Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Like Yuppies For the 2010s

I'm not sure what kind of terrible people we are but there should be a word for it. In the 1980s they were called yuppies. I don't think there is really a 2010s equivalent word but there should be. Do you know what I'm talking about? No? Well, the next sentence should put a fine point on what we have become. And it goes a little something like this:

I used the fruits and vegetables from our CSA to make this recipe from Mark Bittman that I saw in the New York Times.

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I don't know if it's better or worse that I feel a tremendous amount of shame in the fact that I am now that person. However, I do genuinely enjoy the philosophy of Mark Bittman. It's just unfortunate that as much as I am happy about the things in the statement that I have just made my instinct would be to hate anyone who said the same thing until they gave me a reason to feel otherwise.

Okay, I modified the recipe slightly but it would have been harder to make my previous point if I'd added that fact. Oh, and I didn't measure anything because measuring is for suckers.

Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup with Tarragon

Still, the soup was interesting. I cooked some of the farm onions in a little butter until they softened then added the chopped tomatoes and peaches (also from the farm). After they'd cooked for a while I seasoned with salt and pepper, a splash of hot sauce, and a dash of cream before pureeing and serving chilled with some strands of tarragon.

Sausage and Pepper with Copper Bell Light

Since I am not a huge fan of green peppers I used them all up with some garlic, onion, olive oil, and a whole lot of sweet Italian sausage. Sausage can do wonders for my lack of interest in peppers. I also poured a little bit of Copper Bell Light beer into the pan. It was the only beer I felt that I could sacrifice with a clear conscience.

Sausage and Pepper Grinders

I served up the sausage and peppers in a whole wheat roll because I'm really looking to start eating healthy.

And because the store was out of white rolls.

Dijon Potato Salad with Shallots and Dill

I also made this potato salad. I boiled up some chopped Red Bliss potatoes then tossed them while warm with some Dijon mustard, fresh dill (from the farm), shallot, olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Tonight's beer decision was tough. While I know the theory behind which beers would pair best with tonight's sausage I usually choose my pairing based on only one criteria: what beer do I want right now? If you want to read a blog by someone who has a much more refined sense of proper beer pairings and actually seems to give more than five seconds' consideration you should read The Beer Cook.

Harpoon Belgian Pale Ale

For beer I chose this Belgian Pale Ale from Harpoon Brewery. I was suspicious that this beer would be more like an IPA than a Belgian ale and my suspicions turned out to be right. In fact, I think this could have pretty safely been called Harpoon IPA. It didn't really highlight the "Belgian ingredients" it touted on its label as much as I would have liked. However, since I love Belgian ales and mildly dislike IPAs it is not surprising that this was not my favorite all time beer.

I have to say, the choice to make a chilled tomato soup instead of salad was interesting and tasty, but I'm not sure chilled soup is the appropriate precursor to a sausage and pepper sandwich. Both are delicious but should probably be reserved for enjoyment separately.

That being said the beer could have been more harmonizing as well. All in all this kept with my normal pairing philosophy pretty well: things I like with other things I like.

Now, I just need to find some cotton candy, lemon rind, and white chocolate and dessert will be on its way.

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