Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grilled Flank Steak with Liberty Street Steamy Windows Chimichurri


Have you ever made a chimichurri sauce? It’s an Argentinean sauce or condiment, similar to pesto, that is popular throughout South America. A basic version uses fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, oil, vinegar, and a little bit of chili pepper, though the variations on this theme are endless (the addition of beer, for example). What I love about this version (inspired by Special Fork) is that it makes use of the parsley and cilantro that are growing like crazy in our garden, and everything else we are either growing or have in our pantry. In Argentina it is used both as a marinade and a sauce for grilled steak, but you could also use it with fish, chicken, or even pasta.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 bottle (12 oz) Liberty Street Brewing's Steamy Windows
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 cups cilantro
1 cup Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot (about 2 carrots)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

In deep 3-quart saucepan, combine beer and cumin seeds; bring to a boil. Cook until beer is reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to medium bowl and set aside.

About how much beer you should have left after reduction.
In bowl of food processor, combine cilantro, parsley leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes and sugar. Pulse together until mixture resembles a coarse paste.

Scrape mixture into beer sauce; add oil, vinegar, shredded carrot and salt. Stir well until sauce comes together. Let stand at room temperature one hour to allow flavors to develop. Can be refrigerated up to one week. 

Place steak on a plate and brush both sides, using ¼ cup of the chimichurri sauce. Let marinate at least two hours and up to six hours.

Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-hot fire, or preheat a stove-top grill pan. Grill steak 7 to 9 minutes per side for medium rare doneness. Remove steak, place on a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, and serve with the additional chimichurri sauce and guacamole.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Preview: 2013 WGRD Summer Craft Beer Fest

The Michigan summer festival scene is nothing if not expansive.  Summer only gives Michigan 12 weekends (cue jokes about how it's more like 6 weekends) a year, and local communities do a fantastic job filling them with a plethora of choices to slake one's thirst on Michigan and craft beer.

One such option is coming up on August 17th; for the past few years now, local Grand Rapids radio station WGRD (97.9, home of Free Beer and Hot Wings morning show) has hosted a beer festival on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids at the John Ball Zoo.  While this is not a guild sponsored event (remember: there's only four official guild sponsored festivals annually), the WGRD Summer Craft Beer Festival offers offers access to some of the best breweries in the state, and mixes in a few local cideries and national breweries for extra variety:

Given the success of previous years, the impressive selection of breweries and cideries from around the state and nation, keep this option available for consideration!  Information and ticket sales are available here.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

CEO Stout Beeramisu

What’s better than tiramisu? Beeramisu! Also known as a beer-lover’s take on a classic tiramisu. You’re welcome.

This version, inspired by A Table For Two, strays pretty far from the traditional. It calls for beer and Amaretto instead of Marsala or cognac, but the requisite creamy, soft layers will surely please anyone crazy for this Italian dessert. The stout adds a hint of bitterness to balance the sweetness, and its malty, chocolatey, coffee notes are the perfect pair with sweet Amaretto and smooth mascarpone.

The amounts in this recipe allow a lot of flexibility for your serving vessel. so get creative! I used standard drinking glasses, but you could use a deep bowl or trifle dish, ramekins..even a coffee mug would do with any extra ingredients you have left over.

 For this recipe, which serves 6-8, you will need:

12 Savoiardi Biscuits (or any lady fingers you prefer)
1 cup strong espresso coffee
1/4 cup of Amaretto
2 eggs (separated)
3 tbsp caster sugar
8-9 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup stout Right Brain CEO Stout
8 ounces heavy cream, whipped
Chocolate shavings for garnish
A handful of Raspberries

Combine stout, coffee and Amaretto in a bowl.

Add egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add mascarpone and beat until just combined. Add 3 tablespoon of Amaretto and mix well.

Fold in the whipped cream into the mixture. Beat egg white until soft peak, gently fold it into the cream, trying not to lose the volume.

Dunk the biscuits, one at a time, into the liquid. Layer the biscuit into serving glasses.

Spoon Mascarpone mixture over the top until the biscuit is fully covered.

Repeat step 4 - 5 until the serving glasses are filled to the top.

Top with chocolate shavings and raspberries and wrap each glasses with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.

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