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Cooking with Guinness on Saint Paddy’s Day!

March 13, 2011 Entrees, Menu No Comments
Guinness Burger

When my friend Alicia asked if I would be making something ‘deliciously green’ for Saint Paddy’s Day, I knew that I had to step up to the plate. Since Irish food is not my forté, my first thought was to put an Italian spin on a traditional dish. Instead of ham and cabbage, I was thinking broccoli rabe and pancetta. No doubt a delicious combination (and something that I could eat any day of the year), but I wanted it to be a bit more authentic for the occasion. I decided to go back to my St. Paddy’s day expertise… Guinness beer.

Like all other stout beers, Guinness can be put to many uses, far beyond the day’s toasting beverage of choice. Bernice Torregrossa, of The Galveston County Daily News, gives a perfect description of the many uses of stouts:  “Stout beer, made with darkly roasted barley and malt, is a versatile cooking ingredient. Its fermentation makes it a substitute for yeast in breads, the full-bodied taste adds depth to stews and soups, and the slightly bitter finish intensifies the flavor of chocolate in desserts.”

With this in mind, I started to search out Guinness recipes on the web, and with just a few clicks came across huggingthecoast.com, which offers 22 Guinness recipes! The first recipe listed, Gourmet Guinness Burgers with Guinness Barbecue Sauce (courtesy of inspiredtaste.net), jumped out at me immediately. Burgers, which are a standard pub item, married with the flavor of Guinness… perfect!

I followed the recipe, step by step. No doubt, this is a great dish to celebrate the day! The richness of the beer really plays well with the beef, and gives the perfect kick to the sauce. It’s the sauce that really blew me away with this burger. Even cooked at medium-well, this was one of the juiciest burgers that I’ve had in a long time. I would almost put this in a salisbury steak category, served on a toasty bun. … Continue Reading

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New Guest Recipe – Gingerbread

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas! As we quickly approach the holidays, what better way to celebrate than with a delicious gingerbread! This week, my good friend Emma shares with us a fantastic gingerbread recipe, and also works her magic to give us a gluten-free version! Enjoy!

Where to begin with this month’s blog? I guess I should start by telling you that I had every intention of blogging about Struffoli (aka Honey Balls) for the Christmas season. My intentions were so good that I actually went out and bought an expensive, imported bottle of Limoncello for that exact purpose. However, a million other little things happened to prevent me from getting the chance to make it. For example, my cat got sick…twice! And I took in some foster kittens even though I said I was going to take a break until after the holidays. And, of course, I got hit with the cold from hell. All of this in between wanting to spend as much time with all of the people whom I love that happened to be visiting from out of town this month.

So, I decided to blog about a recipe that I had made before and knew would turn out well. It’s a gingerbread recipe by Emeril that I came across a few years ago. This recipe has been bulletproof for me. Seriously, I have made countless substitutions to this recipe and each time I’ve had perfect results. I’ve done everything from using dark molasses in place of the regular (and/or a combination of the two when I’ve fallen short of one or the other), to adding bittersweet chocolate chips. In case you’re thinking about adding the chocolate chips (which I highly recommend), let me just warn you that they did sink to the bottom of the pan during baking. I’m pretty sure this can be remedied by coating the chips in 1 – 2 tbsp of the flour mixture before adding it to the batter, or you can always try sprinkling the chips on top before baking. Either way, I think they were a delicious addition and worthy of trying again.

When making this recipe into the gluten-free version, I discovered that I didn’t have quite enough of any of the various gluten-free flours that I keep around. So, I ended up using equal parts of two different gluten-free flour blends. In the end, the recipe worked. My only complaint is that it rose a little too high and collapsed slightly in the middle after baking, but that can easily be fixed by adjusting the amount of baking soda in the recipe. Most importantly, it had no negative effect on the taste or texture of the bread.

Oh, and did I mention that dark beer plays a huge role in this gingerbread? I didn’t, did I? Well it does, and I think it may be what sets this gingerbread apart from all other gingerbread recipes. Since making this bread a few years ago, I have learned that while I don’t care for the taste of dark beer on it’s own, I love the flavor it lends to baked goods. And, more often than not, I will have a few bottles of it stashed in my fridge just in case I get the urge to bake with it.

GINGERBREAD
by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup turbinado sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup molasses (regular or dark will work, but I prefer the dark)
1 cup Guinness, or other dark beer

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. (Please note: I usually use the mini foil loaf pans instead of the cake pan and bake for approximately 10 minutes more than called for. I get two loaves, which are the perfect size for gift-giving. On several occasions, I’ve even made it in a full loaf pan. I can’t quite remember how long it took to bake but I want to say about an hour and 15 minutes, and you may need to tent the pan with foil to prevent the top from getting too dark.)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg, In a third bowl, combine the molasses and beer and stir to dissolve. Add the dry ingredients and beer mixture alternately to the egg mixture, starting with and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, about 35 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

GLUTEN-FREE GINGERBREAD
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup turbinado sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used 1 cup King Arthur Flour’s g/f flour blend and 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill g/f flour blend)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (I had a minor issue with this recipe puffing up and collapsing slightly in the middle, so you may want to adjust the amount of baking soda used.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup molasses (regular or dark will work, but I prefer the dark, especially since the g/f beer I used is not as dark as the Guinness)
1 cup Redbridge Gluten-free beer

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. (Please note: I usually use the mini foil loaf pans instead of the cake pan and bake for approximately 10 minutes more than called for. I get two loaves, which are the perfect size for gift-giving. On several occasions, I’ve even made it in a full loaf pan. I can’t quite remember how long it took to bake but I want to say about an hour and 15 minutes, and you may need to tent the pan with foil to prevent the top from getting too dark.)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, sift the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg, In a third bowl, combine the molasses and beer and stir to dissolve. Add the dry ingredients and beer mixture alternately to the egg mixture, starting with and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, about 35 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

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Chocolate Guinness Tarts

September 21, 2010 Dessert 3 Comments

I came across this recipe while I was doing some reading on a beer web site. My first thought was ‘beer, chocolate, pastry…everybody wins!’ I made them this past weekend, and they didn’t disappoint. The Guinness taste didn’t really come through as much as I expected, but dark chocolate has a very powerful taste of its own, and you’re only using 1/2 a cup of the beer. However, stout and chocolate compliment each other very well, so this combination makes total sense. What I would suggest for future servings, and I will be making these again, is to serve at a party, place the tarts on a big plate, and have a small cups of Guinness sitting next to it, so your friends can help themselves to a rich and tasty dessert.

 

 

CHOCOLATE GUINNESS TARTS

45 mini sweet fillo shells (found in the frozen food section)
Two 3.5oz good quality dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guinness

Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer and sit a heatproof bowl over the top – not allowing the water to come into contact with the bottom of the bowl. Break the chocolate into the bowl and add the butter and the beer. While the chocolate mixture is melting, whisk the eggs and the sugar until pale and smooth. When the chocolate has melted, stir the bowl to amalgamate the other ingredients, and then pour into the egg and sugar mixture. Stir well and pour into the shells. Bake in a pre-heated 425ºF oven for 4 minutes. Refrigerate overnight and serve.

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NEW: Random Beer Trivia

June 28, 2010 Menu No Comments

This one’s for the books!

On May 4, 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Breweries and Cliff Clavin-esque tavern know-it-all, became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the koshin golden plover or the grouse. That evening he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe’s fastest game bird.

Beaver knew that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs in Britain and Ireland, but there was no book with which to settle arguments about records. He realised then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular.

Beaver’s idea became reality when Guinness employee Christopher Chataway recommended student twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, who had been running a fact-finding agency in London. The brothers were commissioned to compile what would become The Guinness Book of World Records.

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Recent Comments

  • Tom Casey: Can't wait for the book to come out Dom! I know it will be ...
  • Dom: I'm very happy to hear that! Thank you for reaching out to m...
  • M. Melillo: When I was growing up, this was the only stuffing my mother ...
  • Gale: This looks absolutely amazing! Cannot wait to try it!!...
  • bob minardi: My mother made this bread, and my sister kept up the traditi...
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