Tequila Verde Shrimp

shrimp3I got me some tomatillos and cilantro in my CSA box! Tomatillos are weird–they come wrapped in a papery leaf, and when you peel the leaf off what looks like a green tomato, the skin is all sticky.

shrimp2But don’t let my description deter you! Tomatillos are delicious and tangy–and pair excellently with tequila!

shrimp1

You can cook this shrimp with either the shell on or off. It will be juicy, so you can serve it over rice to absorb that flavor, or in tortillas for some tequila shrimp tacos!

p.s. pardon my bad instagram photos. we do what we can.

Tequila Shrimp Verde

Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 medium onion

1 green pepper

1-2 jalapenos

1 lb tomatillos

salt to taste

1-2 teaspoons cumin

1/4-1/2 cup tequila

1 lb raw shrimp, deveined

1 cup cotija cheese

1/4-1/3 cup cilantro

lime juice

pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a pan that you can also transfer to the oven. Add onions, jalapenos and green pepper about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatillos and reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and cumin. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes until tomatillos are just cooked through.

Take the pan off the heat and add the tequila. Return to heat and reduce slightly. Nestle the shrimp and sprinkle the cheese on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and mix in cilantro, lime juice and pepper. Serve over rice or in tortillas.

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Whiskey Herb Marinated Chicken

whiskeychicken1Since my Simon & Garfunkel garden runneth over, I have been on the lookout for ways to use my fresh herbs in various dishes. The parsley, rosemary, and basil have all been receiving a considerable amount of cooking action, but the sage and thyme….are a bit neglected. Lucky for me, I found a recipe that banks on lots of fresh, beautiful thyme–and it has whiskey! Even better.

Whiskey marinated chicken=juicy, flavorful.

whiskeychicken4Seriously though, we have a sage BUSH at this point. And I’m not a big meat eater. Hopefully we’ll be able to utilize it in the next couple months with lots of butternut squash and pumpkin, but–everyone has an open invitation to come over and snip away for all their fresh sage needs.

whiskeychicken3And if you know of any vegetarian or pescatarian recipes utilizing sage or thyme, please let me know!

Whiskey Herb Marinated Chicken

Adapted from The Irish Spirit

1/2 cup whiskey
3/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and pepper
4 chicken breasts

Combine whiskey, oil, garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary, cayenne, ginger, salt and pepper to taste in a sealable jar and shake to blend. Place the
chicken in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, most easily done overnight.
Preheat a gas or stovetop grill to medium high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, flipping over after 6-8 minutes. Brush once with the marinade after turning.

Tequila Cilantro Pesto

I LOVE cilantro. Love. It’s my favorite color (not that that’s unique), and it just smells so fresh and amazing. It smells like warm weather and sunshine. And anyone who knows me knows how I feel about warm weather. And hot weather. Oh yeah, and it tastes fantastic too. So I made it into a pesto and added some bite–tequila!

pesto1This particular evening I slathered it on tortillas to make “green tacos” with chicken, spinach, and avocado. But I could also see covering some chicken with it whether baked in the oven or cooked on the grill. Or on pizza. Or pasta. You know, the usual pesto recipients. Depending upon what you want to use it for, just adjust the amount of olive oil or use reserved pasta water to create the consistency you want.

pesto5If I wasn’t hoping a certain toddler was going to partake in the pesto (no, he didn’t have any–no tequila for this two year old!), I would have also added in some chile pepper. Although, as long as I glob sour cream on it I don’t think he would care….

Tequila Cilantro Pesto

Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 cups packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup almonds

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon salt

dash of cayenne

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon tequila (more if you want!)

If you want to be super fancy, toast those almonds in a dry skillet on the stove until fragrant. Toss the cilantro, almonds, garlic, salt and cayenne into a food processor and pulse. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil, lime juice and tequila. Taste and adjust seasonings, tequila, or oil accordingly.

Beer Shrimp Scampi

I love the ridiculously buttery shrimp scampi that you get out at restaurants.

beershrimpscampi2I don’t often order it though, because shrimp scampi is a super simple meal that I can make at home and it doesn’t take any time at all. Also, I’m 92% positive that this shrimp scampi is way healthier than any I would order out–even with the beer! And I added broccoli too! Something green!

beershrimpscampi3So who said anyways that shrimp scampi always needs to be made with wine? It ain’t so! Many different beers work with the light flavors in shrimp scampi: a pale ale, a lovely hefeweizen, or a saison would be wonderful. And as much as I love cooking with wine, we’re not the biggest white wine drinkers. We’re big, bold, dry, red people in this house. So the chances of me having a beer that works with the flavor profiles of the dish, and finishing that beer once I’m done cooking with it are much more likely.

beershrimpscampi1If only some parsley had been ready to harvest from my Simon & Garfunkel garden…

Beer Shrimp Scampi

Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb angel hair pasta

1/2 lb broccoli florets, frozen or fresh

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup beer

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Either throw in the broccoli for the last couple minutes of cooking time, or steam above the cooking pasta in a steaming basket. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together over medium high heat. Saute the garlic and red pepper flake for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the shrimp. Add the beer and stir. Increase the heat to high and let the mixture boil for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue to cook on the highest setting until the shrimp are perfectly pink. Turn the heat off and mix in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli into the skillet and toss altogether. Add the reserved cooking liquid and/or more beer if you need to create more sauce.

Beer Pizza Dough

Beer and pizza. Universal and transcendent. Now, even better with beer in pizza.

pizza2

This recipe was super easy–because I have a bread machine. It would still be fairly easy with a stand mixer, and I assume you could knead by hand if you really, really wanted to. Also, try to match what beer you use to what kind of pizza you’re making. A pale ale or IPA for buffalo chicken, a spring ale or wheat/white beer for a spinach artichoke pizza or a dessert pizza….

pizza1

I used this opportunity to make our favorite homemade pizza: alfredo sauce, chicken breast cooked with jalapenos and garlic, cheese and black beans. That’s right. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

Beer Pizza Dough

Adapted from All Recipes

1 cup beer, flat and warm

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning*

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

If your beer is still well carbonated, aerate with a whisk for a few minutes. I microwaved my beer so that it was the same temperature that I usually make my water when dissolving yeast.

In order, add the beer, olive oil, flour, sugar, salt and seasonings and yeast to the bread machine. Set the machine to the “Dough” setting and press start. Wait until your bread machine tells you that your dough is ready.

Roll or press your dough onto your desired pan. Brush lightly with a little more olive oil. Cover it with a clean towel and let it stand for 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the plain dough for 5-7 minutes, then remove from the oven and add your toppings. Return to the oven to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Just keep checking on it!

*Our particular pizza wasn’t very “Italian” tasting, so I omitted the seasoning this time. But if you’re making a typical red sauce pizza, I highly recommend adding it in!

Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Lagered Mushy Peas

I’ve inundated you with desserts lately, so it’s about time for something a little different.  How about some Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips? It may not be the healthiest entree, but at least it’s not a dessert, right?

fishchippeas

Since moving to the DMV–that’s the DC-Maryland-Virginia area for those who are not in the know–I’ve become a fan of Old Bay. I’d had Old Bay before, of course. But here, it’s part of life. It’s a way of life. Ubiquitous in any seafood dish, it also finds its way onto chicken, tater tots, fries, onion rings, cocktails…It was developed here in Maryland, and needless to say, people are loyal. And with good reason. Delicious reason.

So I decided when creating my fish and chips recipe that it would adhere to my adopted home’s favorite flavor. Old Bay is both in the batter and then sprinkled on to taste after: pretty much at every point in the recipe, add Old Bay. Same with the chips: roasted with olive oil and Old Bay, then plenty at the table to sprinkle on at will. Oh, and there’s beer, so you know it’s good.

Preference tip: I like to cut my fish into smaller pieces. Not only are they easier to handle when frying,, but then you get more of that crispy batter to go around. Yum.

fishchippeas2

Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Lagered Mushy Peas

Fish adapted from a ridiculous amount of recipes I couldn’t even keep track of or tell you. Chips adapted from Ellie Krieger. Mushy peas adapted from Jamie Oliver.

Chips

2-4 russet potatoes

olive oil

Old Bay

Fish

vegetable oil

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons Old Bay, plus more for seasoning and table

1 12 oz. bottle beer

1 1/2 lbs cod (or similar fish), boneless and skinless

Mushy Peas

olive oil

4 scallions

16 oz. frozen peas

1/4 cup beer

Chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a mandoline to thinly slice potatoes. Toss potatoes, olive oil and Old Bay together on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Alternately, you can slice up the potatoes in whatever shape you prefer and roast for 45-50 minutes.

Fish

Depending upon the size of pan you are using, the amount of oil you will need to fry the fish could vary. Heat enough vegetable oil over medium-high heat to cover the fish in the pan that you are using. The oil is ready for frying when the handle of a wooden spoon inserted into the oil produced tiny bubbles.

In a shallow dish combine 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon Old Bay and set aside. Aerate 1 1/2 cups flour and 2 teaspoons Old Bay in a large bowl (whisk by itself-essentially the same as sifting). Whisk in the beer until just combined. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Coat the fish in the beer mixture and once again shake off any excess. Place gently in the hot oil. The same can be done with a few more pieces of fish. Do not overcrowd the pan though, because the oil’s temperature will drop too much.

Once the fish is golden brown all over, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or a clean dish towel. Immediately season with salt, pepper and Old Bay. Continue with the remaining fish in batches.

Lagered Mushy Peas

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan, chop the scallions and add to the pan when oil is hot. Add the frozen peas and cover. Let the peas steam for a few minutes. Add beer and let cook for a minute more and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor, use an immersion blender, or mash the peas with a potato masher. You can always add more beer if needed.

Tomato Basil Cider Soup

This is for that time of year when you’re confused.

You know that time of year. There is still this abundance of beautiful, fresh, heirloom tomatoes and fragrant basil. The weather is still nice enough to sport capris and sandals. But you know it’s coming. You can feel it in the breeze, ever so slightly. And in the beverage world-you see it. The shelves begin to fill with pumpkin ales and oktoberfest. Do I cling desperately to the summer that I love so much or embrace all things fall?! (The answer is cling to summer. The hotter the better.)

Whether you use a typical hard cider, or Harpoon’s Pumpkin Cider like I did–this is that time of year in a bowl. Or a mug, whatevs. Bursting with summer freshness yet crisp with fall. While I tend to stay away from most ciders on the market because I find them cloyingly sweet, I really enjoyed this Pumpkin Cider because of the lower sugar content. Magner’s would also be a good choice for your confused summer fall soup.

Tomato Basil Cider Soup

Adapted from The Irish Spirit: Recipes Inspired by the Legendary Drinks of Ireland

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots (or estimated baby carrot equivalent), diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2-2 pounds tomatoes, chopped with juices reserved

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons minced basil

4 cups stock

1 1/2 cups hard cider (1 12 oz. bottle)

salt and pepper

basil to garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium heat with the butter and olive oil. Saute chopped onion and carrots until softened, 6-8 minutes and season them with salt and pepper. Add garlic cloves and saute an additional minute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, the bay leaf and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then stir in stock and cider. Simmer 30 minutes and adjust seasonings. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a counter blender or food processor. Garnish with additional basil leaves.

Pasta alla Alcohol: Penne alla Vino

Welcome to the creation of my new series: Pasta alla Alcohol! Pasta is the perfect vehicle for intoxicating your eats, and each month I will choose a new type of beverage to incorporate into a tasty pasta dish! In the works is vodka, tequila, beer, and even gin. But for now, we will start with the most basic of basics: red wine.

I tried to investigate the merits of adding red wine to pasta sauce, but I didn’t get very far. I will just take it on merit that people have been doing this for a very long time-and I certainly won’t take issue with it.

If you don’t groove on greens, just leave them out. I’m just trying to get some veggies in wherever possible. I also highly recommend dousing the finished product with parmesan cheese, and serving with some homemade garlic butter breadsticks. Yes.

Penne alla vino

Adapted from Ina Garten

16 oz. pasta

1 medium sized onion

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup red wine

28 oz. can tomatoes, I like crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon cracked red pepper

1 bunch of spinach, washed and dried

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and add back to the pot.

Preheat a large skillet with some olive oil and dice the onions. Cook onions over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Mince the garlic and add, cooking 1 minute. Add the red wine and turn the heat up, scraping any onion previously stuck to the pan, and allow the red wine to cook off until most of it has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and seasonings, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Rest the spinach on top of the sauce, as much as will fit, and put the cover back on. Let the spinach wilt down and stir it into the tomato sauce before adding more. When all of the spinach has been wilted in, check for seasonings and combine with the cooked pasta.

*If you are not into the greens, just leave them out and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.

Ultimate Irish Macaroni and Cheese

While I have become increasingly obsessed with craft beer and homebrewing, there is still a special place in my heart for Guinness. It’s dark-but light!-and velvety and smooth. It’s comforting. Guinness is good for me. Especially when combined with chocolate. Or cheese!

I decided to make the ULTIMATE macaroni and cheese by starting with Kerrygold butter, spiking my bechamel with Guinness, and using Kerrygold’s Aged Cheddar and Dubliner as the chosen cheeses to melt in. Combined with whole wheat pasta, it made for an extremely earthy macaroni and cheese. I topped with panko, but it probably would have been even better with toasted Irish soda bread crumbs…

Ultimate Irish Macaroni and Cheese

1 box whole wheat pasta (usually about 13.25 oz. Cause that makes sense…)

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 bottle of Guinness (it’s ok if you sneak a few sips)

1 cup of whole milk

1 teaspoon mustard (dijon or spicy brown)

1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

7 oz. Dubliner

7 oz. Aged Cheddar

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get your water boiling for the pasta. Whenever the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and let it cook together for a few minutes, until the butter has become a thick paste. Whisk in the Guinness and milk and cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat down low and add in the mustard and worcestershire sauce. Slowly add in the cheese, melting each batch completely before adding more. Adjust seasonings.

Take off the heat and combine with the pasta in a 2 quart baking dish. Top with panko and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Corrupted Soup

Beer Cheese Soup made with DC Brau’s Corruption IPA. Cause I don’t mess around.

We live within walking distance of a brewery. And driving or biking distance of another (one of my most favorite places!). This is both a glorious, and a very dangerous thing.

They have not yet been open for a year, and we have already spent more than our fair share of time at their growler hours on Saturdays. Perhaps way more. But it’s all good-we’re just supporting local business!

Although I like the Public Pale Ale, the Penn Quarter Porter is delicious, and I’m really enjoying the limited release of Thyme After Thyme, I immediately fell in LOVE with the Corruption IPA. Being a lover of all things hoppy, it was pretty much made for me.

And me being who I am, for months now I have wanted to make a good beer cheese soup using DC Brau’s Corruption. And here it is. Hoppy, cheesy goodness. Not for the faint of hop heart.

If you haven’t yet been down to DC Brau for growler hours, please do so. Free tastings, good eats from friendly food trucks, cool swag, and most importantly-AWESOME LOCAL BEER! We’ll probably see you there…

Corrupted Soup

Adapted from Emeril

4 tablespoons of butter

1 medium-large carrot

2-3 celery stalks

1 medium-large onion

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup flour

2 bay leaves

3 cups broth

2 cups beer (or a 12 oz is fine)*

1 cups milk

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mustard

4 cups cheese (I used sharp cheddar, although blue cheese would be an interesting addition if you are using an IPA)

Chop the carrots, celery, and onion and saute over medium heat until completely cooked and soft. While sauteing, season it up with salt and pepper. Mince the garlic, add to the other vegetables and saute a minute at most. Add the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the broth, slowly at first, whisking the entire time. Pour in the beer and milk. Let the mixture simmer for about ten minutes, whisking/stirring occasionally as needed. Turn the heat down to low. Fish out the bay leaves. Add the worchestershire sauce and mustard. Add the cheese one cup at a time, stirring and melting the cheese entirely before adding any more. Check for seasoning. Garnish with spicy popcorn like I did, or croutons, bacon, or whatever you’d like!

*I used two full cups because I had a growler full of beer. If you’re making this soup from a bottle or canned beer, that 12 oz. is plenty. Also, this soup can easily be made with almost any style of beer: pale ales, lagers, stouts, seasonals-whatever flavor you want to impart. If you don’t groove on IPA’s, it’s all good. I just love me some hops.