Cod and Sam Adams Boston Lager

Different beer profiles lead to different flavors in beer battered fish. A pilsner will generally leave a slight flavor, while lagers, porters, and bocks will provide other flavors. So it’s important to try out a variety of brews in you beer batter.  Fish is healthy, beer is healthy, so fish AND beer should be very healthy right…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 gallon vegetable, canola, or safflower oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Smokey paprika
  • Dash Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 12oz bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager
  • 1½ pounds cod, cut into 1-ounce strips
  • Cornstarch, for dredging
  • Malt vinegar, for serving

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in the beer until the batter is completely smooth and free of any lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Refrigerating the batter allows it time to thicken, and a thickened batter adheres to the fish much better. A bit of time makes a better batter. You can make the batter up to an hour ahead of time.

Now, when you’re ready to cut fish, cut the fish into one in strips, lightly dredge fish strips in cornstarch. Working in small batches, dip the fish into the batter and immerse in the 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 a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Keep the fried fish in the warmed oven (about 200 degrees) while you cook the remaining batches. Serve with malt vinegar and chips.

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Simple Creole Shrimp and Rice

Well, the local stop and shop has a big sale on shrimp… so it must be shrimp season somewhere, and lately, I have been hankering for some Creole style shrimp and rice. I find that this dish is very welcoming to changes and adapting to clearing out some of those spices in the cabinet.

Here’s what you’ll need:
• 1 pound of frozen medium shrimp
• 1 medium onion, chopped about 1/2 cup
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 small can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on your heat tolerance
• Pinch of chili powder
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
• 2cups hot cooked rice

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp, removing tails. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

In a large skillet cook onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic in butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in undrained tomatoes, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes or until thickened.

Stir shrimp and parsley into tomato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Season to taste. Serve over rice. Along side of a nice bottle of blue point’s best to cool your pallet

Guinness Soup

Here’s a simple straightforward use for a pint of Guinness, add it to the soup. Yup, a pint of Guinness adds a nice earthy note and much needed smoothness in a butternut squash soup. In this recipe, I swap the cream for Guinness, and get an added bonus. Not only does the flavor pallet change, but the texture is much improved as the Guinness adds body.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 apples
  • 1 quart chicken, or vegetable stock
  • 1 pint Guinness
  • Sea salt

Take your squash and peel it, split it in half, clean out the seeds, and chop into manageable chunks. Toss this in the pot. Take your apples, core them, peel them, and chop them into manageable chunks. Toss them in the pot. Take your stock and toss it in the pot. Take your Guinness, and you see the pattern that’s developing here… toss it in the pot.

Add a pinch or two of sea salt and boil this until the chunks of squash are all… squishy.

Once these are soft, I use the immersion blender and blend the soup right in the pot.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can take the pot off the heat, let it cool a bit and transfer the soup to a blender and blend till smooth.

Serve with warm rolls and butter.

Three Cans and a Plan

Three cans, a carrot, and a celery stalk walk into a bar… what to do… make salmon chowder. Salmon chowder is one of those winter comfort soups that really don’t take too long to whip up. I find that one of the best tips for making thick satisfying cream-based chowders is to cut the potatoes smaller than you normally would. I cut most of the potatoes into smaller than bite-size, but then I take one of the potatoes and dice it into small cubes. This releases much more starch into the chowder that helps to thicken it without adding fat laden cream or butter.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 ounce can salmon
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 Long Island potatoes chopped
  • 1 Long Island potato diced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic cloved, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 cup of water
  • Sea salt

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic until onions are tender. Stir in water, potatoes, carrots, pepper, salt, and tarragon. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer about half an hour..

Once this base comes together, stir in salmon, evaporated milk, and corn. Go through that can of salmon, don’t just open the can and toss it in. Nope! Go through the salmon and remover and bone or skin that often works its way into these cans. Cook until heated through.

I like to serve this long with pumpernickel bread and an oatmeal stout beer right out of the jug from Blue Point brewery.