This column is dedicated to all our female beer drinking companions we so fondly refer to as “Beer Goddesses”. We love you so much and thank you for sharing your passion for beer with us!
This menu is put together not only to tickle your fancy but possibly other parts of you as well. These recipes will include an abundance of fun ingredients to arouse your inner inhibitions. Although nothing we will be cooking with has actually been proven to have any aphrodisiac qualities, who cares, what do they know anyway.
In my life asparagus, white truffle, lump crabmeat, oysters, and of course cherries and chocolate definitely turn me on; let’s see what it does for all of you.
The key to a blissful dining (and whatever else may occur) affair is to totally share in the experience. We are going to involve great brews in the recipes and we will pair the perfect beer mate with each course to complete the ideal engagement, not only on the plate but in the glass as well. Take your time and enjoy sharing some special moments in the kitchen, at the table and wherever the night might take you.
A Tasty Tango of Truffled Asparagus and a Seductive Crabmeat Salad
I have always considered asparagus to be an incredibly sexy vegetable. Truffles, a mystical spore with a seductive perfume, always add an intriguing nuance to whatever they kiss. Set a sweet creamy crabmeat salad to dance on top and “Voila” the perfect “Menage a Trois”! It shouldn’t take more than an hour to put this wonderful dish together.
Brew Chef Note:
The secret to achieving bright green, tender asparagus is to quickly blanch the spears in either lightly salted boiling water (in our case beer and water) or over steam and then immediately place them in ice water to not only stop the cooking process but to set the color, strain and refrigerate until use. This procedure is known as “shocking”. It works for any green vegetable, as well as carrots.
The size of the asparagus depends on what you have planned. In salads and pastas I prefer a medium size spear. Peeling the green off the stem will make it not only tender but pretty as well.
I would recommend a mild hoppy ale, too much bitterness may overwhelm the subtleness of the crab. I love Duvel from Belgium with this combination but then again I love Duvel with anything!
For the truffled asparagus:
1 pound asparagus, peeled, blanched in half pale ale and half water, shocked and chilled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 ounce pale ale
1 ounce white truffle oil
3 ounces sherry vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Whisk the dressing together. Pour over the asparagus and chill.
For the crabmeat salad:
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1 tablespoon good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 teaspoons red onion, minced
¼ red bell pepper, fine diced
1 teaspoon small capers
1/8 teaspoon old bay seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh dill
½ teaspoon sea salt
Juice of ½ a lemon
Gently blend together all the ingredients, being careful not to break up the crabmeat. Chill and serve cold.
To plate the salad:
On a chilled plate, lay down a leaf of red leaf lettuce then arrange the asparagus with the spears pointing in the same direction. Place two or three tablespoons of the crabmeat salad on top. Sprinkle with the remaining dressing and a pinch of fresh dill sprigs.
Roasted Oysters laden with a Champagne Ale cream sauce bedded with Smoked Salmon and kissed by Caviar
The combination of these flavors and textures is absolutely climatic! Need I say more. Oysters are not available all year round. Typically if the month has an “R” in it these delectable mollusks are most likely available. Splurge for good smoked salmon and of course quality caviar such as beluga. Malheur is an excellent Belgian ale brewed in the champagne method. I have been to the brewery and I can tell you Manu de Landtsheer takes his beer very seriously. We were there at eight o’clock in the morning — it was the perfect breakfast beer.
This unique beer style is perfect as an aperitif or paired along side fresh fish and delicate cream sauces. I serve six oysters per guest as an appetizer. Give yourself an hour or so to complete this recipe.
1 dozen fresh oysters in the shell, scrubbed clean
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons flour
4 ounces Malheur Belgian ale
4 ounces oyster, clam or fish broth
2 ounces heavy cream
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch white pepper
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Shaved pecorino Romano cheese
12-2 inch slices quality smoked salmon
½ ounce good caviar (optional: beluga is best but tobiko or black lumpfish works fine.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cleaned oysters on a baking tray and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until the top shell starts to rise. Carefully remove the tray from the oven. Remove the top shell and pour any oyster liquid into the sauce. Serve immediately.
For the sauce:
In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium high heat for one minute. Stir in the shallot and garlic and cook for one to two minutes until tender. Whisk in the flour until incorporated. Pour in the beer and the broth, continue to whisk until smooth then whisk in the cream. Season with the remaining ingredients and simmer the sauce for two minutes whisking to avoid scorching. Serve hot.
To plate the oysters:
Spoon the hot sauce over the oysters, finish by topping with a slice of cheese, a slice of smoked salmon and a little caviar.
Kriek kissed Chocolate Crepes filled with a Cherry studded Chocolate Stout Mousse
This is my answer to a chocolate covered cherry, with beer in it of course! The marriage of the cherries’ tartness and the silky richness of chocolate creates a light but decadent dessert. Be sure to serve this alongside a cold kriek ale with a splash of stout on top, I call it the “Black Forest”. This recipe makes about 12 crepes (so you have a couple to practice with) and enough mousse to fill them. Plan to put aside an hour or so (not including any resting time) to put together this delectable beer enhanced dessert.
For the crepes:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons fine sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup kriek ale
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
To prepare the crepes:
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa and sugar. Then whisk in the milk, beer and vanilla beat for 30 seconds until smooth. Then whisk in the eggs, then the melted butter. Let the batter rest, cover and refrigerate for one hour, the batter will thicken while it rests.
Heat a non-stick eight inch pan over medium heat, lightly spray or brush with oil or melted butter. Add two tablespoons to the pan and immediately tilt and swirl the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium high heat for one minute using a small spatula flip the crepe over and cook an additional half a minute. Remove the crepe and place on wax paper, continue until batter is finished, layering wax paper between each crepe. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill.
For the Mousse:
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped and soaked in ½ cup Kriek ale for one hour
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
4 egg yolks, beaten until pale and thick
8 ounces heavy cream whipped with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peak
To prepare the mousse:
Blend the soaked cherries and beer into the warm melted chocolate. Whisk the yolks into the chocolate, then fold in half the whipped cream (reserve half for topping), Gently fold in the whipped egg whites until just incorporated. Cover the mousse and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until mousse is set and firm.
To plate the crepes:
Fill each crepe with mousse and fold or roll them up. Top with the remaining whipped cream and drizzle with a little chocolate sauce and garnish with a cherry, a sprig of mint and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Tim Schafer aka The Brew Chef has been sharing his passion for cooking with beer for more than 15 years. He can be reached at
, on facebook and on his cell 704 651-0042.