Even if it’s just the oxygen coursing through our lungs, come this time of year, we all have something to be thankful for. We are all blessed to varying degrees and, without question, those of us who know, appreciate and get to enjoy spectacular craft beer have plenty to be thankful for in a day and age when there are so many high-quality ales and lagers available to satiate our palates. Surely, anybody reading this latest entry in the Stone Blog will be enjoying one or many tasty brews with their Thanksgiving Day vittles. We are very much in favor of that, but would like to suggest taking your Turkey Day artisanship to the next level by incorporating your beverage of choice directly into the food that graces your table. To help facilitate that, we’ve tapped one of our talented chefs, Jeff Stanko from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, to provide a trio of Thanksgiving recipes made all the more delicious thanks to potent doses of Stone beers. Put down the Stove-Top and other fowl offerings, and give you and yours even more reason to be thankful this year.
In 2010, we caught wind that a vital business in our hometown of Escondido, California was in a world of hurt. That struggling institution was a 19-acre farm called La Milpa Organica from which we sourced some of the ingredients used to craft our pan-global cuisine at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido. Despite valiant efforts and a ton of elbow grease, La Milpa Organica went out of business by year’s end. As supporters of the farm-to-table movement and proud advocates for our corner of the world, we took advantage of the fact that we had the resources to do something to keep a center for organic farming in Escondido alive. So, rather than bemoan the loss of something good, in March of 2011, we went outside our craft beer box, took over the farmland, then proceeded to stand there, pitchforks in hand a la American Gothic with an OK-now-what look on our faces. Such was the beginning of life on Stone Farms.
In preparation for our Epic Eve Dinner and the Stone Epic Festival: The Final Chapter, our all-out festival celebrating all 11 vintages in our Vertical Epic Ale series, Chef Alex Carballo and “Dr.” Bill Sysak teamed up to develop nearly two-dozen recipes for dishes that pair with each of the beers.
Realizing not all of our fans will be able to make it out for these events, but are as amped up as we are to uncap their bottles of Vertical Epic Ale at their own tastings, we wanted to provide the means by which to prepare food that will fall perfectly in sync with those beers. The following are recipes for four dishes that, when put together, make up a comprehensive meal.
It’s our hope that this will excel what will likely already be one of the most heightened and interesting beer tasting sessions of your life. Bon apetit!
Do I attend a grandiose meet-the-brewer dinner, an outrageous vertical tasting, a one-time only beer release or a massive total tap takeover? From November 2 through 11, this will be the sort of daily dilemma plaguing beer enthusiasts as San Diego Beer Week saturates America’s Finest City. With hundreds of events and 10 days to take it all in, we realize advanced scheduling is a must. Submitted for your calendaring pleasure is the full slate of SDBW events taking place at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.
July 26, 1996. A sliver in time that shall go down in history as the day the world changed forever! Well, perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but it was the day that the first keg of Stone Pale Ale was ever sold. (Kudos to our buddy Vince Marsaglia from Pizza Port Solana Beach for coming to pick it up! … ‘course back then, there was only one Pizza Port, so putting Solana Beach to its name wasn’t necessary.)
We’re celebrating here as anybody should for their Sweet 16, with pillow fights, gossip, and a shiny new driver license a really stellar cake! Besides all the obvious perks of working at a brewery, we’re fortunate enough to have a really talented kitchen crew at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, and our pastry chefs were kind enough to whip something up for Team Stone as a small token of appreciation for all the hard work they do.
To answer your question, this deliciously decadent mochaccino cake made with layers of almond biscuit, pecan candy, chocolate cremeux, and coffee mousse was just as ridiculously good as it looks. And those mini “tap handles” you see? They’re made of fondant mixed with various herbs and spices to resemble our original tap handles which were actual stones that Greg used to go out and find at the beach on his “days off.” Pastry chefs Tony Martin and Tonya Ziegler (pictured below with GK) really knocked it out of the park!
In the midst of devouring this cake like rabid dogs who hadn’t eaten in a week, we collectively took a moment to recognize the incredible growth that Stone Brewing Co. has seen over the past 16 years, and how we couldn’t have done it without YOUR continued support and dedication! THANK YOU!
And while we can’t get each and every one of you a piece of cake, we can keep cranking out insanely good beers, and hosting epic events to showcase the glory of craft beer! (Like next month’s Stone 16th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival.</plug>)
Cheers to our first 16 years, and to the next 16! Thanks for being our friends.
Editor’s Note: Samantha, a Stone Indoctrination Specialist and certified cooking geek, is back with another installment of her drool-inducing “Cooking with Beer” series (you can check out all of her recipes on her personal cooking blog.) This is the second of a two part vegan meal celebrating Meatless Mondays, which is enthusiastically embraced by the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.
Next up we have beautiful (and sophisticated looking) mini-mushroom leek tarte tatins. This is an incredibly simple recipe that looks super fancy. The mushrooms and leeks are cooked briefly with Stone Levitation Ale to deepen their flavors and accentuate the earthy notes. I used (vegan) frozen puff pastry here because, as much as I love cooking, I prefer to spend my time eating. So, if you’re really ambitious, go ahead and make your own puff pastry.
Mini Mushroom Leek Tarte Tatins with Stone Levitation Ale
3 c. mixed wild mushrooms, sliced (I used creminis, maitake, and oyster mushrooms)
3-4 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped (more or less, depending on how thyme-y you want it)
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced into ½ inch half-moons
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp. Stone Levitation Ale, divided
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium flame. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes until lightly browned. Add garlic to pan and cook another 2-3 minutes until leeks are very brown and garlic is fragrant. Add 2 Tbsp. Stone Levitation Ale to pan and cook for a minute, scraping the pan with a spatula as you do. Set leeks and garlic aside in a bowl.
Add a bit more olive oil to the same pan and heat. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms are browned thoroughly, about 8 minutes. Again, add 2 Tbsp. Stone Levitation Ale to the pan to deglaze. Cook one minute and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Spray four ramekins with nonstick cooking spray or grease lightly with olive oil. Unfold puff pastry sheets. Cut eight small circles the size of your ramekins (two for each tarte).
Divide mushrooms among greased ramekins. Layer leeks and garlic on top of mushrooms. Top ramekins with two circles of puff pastry dough, each. Brush the tops lightly with olive oil (for nice browning), and poke the tops once with a fork for steam release. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes (keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn).
Remove from oven. To serve, place a plate face down on top of each ramekin and invert. This will result in a flakey pastry base topped with a mound of caramelized mushrooms and leeks. Serve with mixed grain salad and a simple green salad.
For our latest collaboration beer, Stone Head Brewer Mitch Steele joined forces with Jeff Bagby from Pizza Port Carlsbad and Chuck Silva from Green Flash to create Green Flash / Pizza Port Carlsbad / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale, a deliciously sweet bottle of malty goodness. Phenomenally smooth, Highway 78’s roasty, caramel notes reminded me of winter nights and camp fires, which inspired me to create something warming and hearty.
I arrived at stew right away—can we say comfort food? But what sort of stew? So I asked myself, “What would further compliment the awesome barley-ness of this beer?” The answer: more barley! Thus, Beef and Barley Squared Stew was born. The finished dish has a rich, deep flavor with a subtle sweetness from the Scotch ale and a distinct earthiness from the vegetables.
Feel free to play around with the seasoning in this stew but I find that, in this case, simplicity is best. Let the wholesomeness of the ingredients shine through!
Beef and Barley Squared Stew
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb stew organic beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2/3 c. chopped celery (2 large stalks)
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped carrot
1 c. peeled, chopped rutabaga (1 medium), equivalent amount peeled and chopped potato
2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. beef broth, divided
2 c. stewed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 c. Scotch Ale (or a 12oz bottle)
1/3 c. pearled barley
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
Fresh parsley, minced, for garnish (optional)
Freshly grated parmesan or cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add beef cubes to flour mixture and toss to coat. In a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add coated beef cubes to the oil (reserving excess flour in the mixing bowl). Brown beef on all sides, about 5-8 minutes. Remove beef from pot and transfer to a plate.
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Add celery, onion, carrot, rutabaga, mushrooms, and garlic to oil and cook until vegetables soften and onions are translucent, 5 minutes.
Return beef to pot. Combine 1/2 c. beef broth with remaining flour in mixing bowl, and mix until smooth. Add mixture to pot and stir thoroughly. Add remaining broth, tomatoes, Scotch Ale, barley, thyme and bay leaf to the pot. Stir until well combined. Bring stew to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to simmer.
Allow soup to simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally (1 hour is enough to cook barley and beef, 2 hours will make beef much more tender.) Season stew with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve in large bowls, garnished with cheese and parsley, alongside some lovely, crusty bread and butter.
For a vegetarian alternative, substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth. In place of beef cubes, coarsely chop a block of tempeh. Prepare as with beef, dredging in the flour and cooking lightly prior to cooking vegetables. Cook stew for 1 hour. Another protein choice would be to add a can of kidney beans to the stew, rinsed and drained, in the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Editor’s Note: For more super rad beer-based recipes from Samantha, check out her fantastic blog.
Editor’s Note: Samantha is one of Stone’s beloved Indoctrination Specialists (i.e. Tour Guides) and a certified hardcore beer geek. Samantha has posted some great recipes using Stone beer over on her personal blog. When we’ve shared them via Facebook and Twitter, fans have responded with a chorus of pleas for more recipes. Ask and you shall receive: we are pleased to share Samantha’s fantastic recipes right here on the Stone blog. Without further ado, we bring you…Samantha!
February 1st? Nonsense! Surely it must be mid-August. The weather in San Diego has been obscenely glorious over the past couple weeks and has inspired me to get in the kitchen and cook up some delicious and light summery dishes. You know the type—vibrant, flavorful food you crave after a long day at the beach. Of course, in my world, cooking isn’t cooking unless you’re cooking with beer. So today’s recipe is for sautéed shrimp and veggies with mango avocado salsa, both utilizing that inimitable classic, Stone IPA.
Sautéed Shrimp with Stone IPA Mango Avocado Salsa
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
Juice of ½ a lime
For Shrimp Sauté
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
¼ c Stone IPA
½ ripe mango
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
½ clove garlic
3 Tbsp diced onion
½ jalapeno, minced
Juice of ½ a lime
2 Tbsp Stone IPA (use Ruination if you prefer a bolder, hoppier flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
First, mix all ingredients for the shrimp marinade in a large, shallow pan. Add prepared shrimp to the marinade and toss to coat. Spread the shrimp out in a single layer in the pan so they really get a chance to swim in the marinade. Allow to sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
While the shrimp is marinating, prepare your salsa. Mix all the salsa ingredients, including the Stone IPA, in a medium sized bowl and mix gently (you don’t want to turn your avocado to mush). Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. And hey, feel free to throw in more IPA if the spirit moves you! Cover and put in the fridge to allow all those flavors to mingle.
Time to cook the shrimp! In a large pan, melt the butter or heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add the shrimp and the marinade. Cook shrimp for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are firm and pink. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for a couple more minutes to reduce. Add Stone IPA and stir, mixing in the beer thoroughly. Cook for about 1 minute more (but not too long or the sauce will start to taste bitter!).
Serve the shrimp alongside cilantro-lime rice (just add a bit of fresh cilantro, lime juice, butter and salt to cooked white rice), and top it all off with a healthy helping of mango avocado salsa. This is a colorful dish with just a tiny bit of heat from the chili powder and jalapeno. The flavors are bold and dynamic, the beer adds depth, and the cool salsa lends a wonderful contrast to the warm shrimp. Enjoy!