Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lazy Portuguese

Nature must be preparing me for babies. I have spent many nights, as of late, having a restless night's sleep. This has left me groggy and sluggish for a full day of work only to return home in a stunned daze, too tired to do anything but stand and look around at the debris in our transitionary apartment.

After pretending to snap myself out of it I went outside with all of our dinner fixings only to find that our propane tank which had died a few nights ago was still dead. Somehow this caught me by surprise and after a string of curse words I was able to milk a few more minutes of flame, just enough to grill some dinner.

Grilled Pork and Clams

I grilled some nice pork chops and some littlenecks in an incredibly lazy homage to Portuguese cooking. That is to say that these are two ingredients often paired in Portuguese cooking and that is pretty much where the theme ends. It would be like serving up a plate of raw ginger and rice and calling it an Asian-inspired meal.

Boiled Potatoes with Olive Oil and Butter

To accompany the pork I boiled up some potatoes -- leftover from the clambake -- and tossed them in olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper. Just like they do in Portugal!

Creamed Chard and Spinach

I also made this classic Portuguese recipe: creamed spinach. I browned up a few cloves of garlic, tossed in some washed, chopped Swiss chard and spinach from the farm, cooked them down with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then added in some cream, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and sprinkled lightly with flour to thicken.

Two Brothers Brewing Company Long Haul Session Ale

For beer I chose this Long Haul Summer Session Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Co. I've had a few of Two Brothers' beers before and I've liked them a lot. Sadly, I was not a fan of this one. It was interesting enough, I guess, but just not my cup of tea (or beer, for that matter).

I didn't have to pour it out, which is good, but I don't think I'd ever try this again. It sort of tasted like someone soaked some cedar planks in a sort of watery beer. It's barrel aged, which generally I like, but I couldn't get into it.

It gets fairly decent reviews so maybe I'm just an uncultured Philistine.

I'm almost through my summer beer selection so I've got a few more to get me back on track before I move on to the rest of the random bottles in my cellar which has been reaching the unfriendly beer temperature of 80 degrees in the last few days. Luckily most of the beers in there are hardy enough to weather this summer.

I, on the other hand, may not make it.


uberlours said...

Two Brothers beers seems to me to fall into 2 camps. Domaine DePage which is my current biere du choix, and everything else they brew which is hit or miss to me. mostly miss unfortunaltely. Becuase I can drive to the brewery in 15 minutes.

Unknown said...

Domaine DuPage is excellent. The Bitter End (I think that was it) which I had at your place during Christmas was also very good as I remember it. This one stopped me dead in my tracks. Makes me worried to try any others.

Still, I respect them taking a chance. It's definitely quite a bit different from your standard summer or session ale. Unfortunately I think it failed. I'll still try some of their others.

uberlours said...

It was in fact The Bitter End. I have has Domaine DuPage twice now on tap and I didn't l,ke it at all. And I much prefer draught to bottle in almost all cases. That is a puzzler.

Unknown said...

That one is quite odd. I haven't had many beers on tap that I have liked less than the bottle. That being said I think tap beer is played up a bit. There are plenty of great beers in bottles.