Beer-Candied Bacon

Beer and bacon are right up there with some of my favorite things so this recipe caught my attention immediately. Tide and Thyme have some really fun and innovative recipes on their site that really impressed me. This recipe for Beer-Candied Bacon was just over the top I couldn’t resist! I mean come on, what more do you need to hear after the words beer, candy and bacon? Delicious!

Photo Courtesy of www.tideandthyme.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.tideandthyme.com

Ingredients:

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat overn to 400 degrees farenheight.
  2. Combine brown sugar and beer in a small bowl, whisking the ingrediens into a thin syrup.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  5. Please a wire cooling roack on top.
  6. Place the bacon on the rack and cook for 10 minutes (The bacon can overlap if necessary)
  7. Remove the bacon from the oven and brush one side with “beer syrup.”
  8. Flip the bacon and coat the other side with syrup.
  9. Cook for 10 more miniyes
  10. Remove from oven and repeat 1-2 times until desired crispiness/brownness is achieved. (Tip: Or until all the syrup has been used)
  11. Cool on wire rack for at least one hour.

If you’re looking for some other new cooking ideas, check out Laura’s Twitter page an site for a wide-range of awesome dishes. Enjoy!

My Top 5 BYOB Restaurants in Northern NJ

I love to eat as much as I like to drink, but many of my favorite restaurants don’t have the beer selection that I am looking for. There are tons of BYOB restaurants all over New Jersey. The problem is, how do you know you are choosing the right one? Also, I’m all about eating a wide-range of food, so I’ve provided you my favorties with food inspired from all over the world and put together this list for you. Enjoy!

Top 5 BYOB Restaurants in Northern NJ:

  1. Cuban Pete’s (Montclair):
    Great atmosphere and great food – What more can you ask for? I LOVE this place!
    Food Type: Cuban
    Favorite Dish: Churrasco el Gaucho: Grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce chipotle.
    They also offer a variety of tapas for around $4 so you can sample a few things on the menu if you’re not that hungry.
    Tip: You know I love my beer, but Cuban Pete’s offers a variety of punches (about a dozen or so). I would suggest bringing some wine or vodka that the servers can mix in for some AMAZING sangria.
  2. Zen Japanese Cuisine (Livingston):
    Relaxed atmosphere and unexpectedly nice décor – dark wooden booths along with recessed lighting- definitely a nice place to bring your date! They also have a sushi bar if you’re on the go.
    Food Type: Japanese
    Favorite Dish: M.I.3: From the specialty menu, this tempura sushi roll with jalapeños is FANTASTIC! It’s got flavor, but it’s not overly spicy.
    Tip: There is a large liquor store with a large beer and wine selection right next door. Get your drinks and food all in one shopping center!Mama Mia
  3. Mama Mia (Morris Plains):
    This recently-opened restaurant has some truly amazing Italian food. The chef has been in the industry for more than 40 years and it shows! The service is great and I always feel welcome when I come here.
    Food Type: Italian
    Favorite Dish: Rigatoni (or any pasta) with Vodka Sauce: The sauce makes the dish! It is the perfect blend of cream and filetto (red sauce) with hints of garlic and basil. You will thank me once you try this!
    TIP: If you want something quick, try the Cheesesteak sandwich. Mama Mia’s uses rib eye to elevate this classic Philly sandwich to a whole other level.
  4. Saigon Pho (Parsippany):
    Authentic, reasonably-priced Vietnamese that comes in large portions – I usually spend about $25 for two entrees and an appetizer.
    Food Type: Vietnamese
    Favorite Dish: Rare Beef and Flank Steak Pho (P4): The meat cooks instantly in the boiling hot broth. I love this dish because I can spice it up to my taste with homemade hot sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce. They also have Sriracha if you prefer that instead.
    Tip: There is a Bottle King across the street as well as a ShopRite that carries beer/wine/liquor in the same complex.
  5. Bosphorous (Lake Hiawatha):
    This small, but intimate restaurant has some of the best lamb I’ve had in the area. It literally melts in your mouth and is not gamey at all!
    Food Type: Turkish
    Favorite Dish: Yogurt Kabab Gyro: broiled lamb over fried bread pieces in a garlic yogurt sauce (that will have you licking the plate clean if you can finish it!)
    Tip: The restaurant is a bit small, so if you’re going during prime dining hours and have more than four people, I would recommend making a reservation.

Gorgonzola IPA Crackers

I don’t know about you, but when it’s this hot outside, I don’t feel like doing anything! Except for drinking a great, cold beer ;)! I wanted to find a recipe that didn’t involve much work or heated up my house, but satisfied my hunger. Thus, Gorgonzola IPA Crackers from Beer and Baking.

Ingredients: (Makes about 30-50 crackers)

  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup of beer ( This recipe used Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a food processor pulse together the flour, salt, cheese, and butter.
  2. Add the beer until the mixture comes together into a ball.
  3. Put the mixture in some plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using the wonderful trick of rolling out dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll out your dough to about a 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Using a pizza cutter or a pasta wheel cutter cut your cracker shapes.
  6. Put onto a silpat or parchment paper and then stab with a fork to create air holes.
  7. Add salt or any other topping to your desire. Put the crackers in the oven for about 10-15 minutes before baking them so they kept the shape better.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. I rotated them halfway through and waited to take them out until I could see a little browning on the crackers.
  9. Allow to cool completely.

TIP: These crackers last about 3 to 4 days so eat them while they’re fresh for the best taste!

These crackers will be perfect for any gathering or late night snack. I can also see myself making a little basket full of these crackers and some craft beers for a great birthday gift. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

Beer of the Week: Rogue Good Chit Pilsner

Rogue Good Chit Pilsner

Rogue Good Chit Pilsner (6% alcohol): This Czech-style pilsner from Rogue Ales & Spirits is brewed with only five ingredients and has no chemicals, additives or preservatives! This brew has a bright, golden color along with a medium, bright white head that dissipates quickly. Good Chit Pilsner isn’t very aromatic, but it has balanced malt and hops essence. I also noticed subtle undertones of floral and citrus scents. As for flavor, this beer is crisp and clean. A bit of sweetness, malt and hops is also evident. It is not as bitter as traditional Czech pilsners, which makes this more of a summer beer and highly drinkable in my eyes. The fact that it used pure, simple ingredients and is Grow Your Own (GYO) certified is also a bonus. Overall, it is a decent summer pilsner. It’s worth a try, but not my go-to pilsner.

FUN FACT: “‘Chit’ refers to the start of the rootlets that emerge from the embryo of the kernel once steeping is complete and germination begins.”

A Beer a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

A study conducted by Harokopio University in Athens, Greece found that drinking beer is good for the heart because it improves blood flow. Now, the study researches drinking beer in moderation, so this study doesn’t encourage excessive drinking! However, the key findings of the study include:  

  • Drinking two-thirds of a pint improved blood vessels within 3 hours
  • Same effect was not observed in non-alcoholic beer however
  • Findings support the growing body of evidence that moderate beer consumption may protect against heart disease

Click here to read the full article from Daily Mail.

Rustic Beer Tortilla Chips

I have been in a salsa kind of mood lately. However, whenever I buy store-made tortilla chips, I feel like they are WAY too salty. I’ve made my own chips from whole tortillas before, but never thought it was possible to make tortilla chips from scratch. Then, I came across this recipe for Rustic Beer Tortillas from Brauista. Not only do you get tortilla chips salted to your taste, but they are also made with beer! What more could you ask for? Well, besides someone making these for you!

Photo Courtesy of www.brauista.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.brauista.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Rendered And Cooled Bacon Fat (Or Lard)
  • 3/4 Cup Warm Beer (Brauista used and Imperial Pale Ale)
  • 3 Additional Tbsp. beer

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add the fat and rub it into the flour with your hands until it forms coarse crumbs and all the fat has been evenly distributed. (TIP: You can use a stand mixer to speed this process up)
  3. Heat the beer until just warm to the touch. Slowly pour 3/4 of a cup into the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until all of the flour has been moistened. (TIP: Use a little more beer, a tablespoon at a time, as needed)
  4. Use the stand mixer to help combine the ingredients.
  5. Knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes or until the dough becomes shiny and slightly stiff but not firm.
  6. Return to the bowl and cover with a towel, allow to rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  7. Pull off pieces of the dough just smaller than a golf ball.
  8. Roll into balls and place on a plate, continue for the remaining dough.
  9. Cover the plate with a towel and allow to rest for an additional 30 minutes.
  10. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  11. Using a rolling pin roll the tortillas out until they are thin enough to see through. (TIP: A tortilla press doesn’t work well with flour tortillas.)
  12. On a lightly floured surface, flatten a ball of dough with the rolling pin, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a very thin consistency.
  13. Throw onto the griddle and allow to cook until lightly brown, about 1 minute per side.
  14. Don’t over cook or your tortillas will be crispy. (TIP: You don’t need to add any oil to the pan as there is already enough fat in the dough.

Click here to view 15 Must Have Mexican Salsa Recipes from Delish and you’re ready to start dipping (or scooping)!

Celebrity of the Week: Hillary Clinton

Photo Courtesy of www.ibabuzz.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.ibabuzz.com

Okay, so Hillary Clinton is a politician and not necessarily a celebirty, but hey she loves beer. Clinton has been photographed numerous times chugging a cold one.

Hillary Clinton was born on October 26, 1947. She is most known for her marriage to former president Bill Clinton as well as her own political successes in recent years.

Clinton has served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, a senator for the state of New York from 2001 to 2009, a Democratic Presidential candidate in 2009 and United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, she was hospitalized for a blod clot. Regardless, she still remains a viable presidential candidate for the 2016 election.

Her recent health scares have prevented the politician from drinking beer like she used to, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her with a beer in her hand in the near future!