Showing posts with label Anton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anton. Show all posts

August 31, 2011

Mad Fox and Chili Dogs!

Guest post from Anton:

Made another trip to the most local brewery I know... Mad Fox, set in a nice little part of Falls Church, VA, just minutes from my apartment.



Mad Fox is a great place for lunch, dinner, or the quick growler fill-up. I was at Mad Fox for the last of these options.

Feeling culinary, I went in to grab a nice beer to go with a special chili recipe that I had just created--man do I love cooking! Anyway, the chili was supposed to be for eating straight from the bowl; however, it turned out more like the kind of chili meant for chili dogs.. and spicy ones at that! Adapt and overcome, right?




So, after asking the Mad Fox bartender to recommend a beer for spicy foods, I ordered some wings and a cask Porter. Yum!

Within an hour and a half, notes in one hand and growler in the other, I set off for a delicious adventure!

Here is my recipe for Mad Fox Porter (Inspired) Spicy Chili Dogs

At least six hours before eating:

Turn on some tunes
Clean Crock Pot
Add to Crock Pot:
½ cup water
3 Jalapeno and Cheese Sausages (diced into bits)
1 Frozen Turkey Patty
2 Tbsp Strawberry Preserves
¼ Red Onion (diced)
4 Whole Jalapenos (seeded and minced)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Squirt of Lime Juice
3 Dashes Chili Powder
1 Can Tomato Bisque Soup
1 Can Tomato Paste

Cook for 6 hrs on low

20 Mins before you’re ready to eat

Cook 2 polish sausages in bacon grease recycled from breakfast (BACON!!!)
Add ½ cup of onions and ½ cup of Mad Fox Porter beer to sausage and bacon mix
Toast Buns

Drink beer and chill...e (get it?)

August 12, 2011

A Local Gem: Hidden in the Rough




Hello, all!

It's Anton again and I'm stoked to follow up David's post about the taxation of beer.

Though I want to write more about the economics of beer, I will save that for my next post since I've been delaying the following for some time.

Alas, in this post, I will be introducing some (and perhaps reintroducing others) to one of my new favorite local beers. Kick back, grab a brew, and build up an appetite because I'm putting on my chef hat and cooking locally (with beer)!
---
So, the other day I was in Safeway gathering items for the nightly feast (a.k.a. dinner) and I decided to do something I rarely do. “Today is the day to start from the left,” I said. For the ones who don’t know, at this particular Safeway, the left side of the beer aisle refrigerator is reserved for a very special kind of beer.


Ok, maybe it’s not fair to call it “shitty” beer.. let’s call it “unfortunate” beer. Yes, that's better. The left side of the beer cooler at this Safeway is the land of misfortune.

Fortunately for me, however, I happened upon a gem of magnificent beauty.

Now, since most people reading this blog may not know my prediliction for drinking brew-dogs, let me explain. Where some say, “I love beer,” let's just say I throw up my fists and yell:

“Hooray for beer!!”

I mean, I grew up on beer: the first time I had a beer was [redacted] and that was the Summer I also learned how to ride a [redacted] without training-wheels. So, yeah, I've been drinking for at least [redacted] years. But enough about me, let's get back to the story...

As I stood across from the unforunates, something glimmered in the florescent Safeway lighting; lurking in the shadows, amidst the Miller High Life and Steel Reserve sat a local treasure calling my name.

Mind you, I'm not saying I had a Lord of the Rings moment wherein my "precious" was calling out to me; however, I'm not saying that I didn't have a Lord of the Rings moment either...the important point is what peered out from the wasteland of the unfortunates was none other than a Port City Optimal Wit.






And now for some background:

Port City Brewing Company is a craft brewery located minutes from Washington, DC—in Alexandria, Virginia.

Voted Washingtonian Magazine’s 2011 “Best Brewery Tour,” Port City Brewing Company is a local beer with attitude. ...well, I just made up that whole "with attitude thing"; but, suffice it to say that this beer is bang-a-lang-dangin. It would most likely get a "Very Nice" on my personal Likert scale... so, take that as you may.

Granted, I would have been happy had the story ended there, but not only did I find this local beer hidden amongst the shite, however, Port City’s “Optimal Wit” was the cornerstone to the recipe burning a hole in my pocket: The Homebrew Chef's Wit Braised Chicken.

The Homebrew Chef, Mr. Sean Paxton, has the following recipe on his website:


2 TBSP Olive Oil
3 Slices Pancetta, thick cut or bacon (optional)
1 Whole Chicken, cleaned and cut into 6th
(Leg/thigh, breast, wing)
Sea Salt and Pepper
2 TBSP All Purpose Flour
1 TSP Coriander, whole
1 TSP Orange Zest, dried
1 Each Leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 Each Shallots, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
3 TBSP Thyme Leaves, fresh
1 Bottle Wit Style Beer*, 750ml
1 Cup Chicken Stock, preferably homemade
1 Cup Heavy Cream, organic

So, in effort to recreate this recipe with a local twist I modified (and specified) the following:





3 Slices of Smithfield (Virginia) thick-cut bacon
1 Whole Chicken (Locally farmed, free-range, organic)
2 TBSP fresh Thyme from my garden
1 Bottle Port City Optimal Wit
1 Cup Organic Chicken Stock
1 Cup 1/2 and 1/2, organic

The result was delightful; my wife actually claimed it was, "Gravy-licious."



By using spices such as orange zest and coriander, I was really able to accentuate the undertones of the Optimal-Wit. Like most Belgian Wit beers, the Wit beer style of Port City's Optimal Wit has hints of both orange and coriander in its finish. According to Port City,

"Our Optimal Wit is brewed in the Belgian Wit Bier tradition. It is brewed with raw wheat and oats, and steeped with coriander, orange peel and grains of paradise. This ale is a pale golden color with a bit of cloudy haze from bottle conditioning. This unfiltered ale offers layers of complex, nuanced flavors that evolve in the glass. It finishes crisp and refreshes the palate."

The Homebrew Chef recommends using: "Blanche de Chambley from Unibroue, Blanche de Brugge, Hoegaarden or Celis White." Though of those beers I've only had the pleasure of sampling Hoegaarden, I can say that if the others are anything near the quality of Hoegaarden, reproducing this recipe with each beer would be a task worth undertaking.

A Hoegaarden on the patio is always a Summer treat:




Now that I've eaten all the Wit Braised Chicken left overs (and I've used the gravy in three meals since), I am ready to go back to Mr. Sean Paxton and see what other delights I am able to create with local beers.

Please feel free to comment or ask clarifying questions on the recipe. I find that Mr. Paxton includes the exact amount of detail an intermediate chef requires. Even so, however, I am pleased to offer any insights or recommendations on this recipe.

Until next time, remember to have a great day with a great beer.

Take it easy,

~Anton





July 25, 2011

The Philosophy of Beer Tasting

When the average beer drinker reaches into the fridge to pull out a cold beer they probably aren’t considering the philosophical ramifications of their choice. That’s acceptable and reasonable. It may be that in order to enjoy the refreshment of a “cold one” it helps to not get mired in philosophical muck... Perhaps the adage should be: “We drink because we like to drink not because we like to think.”

Whether or not we have a Cartesian “clear and distinct” idea of the beer we’re about to drink probably isn’t as important as how that brewski tastes. According to
Derek Boyd, Descartes had a “clear and distinct idea of God because ... God causes us mere mortals to have such a clear and distinct idea of His existence--[i.e.]...God is perfect and so He doesn’t deceive us.” The same might be said for beer, right?

The Perfect Beer Doesn’t Deceive Us

Aside from the fact that Descartes leads us into the illogical world of what is known as a “Cartesian circle,” in Professor Boyd’s interpretation, Descartes’ God is
a priori defined as the most benevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient being imaginable; this is not, then, a premise we should bother refuting (though we may be able to refute the other premises of St. Anselm’s argument). To be sure, Descartes accepted the rationalist notion of a priori knowledge: it is possible to know something without experiencing that “thing.” So, we must ask, if we do not refute the definition of a “perfect beer” because it is a definition, do we indeed have an a priori clear and distinct idea of what the “perfect beer” tastes like? Well folks, though we may think we have a clear and distinct idea of what the perfect beer is all about, I submit to you that in order to really know, it will be important to put what we “know” to the test.

Yep, it’s time to taste some beer!


But first... for an introduction:

If you’re guessing that David didn’t write this post (or at least hoping he hasn’t gone off of his rocker), fear not... My name is Anton and I will be guest blogging on the Local Beer Blog. The goal of my posts will be to approach the topic of beer from many angles: the economics of beer, the philosophy of beer, the science of beer, and the X of beer, where X is some random variable.

I’m pleased to be adding my opinions to this blog and hope that readers will enjoy reading about beer as much as I enjoy writing about it. So, continue to read the Local Beer Blog as we begin posting more content. For my first post I will wrap up the philosophical notion of why we should embrace beer tasting we've started in this introduction... so stay tuned.


Have a great day with a great beer.


Take it easy,


~Anton



References:


Derek Boyd: http://philosophy.gmu.edu/people/dboyd5
Rene Descartes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Descartes
Cartesian Circle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartesian_circle
St. Anselm's Argument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument