Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Belgians and Italians Living Together

This week seems to be lined up with extremely basic and kind of generic-looking Americanized ethnic foods. I'm not really sure why it lined up that way but the sequence of dinners this week allows for maximum usage of fresh vegetables, a break from meats, and the opportunity to use up many things that have been clogging up our freezer, pantry, and fridge.

Tonight's ethnicity? Mama mia! It's a-Italian. Bella!

Okay, the salad was not actually Italian at all. In fact I'm not sure what it was. I guess I would refer to it as faux New England cuisine. I wasn't breaking any new ground with this one. The only thing unusual about it was that it was made with kale instead of mesclun mix. I put some goat cheese, cranberries, and candied pecans on top of the kale with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The flavor combination is not exactly going to win me a James Beard award but it's a classic for a reason. It's a great salad for a nice fall night, or an unseasonably warm winter night.

The only problem is that I think the nuts are a bit stale. Actually quite a lot stale. In fact, I threw away the remainder of the pecans so that they will not taint another salad.

I had leftover pasta dough from our rabbit pasta the other night so I used it to make this lasagna. I sliced some zucchini and eggplant and roasted them lightly in the oven. Then I grilled some red, yellow, and orange peppers on the burners on the stove. It's kind of a disgusting technique but one that I find works fairly well.

After that was done I layered the pasta sheets with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, sliced zucchini, sliced eggplant, and sliced "grilled" peppers.

It didn't photograph in a way that you could discern any ingredients other than pasta sheets and tomato sauce but the result was quite nice.

I really wanted to pair this lasagna up with the perfect beer this evening. I looked around and the best beer I could find was called red wine. I didn't really feel like having red wine so instead I opted for Belgian beer.

When I feel I've earned it I give myself a Chimay. That sounds like it could be a great advertising line. Hey, Chimay people, email me if you need my address to send me a check for coming up with that amazing new English language slogan for you.

Generally I always want to drink Chimay but I don't because that would be too boring to write about every night. Instead I choose this to be a sort of reward for when I think I've earned it. I didn't really have any real reason to drink the Chimay tonight other than that I feel like I may be coming down with a sore throat. Therefore I wanted to have this in case I woke up tomorrow and wouldn't be able to enjoy a beer.

Last time I had the red label, tonight I had the yellowish-brown label. I really don't know what the difference is between the two. A quick look at the Bières de Chimay link on Wikipedia reveals an explanation that doesn't seem to match up with the beers I have at all. It claims that the "golden" label has 4.8% alcohol but the label on my beer reads 8%. If you match that up it seem that I have the white label Chimay. It doesn't look white to me. Perhaps they've changed the coloring system.

While I enjoy the different colored labels I may wish to recommend that Chimay come up with a different name for each beer. The yellowish-brown label says "Tripel" on it so it must be the white label they're referring to.

This is all very confusing.

Perhaps I should have had whiskey instead. It's simpler and would probably work better on my throat.


fuat gencal said...

Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyor.


uberlours said...

I agree with Fuat. Chimay is the PBR of European beers.