I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before, but le boyfriend and my dad are both homebrewers. Dad started years ago when I was still a wee lass and the smell of wort in the kitchen was enough to send me outside playing for hours. Since then he’s been brewing pretty consistently and his most recent batch (a pumpkin ale that was brewed with a whooole bunch of real pureed pumpkin) is fermenting as we speak.
Le boyfriend (another avid beer drinker) started brewing this past year and has already accrued quite an impressive array of accoutrements while busting out some consistently delicious batches. In fact, we’ve been drinking an Irish Stout for the past month that is just perfect in this blustery winter weather. Word to the wise for those on a budget: once you’ve gotten ahold of all the tools, vats, etc, it’s pretty cost-effective to brew your own amazing beer.
But although I’ve been an enthusiastic, mash-stirring, clock-watching assistant (not to mention a ready and willing taste-tester), I wouldn’t say that I’m quite the right lady to present a beer recipe to you all any time soon… maybe I’ll enlist one of them to do a guest post sometime in the future. In the meantime I wanted to share some pictures from the latest brewing session which took place over Thanksgiving weekend. It’s on its fine way to becoming a Winter Ale, and I’m excited to taste the fruits of these relaxing labors. I may not have taken enough photos to prove it, but I have to say there’s nothing like brewing beer on a sunny November afternoon on California’s beautiful Central Coast.
So maybe you’re tired of hearing about this everywhere, but I’m one of those kids that wished and waited for an owl acceptance to Hogwarts and broke off many tree branches in order to find the perfect wand. I had Harry Potter shirts, backpacks, and bookends, and couldn’t wait for each new book release. When I was eighteen years old (and thought of myself as pretty mature and cool), I left a rockin’ party in order to hang out at Borders at midnight to get the FINAL book. And then I proceeded to stay up into the wee hours of the morning reading.
So you’re probably not surprised that I went to the midnight showing of the movie. And then decided that I had to make something Harry Potter themed.
I’ve seen a lot of fabulous Potter-themed treats out there in the food blog world. Everything from chocolate frogs to acid pops. And then, of course, there’s butterbeer.
Butterbeer always fascinated me in the HP books. House elves got drunk off of it, yet these kids got to drink it?? Cool! I always likened it to a kind of low-alcohol cider-like draaank. But then I saw that all of the recipes basically just make a butterscotchy cream soda. And that just doesn’t seem true to form. Butterbeer’s supposed to be a little bit illicit, right? Does cream soda really capture the coolness that is butterbeer?
I don’t think so.
So then I saw (on the almighty wikipedia, of course. what a great use of legitimate resources…) that a real butterbeer drink used to exist! And yes, it had beer in it. So I located this great youtube video, and this random message board thread and decided to check it out for myself.
I don’t know if you’ve checked out the ingredient list yet, but it is a little bit scary. Egg yolks, sugar, beer, and butter… This is definitely not going to turn into an everyday drink. But, hey, you only get to celebrate the official end of Harry Potter once. It’s super rich, but if you get a few non-calorie-counting Harry Potter fans together I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.
So, without further ado, I give you (the real, non-wussy, alcoholic) BUTTERBEER!
Recipe: Real Butterbeer
Summary: This ain’t cream soda… this is rich, creamy, and a little boozy.
- About 17 oz. beer (About 1 1/2 beers)
- 2 whisked egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- dash of nutmeg or cinnamon
- Heat a pan on medium heat. Once it’s heated add the beer.
- SLOWLY add the whisked yolks. You don’t want them to turn into scrambled eggs, so stir continuously.
- Add sugar and butter and stir into mixture.
- Finally, add your nutmeg or cinnamon.
- You can either let it cool or serve heated.
I used a sweet, malty beer, which helped the rich taste. Experiment with other kinds!
Because this is so very rich, I suggest that you get some people together to share. This recipe could serve four small glasses. And that amount would be more than enough for everybody.
I don’t think that I can reiterate enough the fact that sometimes I am straight up LAZY. And this is not a complaint. Sometimes it’s nice to chill a bit and be lazy. And after a long day I believe that a little laziness is totally cool.
Yeah, sometimes I want to spend my whole evening in the kitchen playing around with the food processor and simmering sauce pans, but other times I just want to get out of there and park myself on the couch. Sometimes the only option is quick, fast, and most importantly: easy.
One of my faaavorite foods is pizza. Yup, I’m a classy broad. But seriously, bread, cheese, veggies? What else do I love in life? However, the thing that KILLS me about homemade pizza is the fact that I have to have pizza dough to complete the task. And, yeah, smart people keep extra pizza dough in the freezer for those lazy moments. But I am not smart about pizza dough. Plus, sometimes all I want is a quick little pizza slice, rather than all the “let the dough rise, pre cook the crust, add the toppings, really cook it” shenanigans. I just want a nice easy little slice of pizza alongside a cold beer, and that’s it.
But I have to be upfront. This is not a slice of pizza, much as I pretend. If I lied and said it was, you would easily see through the ruse. I know you guys are smart. See, this is a slice of bread. With pizza toppings on it. They’re not the same thing, I know, but here’s the thing: I truly feel that this is a great substitute.
Now, of course, you can’t go into this experiment thinking you’ll get a “pizza slice” within the most strict of parameters. But if you love bread, cheese, pizza sauce, and veggies, then you’re still in for a treat. And I love bread, cheese, pizza sauce, and veggies, so I am always more than satisfied in my own lazy geeky way.
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
No dough? No worries! Lazy woman’s pizza is here to help!
- 1 slice of bread
- splash of olive oil
- chopped asparagus
- chopped green onions
- tomato pizza sauce
- 1/3 cup mozzarella
- Turn on oven to 375F, brush bread with olive oil, and set it in the oven to toast for 7 or so minutes.
- In the meantime, saute asparagus and onions in a pan along with olive oil.
- Remove bread from oven, spread with pizza sauce, sprinkle on the chopped veggies, and finally add your cheese.
- Place your “pizza” in the oven and let cook for about ten minutes (I like mine crispy, so I leave it in until the cheese is brown and bubbly.)
This recipe is extremely versatile: add other toppings, other cheese, cut out the tomato sauce, etc. Essentially, do whatever you please!
And that’s it, so easy and quick. In other words, just perfect for those lazy nights when you just want pizza and a beer. In fact, I did just that with my homemade bread as the base alongside le boyfriend’s homebrewed beer as refreshment just a few nights ago. It was a fabulous way to end the day. And the recipe is so customizable, just like real pizza. But unlike with real pizza I was able to watch tv with a satisfied belly within twenty minutes.
And that’s what a real lazy success looks like!
Posted in CSA, Dinner, Recipe
Tagged Asparagus, Beer, Booze, Bread, Green Onions, Mozzarella, Olive Oil, Pizza, Pizza Sauce