Monday, August 15, 2011

Stewing and Brewing (But Mostly Stewing)

Today was a big day for us in terms of culinary achievements. Jen and I both had the day off from work which is something of a rarity. We'd originally intended to spend the day at the beach but a gloomy weather forecast forced us to indoor activities which was a boon as far as I'm concerned.

We opened the day with a trip to a local brewing supply shop. It was located in the basement of a hardware store right outside the employee break room. After a minute they summoned the local brewing expert who was extremely helpful in informing my purchasing decision. I purchased a good amount of supplies so that I can live my lifelong dream of making my own beer at home, however, I'll have to wait until it gets a little cooler so that I can control fermentation. I've been wanting to do this for about fifteen years since I sampled some home brewed beer that a family member had made.

Apparently, I am the world's laziest pursuer of personal dreams.

2011 Stone Ledge Farm Share, Week 10

After this outlay of cash we stopped by to pick up the week's farm share. Here's what we got: three pounds of slicing tomatoes, one basket of Sun Gold cherry tomatoe, two pounds of offensively named Orient Express eggplant, one bunch of edamame, one bunch of leeks, one pound of tomatillos, one bunch of basil, two green Bell peppers, half a pound of okra, a mix of peaches and nectarines, and one basket of donut peaches.

Summer Tomatillo and Chicken Stew

While Jen worked diligently on her pickle preparations I worked on making dinner. I roasted today's tomatillos in the oven. After the tomatillos were browned up nicely I threw them into this stew that I made with farm red and Wala Wala onions, farm carrots, farm peppers, garlic, leftover chicken, leftover beans, chicken stock, olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes.

I served this summer stew over basmati rice with cotija, avocado, farm tomato, and cilantro.

Lemon Cucumbers for Pickling

Okra for Pickling

Meanwhile Jen worked on pickling the excessive amount of okra and lemon cucumbers we've built up. This required a great deal of boiling, sterilizing, and used up all the vinegar we had in our house.

Pickling Seasonings

Since we'd gotten a lot of okra and still had a lot of unused cucumbers in the fridge Jen had the idea to embark upon a grand pickling mission. She spent a good amount of the evening pickling the lemon cucumbers and okra we'd built up from the farm and were loathe to use in any of our dinner preparations.

Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Aged Beer

For a long time now, at least six months, I've had this rum cask beer from Innis & Gunn in the fridge. I'm not really sure why I bought it because ever since I made the purchase I've been struggling with the idea of drinking it. I had one a while ago from Innis & Gunn and, while good, it was a bit much. This beer is much the same.

It's quite high in alcohol at 7.4% and tastes almost more like whiskey than rum to me. I imagine this beer would have been great to warm up after coming home on a cold winter night. On a warm day in August when you've been boiling and roasting all day it is not particularly refreshing. It is very interesting, good actually, but not a beer I'd recommend either as an accompaniment to the dinner I made or in the summer at all. However, that is one less beer in the fridge to make way for my eventual home brew.

October can't come fast enough.


uberlours said...

The next time you visit Montreal leave enough time for a visit with my friend from college days, Drew Ferguson. He is a bit of a home brew and beer in general expert and regularly judges beer events in England Jolly old.

Unknown said...

Nice! I'm looking forward to doing my first batch. It may turn out to be crap but it'll be a fun experiment.