Category Archives: Beer

black-eyed peas and dried herbs

Mmmmmm! Monochrome.

Black-eyed Peas with Dried Herbs

I love black-eyed peas. I really do and I can’t tell you what makes them so spesh, but I love the way they look in a dish, they are a delicious and essential ingredient in cowboy caviar, plus they’re a southern food staple and y’all know I have a soft spot for that region’s cuisine. Make em up fresh and you’ll get better texture than the canned stuff. Last Monday I made a big pot and D.M. and I used them in various dishes throughout the week. This is the only one that involved alcohol.

The booze: beer

The other stuff: black-eyed peas (dried or canned), bay leaves, dried whole chilis, garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, olive oil, rice

The directions: This recipe basically involves quickly throwing all the ingredients into a pan and simmering for 15 minutes or so. The only time-consuming thing here is cooking the beans and cooking the rice, so if you’re going this route, factor in the soaking and simmering and 30 minutes or so of rice cooking.

Once cooked, drain your beans and place about 2-2.5 cups in a bowl with about 1/2 bottle of beer to soak. Meanwhile, chop 2-3 cloves of garlic and heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot throw in a dried chili or two, stir once, throw in your garlic, stir once, throw in your black-eyed peas and all the beer and add 3 bay leaves and spices. I do this according to taste but roughly use 1.5 teaspoons of oregano, 1.5-2 teaspoons of thyme, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1.5 teaspoons of salt. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes or so. Serve over rice with hot sauce.

The tips: Don’t be fooled by how basic this recipe is. It is delicious and light but still filling and will certainly feature in the cookbook devoted entirely to beans and rice that I will one day write (this is a good idea! why hasn’t someone already done this?). 

You can mix it up by tossing in additional ingredients. The first time I made it I added a walnut sauce (walnuts, lemon juice, olive oil and salt pureed in the food processor). I bet it would also be good with any fresh herbs you have on hand. Cabbage always seems to work out when you throw it into random recipes. Next time I think I’ll add the pine nuts that have been sitting in my freezer since who knows when.

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carrot and avocado salad

Puh-puh-puh pretty.

Carrot and Avocado Salad

Is there anything more exciting than colorful carrots? Yes, of course. Lots of things. Like the 5 cent wine sale at BevMo, a week of warm weather in San Francisco and income tax returns. But if you’re making a dish with carrots and you have the option of buying ones that look like tie dyed t-shirts, then by all means, do it, dude!

I’ve been drinking a lot of this 21st Amendment beer lately. Something about the cans, which are $1.25 a piece at the grocery. Sometimes you don’t want a whole six pack. Sometimes, you’re trying to keep an eye on expenses, and buying drinkable beer in bulk runs about $10 – $12 ’round these parts, so sometimes it’s nice to just throw a couple cans in the basket and be done with it.

I found a recipe on the internet for carrots braised in beer around the same time I was turned on to this recipe at smitten kitchen so I combined the two of them and braised the carrots, then decided I actually wanted burnt and crusty rather than tender and buttery so I roasted them too.

The booze: beer

The other stuff: carrots, avocado, cumin seeds, carrot juice (optional), salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

The directions: Scrub carrots and cut into inch segments, halve the larger segments, and throw into a skillet with 1 cup of beer and 1/2 cup of carrot juice over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and cover. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes till liquid is reduced by half. During this time, change your mind about wanting braised carrots and decide you want to roast them instead. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Dump braised carrots, including liquid onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cumin seeds (or ground cumin) and roast for 15 minutes, or until nice and dark and crispy looking.

Meanwhile, slice your avocado, spread out on a plate. Add roasted/braised carrots. Drizzle with olive oil, extra salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

The tips: Not all things you cook con booze will taste like booze, especially if you burn off all the alcohol by boiling and then roasting your food. In a different recipe I might recommend getting the delicious beer flavor back in the mix by adding a little tipple to top off the finished product. This works well in soups or pastas – but not really with a salad. So all you can do with this one is pour yourself a glass of something to drink along side your dinner. And it really is a nice, fresh, colorful and hearty meal. Perfect for summer days – days which are fast approaching! We had a taste of them  two weeks ago. Now it’s back to semi-freezing.

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