The Alchemist Heady Topper

Top o’ the evenin’ to ya! And a Happy Saint Paddy’s Day to ya all!  Today we have a mighty special goodwilltasting review for ya, even finer than me pot o’ gold!  They’re always after me lucky charms!

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NAME: Heady Topper by The Alchemist
TYPE: American Double IPA
ORIGIN: Waterbury, VT
ABV: 8.0%
REVIEW: This is a big deal guys. After about 6 months since I heard about the existence of this beer I finally got a taste of it. Props to Mr. Weers for hauling back a couple 4 packs from VT for me! Light golden opaque color, bubbly head, tangerine peel, pine on the nose. Poured out a little to get the color and smell but drank the rest from the can as directed. The hops hit you immediately but it’s not overly bitter. Nice citrusy taste with a lingering sweetness that sticks around longer than your average IPA. It’s a slow morph from bitter to sweet as you drink. Really interesting. This is a beautiful, ridiculously drinkable double IPA. Even so, I still think I gotta give the gold to Pliny the Elder. Hope I can get some soon!

goodwilltasting grade: A

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Rotisserie Chicken Jook

There are many names for this dish. Rice porridge, congee, jook, Chinese Risotto. Okay I made that last one up, but whatever you want to call it, this stuff is comfort in a bowl. So delicious and perfect for a winter dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. It’s just so versatile!

Lets start with the rotisserie chicken stock we just made.

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Throw it back in  the pot, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse some rice with cold water.

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Add the rice to the pot, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and boil. The rice will puff up and the liquid will thicken. Next add some more broth to thin it out.

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When it looks like picture 4, it’s perfecto. Garnish with some thinly sliced scallions, thinly julienned ginger, and if you have leftover rotisserie chicken meat, slice it up and throw it on there, playa!

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ROTISSERIE CHICKEN JOOK/CONGEE/RICE PORRIDGE/ETC

Ingredients:

6 cups home-made rotisserie chicken stock
2 more cups store-bought chicken broth
1 cup short-grain rice, rinsed
Salt

Garnish:

ginger, thin julienne
rotisserie chicken, sliced
green onions, thinly sliced
white pepper powder

Directions:

Bring the rotisserie chicken stock to a boil, add the rice, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 40-50 minutes until the rice is puffed and liquid is thickened. Add 2 more cups of store-bought chicken broth to thin out liquid, cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt to taste.

Serve in bowls with garnishes

beer pairing recommendation: Hitachino Nest White Ale

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Rotisserie Chicken Stock

Waste not, want not. Let’s make some stock with that leftover rotisserie chicken from the tortilla soup!

Did you know there is a difference between stock and broth? I just learned this. Stock and broth are both made basically the same way: scraps of meat, bone, and a few vegetables boiled down in water like some slow-brewed meat tea. Stock usually ends there and is not especially tasty on its own, but when used as a base for a sauce, soup, or in place of water to cook grains, it can add something really special to your food. (Source: thekitchn)

Broth, on the other hand, can be further seasoned with salt, pepper, some wine, or other herbs and can be really delicious just on it’s own. I remember after the first race I ever ran (the 10-mile Broad Street Run in Philadelphia), they served cups of hot Swanson’s broth at the finish line and it was like I was eating at The French Laundry.  Just delicious and really hit the spot.

So I’m going to show you how to make a stock. It’s not really rocket surgery  but here it is.

Here’s your chicken, devoid of breast and leg/thigh meat. A shadow of it’s former glorious self. But wait, there’s potential in those bones.

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I like to shred off even more of the meat before throwing it in the stock pot, it’s up to you what you want to do. The more meat you leave on, the more flavorful the stock, but I think it’s plenty flavorful with just the bones and skin, and that meat is just too good to boil all of it down.

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I threw in half an onion. Most people would say throw in a carrot and celery as well (a mirepoix) but I didn’t have any. Also, I’m not making that much stock so adding more vegetables would add more sugars and would have made the stock kind of sweet.

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Add water, bring to boil, cover, simmer.

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2 hours later… like magic.

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Don’t get lazy now. If you try just using a slotted spoon to get out all the bones it’s gonna take you FOREVER. Put a wire colander in a bowl and drain that stock.

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It’s so beautiful

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There you have it. Easy as pie. Speaking of pie, this will make a fine base for a rotisserie chicken pot pie.

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN STOCK

Bones and skin of 1 Rotisserie chicken, most of the meat removed
1 Half an onion
8 cups of water

Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours. Drain stock through a wire colander into a large bowl. Discard bones.

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Stone Enjoy By 2.14.14

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NAME: Stone Enjoy By 2.14.14.
TYPE: American Double IPA
ORIGIN: Escondido, CA
ABV: 9.4%
REVIEW: Golden color, foamy head, lots of fruit on the nose. Definitely smelling some pineapple and mango in there. Sweet, refreshing, very fruity IPA with a nice bitter finish. Methinks it would be a great summer IPA. Too bad it’s still the dead of winter. Oh and don’t worry, this photo was from a couple weeks ago, I enjoyed it well before 2/14/14.

goodwilltasting grade: A-

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Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus Bier

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NAME: Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus Bier
TYPE: Seasonal Winter Doppelbock
ORIGIN: Austria
ABV: A big ol’14%
REVIEW: Pours medium brown, sweet smelling with a honey and a little maple, strong malt backbone. Sweet taste and a little boozy at the end. Full, creamy mouthfeel. Nice, warm beer for a bitterly cold night in Portland Maine. BTDubs, if you ever find yourself in Portland, do yourself a favor and check out Novare Res. Probably the best beer bar I’ve been to in New England.

goodwilltasting grade: B+.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Forget Campbell’s Chunky.  This is truly a soup that eats like a meal. This will also be the first of several recipes that feature a $5 Costco rotisserie chicken.  If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a fresh Costco rotisserie chicken, then my friend you are missing out. Enjoy, you scallywags.  BTW remember when talking like a pirate was popular? What ever happened to that?

I had trouble fitting this all into one frame:

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Here are some seasonings. Very similar to what you might put into a chili.

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This is how you carve the breast meat off a chicken.

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Dice up your veggies.

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Saute in some olive oil, then add the tomato paste to brown. Browning tomato paste caramelizes it and turns it into a huge flavor booster you can add to soups, sauces, etc. So good.

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When the paste looks browned like this, it’s time to add your broth.

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Next come the chili peppers. Hatch chiles are the real deal.

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Chipotle peppers add a great smoky kick to your soup as well. Try it you might like it! Just make sure to mince it up real good.

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Take two forks and shred up your chicken real good.

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Add the chicken and black beans

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Here’s a little trick, add some water to a tablespoon of corn meal and use as a thickener to your soup.

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While your soup’s boiling, prep the garnishes.  This is the fun part, so I’m told! Here’s how you dice an avocado without using a cutting board:

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Scoop it out and add to your soup.

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Throw in some chopped green onion, a few tortilla chips, a wedge of lime, and there you have it!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Adapted from Pioneer Woman)

Spice Mix:

1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika

Soup:

2 rotiserrie chicken breasts (recommended: Costco rotisserie chicken, but if you don’t have a membership you can get one from any old neighborhood grocer, OR you can just roast some chicken breasts on your own if you want to add an hour and a half to your cooking time)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ large onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-28 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1-2 oz can of diced green chiles (recommended: Hatch)
3 chipotle peppers, minced
32 oz chicken stock
2 tbsp corn meal (optional)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

Garnish:

Tortilla chips
Avocado, diced
Green onions, sliced

Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Saute until the onion gets soft, then add the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add the tomato paste. Saute until the tomato paste browns, then add broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

Add the green chiles, the chipotles, and the fire-roasted tomatoes to the pot, then simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. While it’s simmering, use two forks to shred up your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, add the shredded chicken and beans, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Ladle into bowls, then top with garnishes. You can also add grated cheese and sour cream but we’ve been having trouble with dairy lately so we deferred.  They’re really good though.

beer pairing suggestion: Great Lakes Eliot Ness or a good old fashioned Negra Modelo!

Qué Rico!

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New Page

Check out my new ESTABLISHMENTS page, where you’ll find my recommendations for beer bars, cocktail bars, gastropubs, and beer all over this fine country. It’s still a work in progress (sorry mid-west), but hopefully it will continue filling up as time goes by.

Also, if you haven’t already, check out my quick beer reference. All my beer reviews and info in a convenient spreadsheet for your perusing pleasure.

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Great Lakes Eliot Ness

Great Lakes Eliot Ness Amber Lager

NAME: Great Lakes Eliot Ness
TYPE: Amber Lager
ORIGIN: Cleveland, OH
ABV: 6.2%
REVIEW: Rich, full-bodied amber lager. A little smokey initially, faint hop nose, smooth sweet finish. Pretty good.

goodwilltasting grade: B

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Dogfish Head Burton Baton

Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine

NAME: Dogfish Head Old School Barleywine
TYPE: Barleywine
ORIGIN: Rehoboth Beach, DE
ABV: A whopping 15% ABV you maniacs
REVIEW: Dark amber color, minimal head, very sweet, fruity taste with a thick syrupy mouthfeel, minimal carbonation and lingering figgy aftertaste. I kinda wanna pour this on pancakes and see how that goes. As you can see, this review is from days of yore, before the blog existed. Almost got all my old IG reviews up on here!

goodwilltasting grade: Trying to be impartial since I’m not a huge Barleywine guy. B+.

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Green Flash Imperial IPA

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NAME: Green flash Imperial IPA
TYPE: Imperial IPA
ORIGIN: San Diego, CA
ABV: 9.4% ABV
REVIEW: Light amber color, rich crisp pine on the nose, very fruity IPA with hint of peach and a sticky, bitter aftertaste. A little fuller mouthfeel but not too heavy. A nice spring beer, wouldn’t mind having this with some good BBQ, I think I prefer their traditional West Coast IPA though.

goodwilltasting grade: B+

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