I love beer. Especially craft beer.
Imagine my delight when I was chosen to participate in Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker promotion of New Belgium Brewing Company‘s beers. Imagine indeed! You don’t have to ask me twice to GET PAID to taste and cook with beer.
First, a little background. New Belgium is the brainchild of homebrewer cum brewmeister Jeff Lebesch. After a trip to Belgium, he returned to Colorado and began brewing beer in his basement using ingredients and techniques he’d acquired while abroad. His first two beers, Abbey and Fat Tire, were developed in that very same basement and they are both still in rotation today. Since then, they have increased production exponentially and have expanded their offerings to include a wide variety of brews. My husband’s favorite is the Ranger IPA (he loves a hoppy, hoppy beer), and mine is currently the Mothership Wit (their only organic offering). I do have a soft spot in my heart for Fat Tire, though.
For this exercise, I wanted to use the beer in a variety of applications. I chose to use the Wit in the bread because of its distinctly wheat-y flavor. I used my regular whole-wheat sandwich bread recipe, but I subbed beer for the two cups of water that it calls for.
What resulted was a light, airy, flavorful sandwich roll. It rose, and rose, and rose, and rose. The beer really gave extra lift to this bread. I may use it in the recipe from now on. It didn’t really affect the flavor all that much (although it did lend a little extra sweetness to the mix – a light citrusy note that isn’t normally there).
Ironically, my five-year-old said they looked like ships. You know – Motherships. Get it?
For the shrimp, I wanted to a nice light batter, so I combined one cup of Ranger IPA with one cup of whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. I dunked the shrimp (two dozen, about 1/2 pound) and fried it in batches in one-inch of vegetable oil. I also fried a few dill pickle spears, just for the heck of it. There was a slight bitter undertone to the batter (from the hops) that paired nicely with the sweetness of the shrimp and the tart acidity of the pickles.
I made a mustard-beer remoulade by combining a cup of Ranger IPA with 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds and bringing it to a boil, covering it and removing it from the heat. I let it steep for an hour and then poured it into the bowl of my food processor. I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the juice of one lemon and one whole egg. I turned it on and drizzled 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil through the feed tube to create an emulsion. I divided the mixture into two 1/2-cup servings and refrigerated one for later use. I then finely chopped one dill pickle spear and one tablespoon of fresh parsley and stirred it into the other 1/2 cup of the emulsion. This was my sauce for my po’ boys.
To construct, I split the rolls and dug out some of the bread from the center. I spooned a teaspoon or so of the remoulade on the bottom, shredded some raw collard greens and placed them on top of the remoulade. I topped the greens with 6-8 shrimp and then added chopped tomatoes. I drizzled a little more remoulade over the top.
Paired with my very own Mothership Wit, it was a delightful meal. Thank you to Foodbuzz and New Belgium Brewing Company for making it possible.