Labor day recipes from Sam Adams

Sam-Adams-Burgers-300x200Every year it comes too soon – the “official” end of summer and all the great activities (or not) that make the season so enjoyable.  We wanted to give it send off that would be one for the record book.  The record book in our case being a little book where we note who the guests were, the menu we served from nibbles to nuts, and what we offered in the way of drinks, wine, etc.  It has proved an invaluable reference over the years.

So we were delighted to find some recipes courtesy of Samuel Adams Boston Lager that looked intriguing.  The burger and dipping sauce were created by none other than Kurt Dammeier, famous for restaurants serving super fresh foods and also for being the purveyor of same. His love of fresh, natural foods has been reflected in his restaurants and it was a natural progression to take the next step and become the manufacturer of foods for consumers to enjoy.  In 2002 he opened a handmade cheese facility in Seattle’s historic and famous Pike Place Market.  A cheese lover since childhood, he named it Beecher’s after his great-grandfather who used to purchase Stilton by the wheel.  Beecher is also his middle name.  Beecher’s Handmade Cheese has become so successful that after expanding to New York’s Flatiron District in 2011, it is now being made in Monroe, Wisconsin also.

KurtDammeierWe made the burger and the dipping sauce last weekend and can vouch for both.  The burgers were the best looking we’ve ever managed to cook!  They held their shape and each side had a lovely crusty finish due to the cheese curds.

The sauce recipe is easy and delicious.  At first taste, it is slightly sweet, the tomato flavor comes through then the spicy heat kicks in. We didn’t have any Lapsang Souchong tea on hand so we substituted a half a teaspoon of liquid smoke.  You could add more if you like a smoky flavor.  This recipe makes a lot of sauce, even when reduced by about half.  It goes well on other grilled meat and we know a few spoonfuls will spice up any stew or soup.  We’re thinking of dinner on cold winter nights being spiced up with leftovers from the freezer.

We haven’t made the Boston Lager Potato Salad yet but anything cooked in beer is always a winner.  If you make it, let us know how it turned out.

Beecher’s Cheese Curd Pork and Beef Burgers with Boston Lager Serrano Chili BBQ Dipping Sauce

Recipe by Kurt Dammeier

Yield: 4 burgers
Ingredients:

For the Sauce

2 Lapsang Souchong teabags (approximately one tbsp. of loose leaf tea)
1 tbsp. neutral-flavored oil (i.e. canola oil)
1 ½ lbs. yellow onions, chopped (3 onions)
4 serrano chilies, chopped
12 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
1 ¼ cup cider vinegar
3 cups pineapple juice
2/3 cup molasses
1 tbsp. chipotle powder
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. kosher salt

For the Burgers

1 lb. ground beef chuck
1 lb. ground pork
6 oz. Beecher’s cheese curds, chopped
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 red onion, sliced into ¼-inch rings
1 tsp. neutral-flavored oil (i.e. canola oil)

Directions:

For the Sauce

Cut open the teabags and pour the tea leaves into a small bowl, then discard the tea bags and set the leaves aside.

Preheat a large saucepan over medium high heat, then add oil, followed by the onion and chilies. Sauté, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until softened and browned. Add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the tea and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, cook for approximately 50 minutes, until the mixture is reduced by half. Puree the mixture using an immersion blender and keep warm until ready to serve.

For the Burgers

In a large bowl, lightly mix all ingredients until they are evenly combined. Divide the mixture into 4 balls, and toss each ball between your hands until they are uniformly but lightly packed. Gently flatten the balls into ¾ inch-thick patties and use your fingers to make a ¼ inch thick depression in the center of each patty – this will help keep the burgers flat when they are grilled. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to grill.

Toss the onion rings with 1 tsp. of oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Preheat a grill on high for 15 minutes and grill the onions until slightly charred, then set aside.

Grill the burgers for 5-10 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Serve the burgers on lightly toasted buns, topped with grilled onions and with the warm sauce on the side.

Boston Lager Potato Salad

Sam Adams Potato Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients

36 ounces Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes
¼ cup diced Red Bell Pepper
¼ cups diced Celery
2 tablespoons chopped Scallion, white and light green parts
2 tablespoons diced Red Onion
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon drained capers

Directions

In a large pot, bring the lager to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium so that the beer simmers. Add the whole potatoes, let the beer return to a simmer, and cook for 20 to 22 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle, but still hot.

Peel the cooked potatoes and cut into 1-inch-thick cubes. Transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add the peppers, celery, scallions, onions, mustard and capers and toss to mix. Let the potato salad rest for about 15 minutes for the flavors to develop and then serve while still warm.

Reblogged from http://www.wineandspirits.com; written by  Priscilla Felton

 

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10 tips for your valentine wine

Valentine’s Day is approaching and many couples will celebrate the occasion with an elegant dinner out or stay home and share a candlelight dinner over a romantic glass of wine. Then there are people that will scramble to grab a romantic card or pick up a bottle of wine on the way home from work. However, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are some important things to consider about wine before popping the cork, or perhaps even popping the question.

This month, the members of The Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association have compiled a list of the “10 Things You Should Know about Wine for Valentine’s Day.” The list includes tips ranging from the best type of wine to pair with chocolate to the best way to remove a wine stain.

1. Popping the cork
Just like in a relationship, getting off to a good start always helps. To open a bottle of wine, using a waiter’s corkscrew, cut the foil all the way around the rim of the bottle. Remove the foil. Unfold your corkscrew and penetrate the cork slightly off center so the “worm” of the corkscrew will feed into the center of the cork. If you are using a double-clutch type of corkscrew, use the first stop to loosen the cork about halfway then use the longer stop to pry it the rest of the way out.

2. How to master the pour
If you’re looking to impress your partner, you will want to start with the pouring process. When you pour the wine, try not to clang the top of the glass with the neck of the bottle. When you are finishing your pour, give the bottle a slight twist upward to keep it from dripping.

3. Spillage is never good
If you’re a little nervous on the big night and you happen to spill some wine, it is important to know how to save yourself, your clothes and maybe the relationship. Typically, you can blot the spill with a paper towel then immerse it in soda water, blot it again and then apply a baking soda paste. There are commercial products like Wineaway that will do the job, too!

4. Use the right wine glass
Scientific studies have been done and there is a method to the madness. Red wine glasses are generally larger and have a bigger bowl. White wine glasses are narrower and taller. There are some companies that make glassware that is specific to the type of grape that a wine is made from, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux glasses.

5. Best wines with chocolate
Syrah-based wines have a richness of plumy, blackberry fruit and a dense, textured mouth-feel that can’t be beat with chocolate. Syrah thrives in myriad wine-growing regions including the Rhone Valley in France, McLaren Vale in Australia, Columbia Valley in Washington, and Santa Barbara in California. It is available at price points from $6 to $26, and frequently tastes far above cost so they really tend to over-deliver.
6. Storing wine for the special night
The basic rule of thumb for wine storage is “cellar temperature” which is generally about 50 degrees. Equally important is the serving temperature. On the whole, American’s consume white wines too cold – resulting in closed, tight, uninteresting, flat-flavored wines – and red wines too warm – yielding “hot,” alcoholic, burned, over-cooked flavors.

Based on a starting point of 50 degrees:

Whites – refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours prior to service. Initial pours will be chilled; optimal flavors of the wine will be displayed as the wine begins to warm by way of ambient room temperature. Place wine in a ceramic bottle holder for dinner. The wine will hold a good temperature of roughly 45 degrees in the chiller and “open” in the glass it will warm to 50 – 55 degrees as you enjoy the wine.

Reds – remove from “cellar” storage (50 degrees) about 20 minutes prior to service allowing the wine to warm. Optimal enjoyment level for reds is between 62 and 66 degrees.

7. Wine can be considered an aphrodisiac
As with any alcohol, wine has been known to increase a person’s sexual desire and has been used for centuries as a natural aphrodisiac. In particular, red wine is rich in resveratrol, a form of antioxidant which increases estrogen production. In general, wine helps people relax while also stimulating their senses.

8. Great relationships mean go ahead and buy in bulk
If you’ve found the person of your dreams and the wine he/she loves, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk.

9. You can buy local
There are several wineries  in West Virginia and Virginia to check out. Everything from Breaux to West White Hill, local varieties are certainly worth a look (and a taste).

10. The best wine for pairing with lobster is chardonnay
As with any wine pairing with food, this is a personal preference. Chardonnay is the wine of choice for lobster; since lobster is fairly rich, it helps to pair it with a wine with enough body to match that richness. During the winter, lobster meat is usually sautéed in butter, graced with a splash of sweet muscat and heavy cream and served over linguine. As a result, this dish is best suited to a full-bodied, tropical fruit-flavored chardonnay from California’s Russian River Valley or Monterey County, or one from southern Burgundy.

 

Happy Valentines Day from your local beer & wine distributor.

 

[org. article source: http://www.mainebeerandwine.com]

6/14 Foothills Brewing Tap Takeover

13323707_612690298889099_6100865113316316454_o.jpgCome on down to Domestic for the Foothills Brewing Tap Takeover and some sweet, sweet music from the Speakeasy Boys. Foothills Beers (hailing from Winston-Salem, NC) are new to the area. so lets show’um a little southern hospitality and welcome them to town.