07 June 2008

Okay, you beer-and-food culinary wizards: Try THIS one on for size..........

I have a sister.

She has a blog.

In her latest entry, she mentions an attempt to render collard greens edible. It involves a Community-Shared Agriculture co-op. And bacon.

And a bottle of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

Okay, how many of you just went "Huh?!?" I sure did.

I'm guessing that, aside from beer bread, she's relatively new to the concept of beer in cooking. (Wait'll I get her to try Belgian beer and mussels.....)

So, here's the challenge: What kind of beer SHOULD she try steaming collard greens with? (First thing I'd do is tell her to head to the Penna. Dutch Farmers Market near her and procure some thick slices of dry-cured bacon rather than the frozen slices of presumably nitrate-injected bacon she probably had--but that's just me. And I'm betting some of you are vegetarians, like my wife.)

I'm flipping furiously through my beer cookbooks (unfortunately, I don't have the new one by Lucy Saunders) and beer guides for suggestions. Unfortunately, they seem to be confirming the popular notion that meat must accompany beer, apparently preferably meat burned over an open flame. Strong green stuff, on the other hand? Off the top of my head, I'm thinking a dunkelweizen or hefeweizen? Or maybe just a citrusy sweet weizen? (Try to find something good enough that they're not going to want to dump a bunch of spicy dressing on it afterwards!)

And hey, how about asparagus? Just got to the farmers market ourselves today; more asparagus. Quick-and-dirty asparagus recipe, snitched from the Arizona Republic while I was out there: Take fresh asparagus, grill with a little olive oil, slice down to bite-size and toss with a drizzle more olive oil, cherry/grape tomatoes (halved), and feta cheese; season to taste (I find using feta with cracked pepper, then adding just a dash of smoked sea salt, is the perfect touch). No bacon necessary.

Hmmmm. I have those bottles of New Belgian Mothership Wit and Skinny Dip in the fridge. Do I open them for an experiment, or save them for the Tuesday Night Beer Social crowd?


Kevin Smith said...

My wife have been in debate, but I think a nut brown like New Castle
would work - a nice sweet finish that would complement the bitterness
of the greens.

Kelly feels a sweet stout, porter, or even a bottle of something like
Woodchuck Cider.

You can find recipes online for beer-infused collards, but none of
them seem to specify the kind of beer (but they almost all indicate

I did find one recipe for Smoked Turkey, Collard Green and Shrimp
Gumbo by Emeril Legasse at foodnetwork.com
wherein he recommends Abita Turbo Dog Stout in his recipe with the


platypotamus said...

hmmm... maybe go with a rauch beer? the rauchbock that DeGroens used to brew had a fairly meaty flavor to it - almost like a smoked sausage (or a canned ham, according to one friend of mine).

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Hey, guys, I didn't say it had to replicate meat, or even include it. If you think of a way to pass off a curry-spiced lager or a fruit beer, that could work, too. (And, with my sister, apparently did.)

Yeah, a LOT of folks reminiscing on DeGroen's Rauchbock seem to come to the same universal "smoked sausage/ham" descriptor, but I suggest that the pub's smoked pork chops may have had a LOT to do with that insinuation. Or it's that more people are familiar with smoked pig products than, say, salmon, or whitefish, or sea salt, or cheeses.....


I'm no chef, and don't even play one on TV or the interwebs. So here goes nothing: Lagered Greens; hold the pig.