese.

    Bagel Smoked Salmon
    [2] Got smoked salmon? They have it at Good Eggs.

    Simit Vs. Bagel

    [3] A comparison of bagel and simit, the latter considered the ur-bagel (photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE).

     
    However, they didn’t eat them with cream cheese and lox, but with schmaltz (rendered chicken fat—here’s a recipe) and herring. Modern cream cheese wasn’t invented until 1872, in the U.S.(cream cheese history).

    Lox wasn’t known by Eastern European Jews until Jewish immigrants met Scandinavian immigrants [source].

    Bagel bakeries thrived, and by the early 1900s in New York City, they were controlled by Bagel Bakers Local 338, which had contracts to supply bagel bakeries in and around the city for the workers who prepared all the bagels by hand.

    Bagel bakeries were soon found in major cities with large Jewish populations, in Canada as well as the U.S. They became a mainstream food in the last quarter of the 20th century, partly due to the efforts of the second generation at Lender’s Bakery in New Haven, Connecticut.

    The son of the founder, Murray Lender, pioneered automated production and distribution of pre-sliced frozen bagels 1960.

    [NOTE: We don’t know what Lender’s Bagels were like before the frozen variety, but these bagels are nothing like New York bagels. The consistency was/is more like a white bread rolls in a bagel shape. They are soft and doughy, and lack true bagel flavor. Unfortunately, this style became the template for many bagels produced in America, and what many Americans think of as bagels.]

    While early bagels were plain or poppy, they evolved in the 1960s to other popular flavors, like garlic, salt and sesame. The cinnamon-raisin bagel appeared in the mid-1950s.

    Can’t decide? Have it all (mostly) on an everything bagel (here’s the history of the everything bagel, which debuted around 1980).

    Cream cheese rose to the occasion, appearing in flavors like pimento, olive and smoked salmon.

    And bagels became not just breakfast bread, but sandwich bread for lunch. Not to mention that double-comfort food, the pizza bagel.

    By the turn of the 21st century, you could get a blueberry bagel, cheddar bagel, a jalapeño bagel…any bagel your heart desires. And just about any flavor of cream cheese, too.

    More recently, bagels headed into space with Canadian-born astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, who took a batch of bagels on his 2008 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station. What did he take? Eighteen sesame seed bagels. The record does not say if he brought cream cheese or lox.

    ________________

    *It is made in most of Central and Eastern Europe.

     

    Bagel With Walnut Raisin Spread

    [4] Raisin-walnut spread from Eat Wisconsin Cheese. The trade organization created a lighter version of a cream cheese, raisin and walnut spread by using half cottage cheese. But you can go full cream cheese.

     

    RECIPE: SWEET AND CRUNCHY CREAM CHEESE SPREAD

    If you like raisin bagels, or raisin and walnut cream cheese, here’s a spread to match from Eat Wisconsin Cheese.

    It’s made lighter by substituting cottage cheese for part of the cream cheese. Or, you can substitute cream cheese for the cottage cheese.

    Ingredients For 2-1/2 Cups

  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all ingredients in medium bowl, using a spoon or electric mixer. Blend well.

    2. COVER and chill 4 hours or overnight, for the flavors to meld. Serve with toasted bagels, toast or muffins.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Ice Cream & Beer Pairings

    Don’t let National Ice Cream Month (July) pass without doing something special.

    A year ago, Baskin-Robbins sent us ice cream and beer pairings of their favorite flavors, We found the article in our drafts folder, which inspired today’s tip:

    Love beer? Love ice cream? Don’t hesitate to serve them together. Beer floats like the Guinness Float have been popular for several years. The recipe is simple:

    Add ice cream to the glass and top with beer.

    If you prefer hard cider to beer, this tip works for you, too; maybe even better, given the sweet succulence of some ciders.

    You can experiment with other types of beer floats, as well as open a beer to serve with a dish of ice cream, plain or à la mode.

    Beyond floats, have a dish of ice cream or a sundae. You could have a cone, but the idea of a cone in one hand and a beer in the other is too much of a balancing act for us. (Perhaps that’s where a beer drinking helmet comes in handy.)

    In fact, have a pairing party with some basic flavors (chocolate, coffee, vanilla). The pairings go far beyond lambic and fruit ale. How about:

  • Chocolate ice cream with kriek, a cherry-flavored Belgian ale, regular or chocolate stout.
  • Coffee or mocha ice cream with stout, especially coffee stout and Imperial stout.
  • Vanilla ice cream with lambic, a raspberry-flavored ale, chocolate or coffee stout.
  • Spicy beers with spicy ice cream: cinnamon, pumpkin pie, etc.
  •  
    The pairing concept works with sorbet, as well. We just polished off an Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider with some Lactaid vanilla ice cream.

    We’ve previously covered beer-and-ice cream articles, such as:

  • Make Your Own Beer Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Stout Ice Cream & Beef Float Recipes
  • Peanut Butter Cake With Beef Foam
  • Spiced Beer & Apple Pie Float
  •  
    You can make those recipes, but why not strike out on your own to find the pairings you like best. You can pair beer with ice cream or sorbet. Just follow three simple rules.
     
     
    HOW TO PAIR BEER & ICE CREAM

    1. Start with basic flavors. Once you know what you like, you can go for the more comples.

    2. Avoid beers that are bitter, crisp or dry. Instead, choose those with some residual sweetness.

    3.Look for a beer with notes that match the ice cream. Different beers can have notes of chocolate, citrus, coffee, fruit, spice. For fall, e.g., there’s pumpkin ale to go with pumpkin spice ice cream.
     
     
    BASKIN-ROBBINS PAIRINGS

    These pairings were recommended by John Holl of All About Beer Magazine. with his comments in quotes. They’ll give you more ideas on how to pair.

  • Cherries Jubilee with Barleywine. “A barleywine coaxes out the rich cherry and rum flavor in this ice cream. Bittersweet and leather flavors emerge as well, begging for this combo to be enjoyed in dad’s favorite leather chair.”
  • Chocolate with Belgian Quad. “This beer is bursting with flavors that love chocolate. Two classics with great depth and rich sweetness that only get better with each lick and sip.”
  • Jamoca Almond Fudge with Blueberry Ale. “Brewers are taking the sweet, tangy, earthy blueberry and adding it to caramel-tinged ales, making it a perfect complement to this frozen coffee, nutty, chocolatey concoction. Lively fruit flavors pair wonderfully with the chocolate flavored ribbon.”
  • Mint Chocolate Chip with Coffee Porter or Stout. “The ale already has some cocoa and java flavors and it mixes nicely with the roast of the chocolate chips and the herbal, cool mint flavor of the ice cream.”
  • Peanut Butter N’ Chocolate with Doppelbock. “Nutty and creamy, with an assertive chocolate base, the ice cream brings out the best in this malt-forward dark brown lager.”
  • Pralines ‘n Cream with a Pilsner or a Mango Ale. “The classic pilsner style, with sweet cereal-like malt takes the place of a cone when paired with this southern-style treat. Additionally, two of the most popular beer styles this summer are mango-flavored pale ales and India pale ales. The nuttiness and sweetness of the ice cream balances out some of the more assertive beer flavors, creating a delectable combination.”
  • Rocky Road With Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. “A candy lover’s dream! The stout has sweet chocolate, rich espresso and generic red berry flavors that party hard with the almond, marshmallow and deep chocolate of the ice cream. Rocky Road adds creaminess to the hearty beer and this combination makes for an excellent ice cream beer float.”
  • Vanilla with Peach Lambic. “Sweet and creamy vanilla gets a boost from the lambic, which is fermented with peaches and aged in barrels. Slightly spicy and effervescent, the fruity character of the ale will act like a sauce for the ice cream. This lambic style helps to recreate the classic peaches and cream combination.”
  • Very Berry Strawberry with Hefeweizen. “It’s the start of a fruit salad. Bright, vibrant strawberry mixes with the banana esters in the classic German Hefeweizen. The sweet berry will also help control the assertive spice bite of the clove flavor found in the beer and counter the acidity found in the lemon wedge often served as a garnish on the rim of the glass.”
  • Watermelon Splash Ice With Gose*. “Gose is brewed with wheat and salt and is predicted to be the beer of the summer, making it a perfect companion to the hot weather staple – watermelon. Pronounced “Gose-Uh,” look for variations that already include cucumber, prickly pear, or yes, even watermelon flavors.”
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    *Gose is an old, top-fermented German sour beer that originated in Goslar. An unfiltered wheat beer, cloudy gose beers have a spiciness from the addition of ground coriander seeds, a sharpness from the addition of salt, and a lemony tartness. Some are also flavored with syrups.

     

    Guinness Float
    [1] Beer floats combine two of summer’s favorite refreshers: beer and ice cream (photo courtesy Silver Moon Desserts).

    Coffee Stout Float
    [2] A coffee stout ice cream float. Here’s the recipe from Beautiful Booze.

    Brown Ale Ice Cream Sundae
    [3] A vanilla ice cream sundae with salted caramel and honey peanuts, served with brown ale. Here’s the recipe from Somewhere Over The Kitchen..

    Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider
    [4] If you’re not a beer lover, try hard cider instead. Angry Orchard’s seasonal Summer Honey Cider is a good start (photo courtesy Sanura Weathers).

    Baskin Robbins Strawberry Ice Cream

    [5] Strawberry ice cream with a Hefeweizen? Who knew? (Photo courtesy Baskin-Robbins).

     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER, a photo-glossary.

      

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