Archive for March, 2013

Barley, hops and six courses

The fourth course of panko lamb chop with potato latke, beer olive aioli and beer braised mushroom ragout. All photos by Brei Olivier

The fourth course of panko lamb chop with potato latke, beer olive aioli and beer braised mushroom ragout. All photos by Brei Olivier

Tallulah chef cooks up varied meal with Houston brews as main ingredient

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Last week, Mockler Beverage and Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewery hosted a beer dinner at Tallulah Wine Bar in the Renaissance Hotel. The six-part meal featured regular and seasonal beers. Tallulah sous chef Chris Price said as a beer drinker, he was familiar with some of the beers before he was presented with the task of planning the meal.

The meal started with the seasonal Spring Bock, which was paired with an amuse bouche of a beer and cheese soup shooter with a white truffle porcini crouton. The hearty soup was a good counter to the malty German style beer. The spring bock is available February to April.

The amuse bouche of a beer and cheese coup shooter with a white truffle porcini crouton.

The amuse bouche of a beer and cheese soup shooter with a white truffle porcini crouton.

The first course was the Amber Ale with a duck and sweet potato pierogi with beer braised red cabbage and smoked paprika sour cream. The beer is light and floral and made very flavorful braised cabbage. The pierogi was a little greasy, which sometimes happens when the frying grease is not hot enough, but the sweet potato helped cut the richness of the duck for a nice, light flavor.

“The amber ale is our oldest beer, but we just started distributing it in Baton Rouge last week,” said Nicole Froland, Saint Arnold’s Louisiana sales representative.

The Houston-based company only distributes in Louisiana and Texas, Froland said.

Course two featured a salmon slider with parmesan frites, ale sriracha mayo and a homemade pickle paired with a cascadian dark ale, which is a seasonal beer that is part of Saint Arnold’s Icon series. It is a rotating special release series Belgian-style pale ale. Each is released for three months.

“These are all very experimental beers for our brewmaster. Once we run out, we won’t make it again unless it’s very successful,” Froland said.

Froland said they used chinook hops and Belgian yeast to create a marshmallow-like sweetness and give the beer banana clove notes.

The third course was potato chip crusted scallops with ale sweet and sour sauce on a crispy pancetta round and micro greens. It was paired with the Santo. Froland described it as a black Kolsch style, for the type of yeast used, and the beer won a bronze medal in the black lager category at the 2012 World Beer Cup. The beer met the description that it “pours dark and drinks light.”

The third course of potato chip crusted scallops, ale sweet and sour sauce, crispy pancetta round and micro greens.

The third course of potato chip crusted scallops, ale sweet and sour sauce, crispy pancetta round and micro greens.

Froland said the Saint Arnold’s brewers invented the style. On the brewery website, that was their best description, since it was technically not a style and they used Munich and black malt to dark, yet refreshing beer. The beer also featured coffee flavors that are common in darker beers, which went well with the scallops and sweet and sour sauce.

“It was very sweet and spicy beer to me and wanted to bring that out with the sauce and the pancetta,” said chef Price.

The fourth course featured Saint Arnold’s Divine Reserve 12 beer, an ale with spicy flavors. These are also small batch beers. Mockler sales rep Jeff Morin said he originally wanted to make the whole meal centered around batches 11-13 but changed his mind because of the high alcohol content of each. The number 12 batch was served with a panko lamb chop and potato latke, beer-olive aioli and beer-braised mushroom ragout.

The finale was a lemon and rosemary sorbet to pair with the Weedwacker, a hefeweizen. Price says he made the balsamic vinaigrette to cut the spiciness of the beer.

Froland said they use the legend of Saint Arnold, the Belgian patron saint of brewers, who encouraged people to drink beer instead of water in the mid-11th century because it was healthier than most water sources at the time.

Advertisements

March 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment