Posts Tagged ‘David Loan Sommelier’

We’re now delivering BC wines!

Posted by David

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
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There was big news this past Canada Day – we announced that we’re going national! We now deliver wines from coast to coast to your doorstep.  Yes….you can now receive wines from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and all the wine regions in between delivered to your home or office.  Be Savvy and subscribe to Savvy Selections wine of-the-month club and our Sommeliers will introduce you to some amazing Canadian wineries, the owners and of course….outstanding wines.

This month in Savvy Selections, we feature our first BC winery – Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery – a multiple-award winning winery from the Okanagan region. 100 per cent estate grown, Noble Ridge enjoys a micro-climate providing both north-facing and south-facing vineyards. Their full-bodied, richly flavoured wines will make you want to book a quick trip to BC!

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our favourite Noble Ridge picks. We love the elegant style and powerful flavours of these wines!

2013 Reserve Chardonnay –Lush tropical fruit and citrus flavours
2014 Reserve Pinot Noir – Supple and fruity with deep berry aromas
2014 Reserve Meritage – This powerful Bordeaux-style wine will knock your socks off!

 

Wines with style

Noble Ridge has a wide selection of wonderful red and white wines that will excite your palate and meet your budget. This is a great opportunity to try some fantastic wines that aren’t available at the LCBO!

Call on us at any time you would like additional bottles of your favourite Noble Ridge wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.  Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

Imagine you’re on a family vacation, when your spouse announces that he wants to change the direction of his life and yours. That’s what happened to Leslie D’Andrea, Co-Owner and CEO of BC’s Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery. “In 1998, Jim and I were on a three month sabbatical through the Mediterranean with our kids when Jim turned to me,” Leslie remembers. “He said he HAD to own a winery. And he wanted to make premium quality wine!”

Leslie continues by recalling, “We came home and started to look through Europe, Ontario, and the West. And after a few false starts, we found this property on January 1, 2001 and bought it a month later.”

 

Unique terroir

Jim and Leslie were impressed with the property’s unique situation. Winemaker Benoit Gauthier described it as, “a unique combination of everything: the land and the climate. It’s really good to have the two slopes of the ridge;  all of the reds are facing south where they get the heat and the sun, and all of the whites face north where they can develop acidity.”  Benoit explains, “The soil is sandy and drains well, meaning we get smaller, more flavourful berries.”

All about the curtain

It isn’t just about the terroir though. The team at Noble Ridge implemented a lesser-used trellis system, called the Geneva Double Curtain. It brings the shoots out into a double canopy so the fruit gets better airflow and sunlight. “We could get twice as much fruit with the Double Curtain,” Benoit said. “But I reduce the fruit to half so we can ripen the grapes really well per each vine.”

“By knowing the vineyard really well, I can select from the individual vineyards and ferment each batch separately, then do a high power blending,” he said. “That way they get the tannins and acidity I want.” Benoit said that he enjoys the end of harvest. “I get the best quality of fruit possible and I choose it for the most powerful and best quality wine,” he said.

 

Cross-border shopping

“One of the things we forget about is that we live in this very beautiful part of the world,” Leslie said. “We try to keep our guest areas close to the vines. We want our guests to walk through the vineyard and enjoy a picnic here. And we hire the very best staff to work here!” she said.

Leslie said that she likes the fact that interprovincial alcohol restrictions are slowly being lifted. “Direct to customer is our favourite way of selling,” she said. “It’s better for us and it’s better for the consumer. Working directly with our consumers is the smartest way and it’s growing.” All of us in the Savvy Team are ecstatic with the changes too because it means that we can broaden our scope to showcase even more hard-to-come by wines from coast to coast.

 

A day in the vineyard

Asked to describe his day at the winery, Benoit said he split into two parts. “Right now, it’s all about the position of the vines,” he said. “We’re positioning shoots and doing canopy management to ensure good airflow and exposure to the sun.  This afternoon in fact, we’re trial tasting our next vintage of The One,” he said, referring to Noble Ridge’s multi-award winning sparkling wine.

Leslie pipes in saying they have some exciting projects coming up. “We’ll have a sparkling rosé made from our Pinot Noir fruit in a couple of years. We’re working on it now from our 2016 vintage,” she said. “And we’ll be bottling some port in March, 2018!”

 

Let’s raise a glass to Leslie, Jim & Benoit and thank them for creating these special, fantastic wines!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines – one white and two red – which show the power and finesse of the Okanagan Falls appelation.  Each one demonstrates the micro-climate and terroir of this beautiful wine region, enhanced by talented winemakers.

 

2013 Reserve Chardonnay, $29.90

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Winner of a number of awards, including a Gold Medal at the prestigious 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, this full-bodied Chardonnay was was fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for 14 months in a mix of old and new French Oak. No malolactic fermentation took place, so the natural acidity remains.

This is a ripe, rich Chardonnay with flavours of lemon curd, green apple, peach and pineapple. The bright acidity balances the vanilla notes, leaving a long, soft tropical fruit finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Perfect for your summer BBQ, this will pair beautifully with chicken or seafood. Try it with rainbow trout and a mango salsa. (recipe below).

Cellaring:  Drink at 8º C within two years.

 

 

2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, $29.90

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: To get the best flavours and ripeness from their Pinot Noir, Noble Ridge starts in the vineyard. They are one of the few wineries in BC growing Pinot with a trellis system known as the Geneva Double Curtain, which encourages more sunshine and fresh air to reach the fruit clusters. The wine was aged for fourteen months in French Oak barrels, 20 per cent new oak.

This is a complex, medium bodied wine which will stun your palate with candied fruit, red licorice, and sweet spice. The dark cherry flavours dominate, though, balanced with the soft, medium tannins and medium acidity. There’s a hint of balsamic here, too, and we finish long with black cherry and vanilla.

Suggested Food Pairings: There’s lots of oomph! flavour here and it will stand up well to red meats. Try it with beef shish-kabobs in a balsamic marinade (recipe below).

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 5 years. Serve between 14-16º C.

 

 

2014 Reserve Meritage, $34.90

This big Meritage was a hit at our recent Savvy Oh! Canada event, where guests lined up hoping to get a taste before we ran out (and we did!).

This Bordeaux-style blend is made up of 74% Merlot; 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cab Franc, and 2% Malbec. It was fermented for 15 months in French (75%) and American (25%) oak, of which 40% was new. The wine was subsequently bottle aged for an additional 14 months prior to release.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dry, powerful, graceful: the adjectives roll off the tongue as the wine races along it. Loads of dark cherry flavours with hints of Okanagan sage, dark chocolate, leather, and plum. The tannins are supple but big, balanced by the medium acidity.

Suggested Food Pairings: Roast beef or a rack of lamb would pair nicely with this, but we’d like to have it late in the meal, seawith smoked and aged cheeses and Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co’s savoury shortbread, available with your Savvy Selections order.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 5-7 years. Serve at 17-18º C.

 

 

 

What a view!
Photo credit: The Okanagan Falls Winery Association

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Chardonnay…
Rainbow Trout with tropical fruit salsa

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 1/8 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 cup diced pineapple, peeled and cored
1 cup diced peeled pitted mango
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced red onion
5 cups mixed baby greens
4 rainbow trout fillets (5- to 6-ounce), skin on

 

Method

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, lime juice, sugar, ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon Creole seasoning in small bowl to blend. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Combine pineapple, mango, bell pepper, and red onion in large bowl. Add half of vinaigrette; toss to coat. Toss greens in medium bowl with remaining vinaigrette.

Brush trout fillets with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning, about 1/2 teaspoon per side, then salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add trout fillets and cook until just opaque in center and browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Divide greens among 4 plates. Place trout fillets and salsa alongside.


 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir…
Beef Shish-kabobs with balsamic marinade

Recipe and photo: Melskitchencafe.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2-3 pounds sirloin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes (or same amount of chicken breasts, cubed)
1 red onion, cut into squares (optional)

Method

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Measure out 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside for basting later.

Add the rosemary to the remaining marinade. Place the beef or chicken in a large, gallon-size ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 4-8 hours (or as little as 20 minutes, although the flavor won’t be quite as pronounced).

Preheat a grill to medium heat.

If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak in cool water for 15-20 minutes. Thread red onion onto the skewer followed by meat and then a few red onions to finish off.

Whisk the reserved basting sauce to recombine. Grill the kebabs, turning every couple of minutes and basting with the sauce, until the beef is cooked to desired doneness (chicken should be cooked all the way through), 10-12 minutes.

Transfer the kebabs to a platter or plate and tent with foil to let rest for 5 or so minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 

 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage…
Rack of lamb with garlic and herbs

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

For lamb:
2 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb (each rack 1 1/2 lb), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For herb coating:
1/2 head new garlic or 3 large regular garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer

 

Method

Brown lamb:
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides (not ends), about 10 minutes per batch.

Transfer racks to a small (13- by 9-inch) roasting pan.

Coat and roast lamb:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and oil. Coat meaty parts of lamb with herb mixture, pressing to help adhere. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will rise to 125 to 130°F for medium-rare while lamb stands.)

Cut each rack into 4 double chops. 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Taste the history of Toronto with a Henderson beer

Posted by David

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
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Henderson Brewing Company has a unique approach to their products: they want to reflect the history, people, and culture of the City of Toronto with their beer. The result is a series of stock and specialty beers with familiar names and labels, and made to be approachable and easy to drink.

We think they’re doing a great job, and we’re proud to offer you this series of delicious beers from Henderson Brewing!

 

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find bottles & cans of…

Ides of March – Truffle Saison
Ides of May – Maple Brown Ale
Food Truck – Blonde Ale
Union Pearson Ale – Imperial Pale Ale
Rube Goldbeer – Belgian Tripel
Old Fashioned – Rye Ale

 

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Taste of Toronto:
Henderson Brewing Company
by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

What’s in a name? A lot, if you talk to Henderson Brewing’s co-founder and general manager Steve Himel. From their company to their beers, every name tells a story. And that’s the whole idea.

 

Reflections

Steve said he had worked for a large commercial brewery for several years. He often traveled through the U.S., and he noticed something.

“I tasted a lot of beers,” Steve started his story, “so many beers that reflected their city. Portland-style, Boston-style. There was no beer that was  a ‘Toronto-style’. I thought there should be, and suggested it to Mark.”

That’s Mark Benzaquen, who was a well-known brewmaster in Toronto and is one of the founding partners at Henderson.

 

Telling the story of Toronto Beer

“I thought there was an opportunity to kind of get back to our roots,” Steve explained (in photo right).

The first step was naming the brewery. Steve and Mark chose to commemorate Robert Henderson, who opened Toronto’s first brewery in 1800.

“Robert Henderson came to Toronto from Kingston. He saw an opportunity because the garrison soldiers were allowed six pints of beer each day. The beer was shipped from Kingston, so he saw a chance to make it locally. Unfortunately, Robert didn’t have any heirs, so the brewery died with him.”

Steve goes on, “I think that one of things missing from Toronto is the recognition of our history,” Steve said. “We have an honest, real brewing tradition and it’s worth recognizing people like Robert Henderson. It’s his style that we want to channel. We wanted to look forward and backward at the same time.”

 

Inspirations

Henderson Brewing’s labels reflect Toronto in many ways. “We want to take a story that maybe Torontonians don’t know that well and bring that story back to life,” Steve told me. “Our beer names come from five sources: history, locations, events, famous people, and neighbourhood people.  One of the things that I really like with our approach is when I present Mark with a theme and we bring it to life.”

 

Life on tap

The brewery is located in in Toronto’s Junction Triangle district. When you visit, you will see that the taproom is in the heart of the business.   “We intentionally built our brewery around our taproom, so visitors will sitting in the middle of our brewery. We want you to experience our beer, not just taste it.”

Steve, Mark & the brewery team invite all of our subscribers to pop by for a brew.  Roadtrip anyone???

 

You’ll think you’re visiting Hogtown when you quaff these great beers from Henderson Brewing!

 

 

 

 

~ Tasting Notes for the Savvy Hip Hops ~

Usually our Brew Crew provides their tasting notes for the featured beers, but this time havoc ran amuck to that idea.  Sample bottles were broken enroute and time was running short.  So….this month we are providing you Henderson’s tasting notes instead.

 

Ides of March: “The Face of Toronto” Truffle Saison

Celebrating Toronto’s March birthday, this specialty beer invokes the chocolate and spice notes of rich truffles.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: The use of darker malts as well as cardamon and cocoa nibs blends nicely with the saison yeast to create a crisp session beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will go well with ripe, bloomy-rind cheeses like Camembert. Have it with a little baguette, some sliced apple, and a few grapes …ta-da! You have a lovely ploughman’s lunch!

 

 

Ides of May: Maple Brown Ale

BRAND NEW BEER!

Just canned last week in time to be included in your Savvy Hip Hops.  Inspired by Toronto’s signature dish –  peameal bacon sandwich – this beer is made with maple syrup to compliment the salty bacon and sharp mustard.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: A medium bodied ale brewed with Ontario maple syrup, notes of roasted chocolate and caramel.

Suggested Food Pairing: How could we consider serving this with anything but a peameal bacon sandwich, the meat on a fresh bun with a dollop of good grain mustard.

 

 

Food Truck Blonde Ale

Designed to be an easy-drinking, sessionable ale for everybody, this is one of Henderson’s regular offerings.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: A light bodied and crisp ale with subtle stone fruit notes. Light straw colour and slight honey on the nose.

Suggested Food Pairing: Contemporary food trucks offer a variety of flavours from around the world and this beer is meant to compliment many of them. We’d love to try it with a Vietnamese-style Banh-Mi! (recipe below)

 

 

Union Pearson Ale – Imperial Pale Ale

The Union Pearson Express train runs right by the brewery, so it’s a natural inspiration for this “always available” IPA!

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: Our Toronto take on the American-style IPA with a creamy finish and notes of strawberry.

Suggested Food Pairing: IPAs are wonderful with grilled meats. Enjoy this with some Garlic and Rosemary Grilled Chicken. (Recipe below)

 

 

Rube Goldbeer Belgian Tripel

Henderson’s tasting bar features a wonderful Rube Goldberg device which, for a small payment, will pour you a beer!

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: Sweet with a light body and a clean finish. A smooth, effervescent triple with fruit and a hint of spice.

Suggested Food Pairing: Belgian Tripels, with their golden colour and dry, sometimes herbal notes, go great with basil. This will be lovely with a fresh basil pesto served over your favourite pasta! (recipe below)

 

 

Old Fashioned Rye Ale

A collaboration with cocktail specialists The Martini Club, this is an ode to the rye whiskey classic.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes:
A strong, spiced rye ale infused with aromatic bitters and botanicals.

Suggested Food Pairing:
The spicy rye in the beer will match nicely with sausages cooked over the BBQ.

Photo credits: Henderson Brewing Co.

 

 

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~

 

With Food Truck Blonde Ale
Rainbow-Stuffed Banh-Mi

Recipe & photo credits: OliveMagazine.com

Ingredients

600g rump roast
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sriracha sauce
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 long, fat sourdough baguette
3 carrots, peeled and juilienned
1 red pepper, sliced into thin rings
2 Lebanese or ridged cucumber, thinly sliced mint leaves or coriander or Thai basil, a handful of each
1 red onion, thinly sliced
125ml lime juice
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 red chilli, sliced

Directions:

Heat the oven 240C. Season the beef with the fish sauce and black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to to 190C for 25 more minutes for medium rare, or longer if you like. Leave to cool, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours.

Mix the sriracha sauce with the mayonnaise and set aside. Slice the baguette lengthways. Scoop out the inner soft bread so you’re left with a shell about 2cm thick. Spread the spicy mayo sauce in the top and bottom of the bread. Keep the leftovers for serving.

Thinly slice the chilled beef, then add a layer to the bottom of the baguette. Top with the carrot, pepper, cucumbers, herbs, and the red onion. It will be very full, so press the top on and wrap very tightly with clingfilm. Put in the fridge, with a weight on top, for at least an hour.

Mix the dipping sauce ingredients with 2 tbsp water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved then taste, add more fish sauce or lime if you like. Cut the sandwich into four portions and serve with 4 bowls of the dipping sauce and any leftover spicy mayo.

Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of pico de gallo.
Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there! Serve immediately!

 

 

 

With Union Pearson Ale
Garlic and Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Recipe & photo credits: Epicurious.com

Ingredients

1 3 1/2–4-pound chicken, backbone removed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs rosemary
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
2 bunches red scallions
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon onion or chive blossoms (optional)

Directions:

Prepare grill for medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place rosemary, garlic, and 1 bunch of scallions in a layer on grill.

Place chicken, skin side up, on top of aromatics. Cover grill and cook until chicken is nearly cooked through, 35–40 minutes (aromatics will be thoroughly charred).

Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon oil and place skin side down, directly onto grates (you can discard aromatics at this point). Grill until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp, 10–15 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.

Meanwhile, toss remaining bunch of scallions with remaining 1 tablespoon oil on a rimmed baking sheet and grill until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes.

Serve chicken with grilled scallions alongside, topped with onion blossoms, if desired.

 

 

 

With Rube Goldbeer Belgian Tripel
Basil Pesto

Recipe & photo credits: FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions:

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

 

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine!

Posted by David

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
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Does it takes a family to make a beer? You’d certainly think so if you visited Embrun, Ontario’s Tuque de Broue! Founder Nicolas Malboeuf has involved the whole clan in his new enterprise. Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory.

Tuque de Broue is making approachable, sessionable beers meant to be enjoyed at the lake or cottage. They’re unique and made with local ingredients. We know you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!

 

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find 473 mL cans of…

…in your Quick Picks a 18-pack containing cans of:

Tuque Dorée Canadian Pale Ale
Barbe Blanche White Beer
Gougounes Rousses Red Ale
La Cavalerie d’Houblons IPA
Cabane à Tuques Maple Wheat Beer
Portage Porter

in your Taste Case 2-4 containing even more cans of this assortment!

 

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

 

Introducing….

Tuque de Broue

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

First, a disclosure: Tuque de Broue founder Nicolas Malboeuf and I used to volunteer as adjudicators at the semi-annual final exams for the Algonquin College Sommelier program. We became good friends as a result. When Debbie mentioned that Nicolas’ new venture, Tuque de Broue, was a future Savvy Hip Hops selection, I jumped at the chance to write about them.

Nicolas is a certified sommelier who worked for many years as a wine rep, selling VQA wine to restaurants and getting it featured in LCBO stores.

 

Family Affair

My first question to him was, “Nicolas, you’re a wine guy! What are you doing making beer?!”

“I’d show up to restaurants with the nicest wines in Ontario,” Nicolas said. “All anyone wanted to talk about was beer!  Craft beer is the new wine my friend. And I wanted a product that would reach the community but that I could produce near my hometown of Embrun in Eastern Ontario. I wasn’t interested in moving my family to Niagara.” Family is important to Nicolas. In fact, his wife Margo (right in photo), sister, mother, aunt, and uncle all work at Tuque de Broue with him.

When we chatted during our interview, Nicolas and Margo were a few days from the birth of their second child. “It’s a family affair,” Nicolas said.  A few days afterwards, little Louis was born!

 

Game Changer

Nicolas’ interest in the industry doesn’t end with his own brewery. “My goal is to have hops and malts grown within 5 kilometres,” he said. “I want to be able to jump in my truck and go have a beer where the grain is grown. We don’t have a micro-malting facility east of Kingston, so I’m talking to our local grain co-op about investing in creating malts.”

He also said he’s working with local farmers to improve their hop sales. “Last fall, we’d get a weekly phone call or farmer dropping by,” Nicolas said. “They go, “Hey, do you want to buy some hops?” and show up with a garbage bag – literally – filled with raw hops. They had no idea of the variety, of how it would affect the beer. Farmers hear that hops are an easy crop to grow and there’s a local market, but we need to collaborate with them so they know what they’re producing and how it will be used. That’s the game changer.

 

Inspirations

By the way, the brewery name is a play on words describing beer foam. It’s like the famous Canadian hat, but on a beer! Talking about his days as a wine rep, Nicolas remembers when the idea of a brewery hit him. “I was sitting with a winemaker at Peller Estates and he said, “It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine”. I knew right then….I wanted to be the dude who makes that beer!”

You’ll want to tip your hat to these easy-drinking beers by Tuque de Broue

~ Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes ~

David shares notes about each beer, along with some picks on what to serve
…and some fun recipes too!

 

Tuque Dorée Canadian Pale Ale

This flagship beer is intended to be served very well chilled. It asserts itself as a “Canadian Pale Ale”, a new term that’s still being defined. Think about it as the craft brewer’s answer to Molson Canadian! This measures up at 4.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 17 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: As the name suggests, this is a clear golden colour. The head is thick and foam, with great retention. There’s a lot of flavour here, lightly bitter, a bit malty, and with a silky mouthfeel. With moderate alcohol, this is a terrific session ale. Overall, a great argument for the Canadian Pale Ale style!

Suggested Food Pairing: Let’s keep it simple: hot dogs, a cheese and cracker plate, or loaded nachos (See recipe, below).

 

Barbe Blanche White Beer

White Beer is typically made with wheat and produced in an unfiltered style. This one is no exception! This is an easy-drinker, at 4.8% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Hazy and with a lot of head, the yeast notes come through big time in keeping with the Belgian Wheat style. There’s some citrus here, too, which might tempt you to add a slice of orange to the glass. A hint of nuttiness and a creamy texture round out a beautiful beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would go well with a spicy orange chicken stir fry (recipe below).


Cabane à Tuque Maple Wheat Ale

For every 1800 litres of this beer produced, the brewmaster uses 1000 litres of locally sourced raw maple sap. This measures up with a heady 5% ABV and 11 IBU!

Tasting Notes: The colour of amber syrup, this has a nice, think foam with fine bubbles. The maple is very subtle, and works well with the light bitterness and herbal notes. Our tasting panel loved this unique brew and definitely wanted more!

Suggested Food Pairing: Oven roasted chicken with all the trimmings would be a lovely match to this.

 

Gougounes Rousses Red Ale

The name translates to “Red Flip-flops”, invoking lazy Sundays at the cottage – the perfect place to drink this. I’m a fan of red ales and this one is on my shopping list! It’s listed as a strong beer at 5.8% ABV and 22 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant copper red with a good, long-lasting head. There’s a a nice roasted grain overtone here, with malty sweetness and bitterness on the finish. This is very well balanced and a pleasure to drink!

Suggested Food Pairing: Try this with some slow-cooked BBQ ribs – the sweet and roasted notes will play well together! (Recipe below.)

 

Cavalerie d’Houblons IPA

Not a hop-bomb, but still flavourful, this lovely IPA clocks in at 5.5 ABV and 40 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Light amber in colour, this has lots of foam and a nice citrusy aroma. There’s a ton of citrus notes to the taste, too, along with a strong hop backbone. This is an easy-drinking, sessionable IPA.

Suggested Food Pairing: The hops and acidity will cut through fatty foods very well, so try it with a thin crust white pizza.

 

Portage Porter

Here’s a complex and balanced porter that would serve well at the end of a meal. 5 ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a medium brown with a tan foam, this rich porter tastes of chocolate and caramel with a hint of coffee. There is some bitterness on the finish, balancing the sweet notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try this with an espresso-chocolate mousse – you won’t be disappointed! (Recipe below.)

 

 

~ Recipes enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~


With Tuque Dorée Canadian Pale Ale

Loaded Nachos

Recipe and photo: ThePioneerWoman.com

 

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon Olive Oi
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
2 pounds Ground Beef
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 can (14-5 Ounce) Pinto Beans, Chili Beans, Or Ranch Style Beans
1/2 cup Hot Water
Tortilla Chips
1-1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
6 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 whole Jalapeno, Diced Finely
1/2 bunch Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
Juice Of 1 Lime
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 whole Avocado, Pitted and Diced
Sour Cream (optional)

 

Method

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and half the onion. Cook it until starting to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it’s totally browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beans and hot water and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

To make the pico de gallo, combine the other half of the onion with the tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir it together and set it aside.

To build the nachos, place a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with a layer of the beef/bean mixture, then all but 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add another layer of chips, another layer of the beef/bean mixture, and the Monterey Jack cheese. Add a final small layer of chips, then a small layer of beef and beans, then a final sprinkling of cheddar.

Microwave in 45 second increments until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (You may also place the platter into a 325 degree oven if it’s heatproof. Just leave it in until the cheese is melted.)

Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of pico de gallo.

Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there. Serve immediately!

 

 

With Barbe Blanche White Beer

Spicy Orange Chicken Stir Fry

Recipe and photo: AllRecipes.com

 

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 bunch green onions, sliced, white parts and tops separated
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced into rings
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 bunch cilantro leaves, for garnish

  

Method

Whisk orange juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes in a large bowl.

Mix in chicken pieces and toss to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and drain thoroughly in colander, reserving marinade.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Cook and stir chicken for 2 minutes; spoon out any excess liquid. Continue to cook and stir until chicken caramelizes, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in white portions of green onions, garlic, and orange zest; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in half of reserved marinade. Simmer until reduced and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in jalapeno pepper, bell pepper, and sugar snap peas; cook and stir until vegetables are warmed, about 2 minutes.

Stir in green portions of green onions; cook and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

 

 

With Gougounes Rousses Red Ale

BBQ Ribs

Recipe and photo: JamieOliver.com

 

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 racks of higher-welfare pork loin back ribs (about 1.6kg)

 

Marinade

1 fresh red chilli
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
150 ml unsweetened apple juice
100 ml white wine vinegar
2 heaped tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
100 ml low-salt soy sauce
100 g soft brown sugar

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Preheat your barbecue.

Drizzle a little oil over the ribs, season with sea salt and black pepper and rub all over to coat.

Make the marinade. Deseed and finely chop the chilli, peel and grate the ginger and garlic then place them all in a medium pan along with the apple juice, white wine vinegar, tomato ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar. Whisk the ingredients together and place the pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Put the ribs in a large roasting pan, brush with the marinade and cover with foil. Cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meat pulls away from the bone easily. Baste the ribs with the marinade after 30 minutes. After 1 hour of cooking time remove the foil, baste and cook, uncovered, for the final 15 minutes, basting halfway through.

Once your barbecue is hot, transfer the ribs to it. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a board and cut them up.

Serve with handfuls of rocket and watercress, if you like.

 

 

With Portage Porter

French Chocolate Espresso Mousse

Recipe and photo: SeriousEats.com

 

Ingredients

6 ounces high-quality chocolate (60-70% cacao is ideal)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 egg yolk
4 egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tablespoon salt

 

Method

Find this recipe from above URL & get instructions. 🙂

 

  

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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No fooling around at this brewery!

Posted by David

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
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We loved the beers produced by Sarnia’s Refined Fool Brewing Co. when we served them last year. With their ever-changing lineup of unique, flavour-driven brews and quirky labels, we felt YOU deserved a second round! More than just a brewery, Refined Fool is making changes to their community and how Sarnia perceives itself. Read on to read all about it! And enjoy these thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing beers. They’re big on the “Wow” factor!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find…

…in your Quick Picks a 7 bottle pack containing:hiphops_large-292x300

-Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA
-Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale (2 bottles)
-Noble Oaf: Rye Saison
-The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale
-Murder of Crows: Black IPA
-Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

…in your Taste Case there’s 10 bottles of:

  • Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA (2 bottles)
  • Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale (2 bottles)
  • Noble Oaf: Rye Saison
  • Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA
  • Mid-Life Spices: Braggot
  • The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale
  • Murder of Crows: Black IPA
  • Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

 

It is summer! Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!

Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

Sarnia’s game changer
Refined Fool Brewing Co.

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Can beer save a city?

That idea came up more than once while talking to Refined Fool’s Director Nathan Colquhoun. (in photo below)

The brewery he started with friends – “I was very intrigued with the craft beer movement,” he said – has become a cultural centre and a symbol of change in Ontario’s industrial heartland.

Renaissance man

Born and bred in Sarnia, Nathan is well aware that his hometown doesn’t get a lot of respect from the rest of the province. “I grew tired of watching other young people leave Sarnia,” he said. “I wanted to make this a place people want to be.” Within a short time, Nathan, 31, co-founded a design firm, opened a small church, and joined with friends to open Refined Fool. When asked if he’s Sarnia’s “renaissance man”, he laughs. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “I just wanted to expand on the things I care about.”“Now people see what we’re doing here and they’re getting excited. They want to coRefined brewery dudeme back.”

Starting small

When Nathan and nine of his friends decided to open a brewery in 2013, they had limited experience with brewing. They wanted their beer to reflect a philosophy of “putting people over the product” and they embraced their limited production capacity.

“Being a small brewer gives us the ability to be flexible and creative,” Nathan said. “And it allows us to take the time to build relationships, with our suppliers, our customers, and our community.”

Embracing their roots

Since they opened, the Refined Fool Brewery has become a cultural hub in Sarnia, hosting dinners, concerts, art shows, and other events. They’ve offered a new, young energy to the city. “We stopped worrying about the outside perception of Sarnia,” Nathan said. “Our inside perception is what counts.”

“We all come from blue collar backgrounds and we don’t want to snub our own roots,” he said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.” That’s reflected in the brewery’s name – a play on Sarnia’s main product, refined fuels – and in the fun names given to their beers.

The formula must be working, because too-many-to-count times we have had Savvy Hip Hops subscribers request that we feature Refined Fool again.  If you are in southern Ontario, you will find their beers on tap in more than two dozen bars and restaurants; and they’re coordinating with the city to take over a larger space and expand their operations.  Looks like Nathan & his friends are no fools!

Let’s lift a glass to Nathan & the Refined Fool crew!

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes

David shares his notes about each beer, along with David’s picks on what to serve… and some fun recipes too!

Illiterate Librarians: Grapefruit IPA

Illiterate Librarians- Grapefruit IPAPerfect for a hot summer day, this IPA does a terrific job of matching dry citrus flavours with a solid hop backbone. It measures up at 5.7% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 70 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: Looking like light honey topped with suds, offers aromas of grapefruit pith and brioche. The acidity is medium, but there’s no sweetness here. Instead, it has the pithy dryness of an Earl Grey tea and a soft, light mouthfeel. The alcohol is certainly apparent, especially in the lingering grapefruit aftertaste.

Suggested Food Pairing: The acidity in this beer calls for a rich, fatty meat. We recommend BBQ duck finished with a Peking sauce.

 

Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale

Pouch Envy- Australian Pale AleGalaxy™ hops from the land down under have become a staple in the craft beer maker’s kit. They offer citrus and passion fruit notes with moderate bitterness. This is an easy-drinker, at 5% ABV and 20 IBU.

Tasting Notes: A pretty amber beer with a long-lasting mousse, the aromas of lemon-grass and white rose carry through to the palate. It has a silky mouthfeel and moderate acidity. “Eyes-light-up good!” was the note we made.

Suggested Food Pairing: A wonderful match with seafood, we suggest pan-seared sea scallops and garlic butter (recipe below).

 

Noble Oaf: Rye Saison

Noble Oaf- Rye SaisonThe first Noble Fool beer to make become a permanent fixture on the LCBO’s shelves, this heady rye saison is made with traditional Belgian farmhouse yeast. It measures up at 7.3% ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Pouring a caramel colour with a fast-disappearing head, the beer invokes memories of delicatessen rye bread with its roasted and yeasty notes. The bubbles are fine and Champagne-like, and the hoppiness and lively acidity are in perfect harmony. With a long finish, you’ll find sweet hazelnuts remaining on your palate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve alongside roast pork tenderloin in a fruit-based sauce, with a side of potatoes and root vegetables. The acidity will balance the sweetness, while the rye notes will complement the meat (recipe below).

Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA

Short pier long walkYou’d never know this stunning pale ale boasts 100+ on the IBU scale just from tasting it. With its high (8.4%) alcohol and stunning flavours, those hops are well-integrated.

Tasting Notes: This pours a beautiful orange marmalade colour with a long lasting, well-structured foam. Aromas of beach air, roasted nuts, and caramel lead to a velour-soft mouthfeel. The alcohol comes through, but the bitterness is balanced by the sweet nutty flavours leaving a hint of marmalade on the finish. This is a “Wow” beer to share with friends.

Suggested Food Pairing: Best enjoyed with some sweet and salty beer nuts (recipe below), this big boy can also handle a grilled rib-eye topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

Mid-Life Spices: Braggot

Mid-Life Spices- BraggotHere is a neat new beer style that we are eager for you to try.  What is a Braggot beer you ask? Craft beer enthusiasts’ go-to online resource, BeerAdvocate explains that a Braggot beer is “simply made by blending spices and herbs with mead (honey based wine) and beer, to produce a strong concoction with uncommon flavors”. It’s an ancient drink, with literary references going back to the 12th century. But be advised, at 13% ABV, it packs a wallop!

Tasting Notes: Buckwheat honey-coloured and with no foam at all, you can immediately detect the gingerbread aromas while you pour. Tasting of allspice, ginger, and raisins, it’s reminiscent of a Dark & Stormy cocktail. The acidity is tangy, but it measures out at 0 IBU and finishes with lovely spiced honey notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: Caramelized onion tart (recipe below) or a baked brie. The acidity will perfectly balance the richness of the dish.

TIP: if this beer is overwhelming, try making a shanty with gingerale or sprite.  We put a slice of lime & some mint – this definitely turned heads & made people comment “That looks different – what are you drinking?”

 

The Brouhaha: Nut Brown Ale


The Brouhaha- Nut Brown Ale“Yum!” said Debbie. The Brouhaha, made with English-style yeast and hops, has a moderate 5.7% ABV and 23 IBU. We found it complex and very drinkable.

Tasting Notes: With a beautiful pour the colour of pistachio skins and big-bubble foam, this beer had amazed with the changing flavours. It smells like buckwheat honey and root beer, and the palate shifts quickly from hops to nuts to soya sauce. Smooth and rich, this is a winner!

Suggested Food Pairing: There was no hesitation here: pair this beauty with a backyard burger loaded with your favourite toppings.

Murder of Crows: Black IPA

Murder of Crows- Black IPADespite the contradictory name, black IPAs are super-popular with beer makers right now. After all, why shouldn’t dark beers get some hop love? Another big brew, this hits 8% ABV and 90 IBU.

Tasting Notes: With the thick head and blackstrap appearance of good stout, this has surprising notes of black licorice and flint to balance the dark roasted grain. The hops are rich, but the sweet malt and high alcohol offer good balance. If the Noble Oaf was deli rye, this is a grilled cheese on pumpernickel – with bacon jam –  of course!

Suggested Food Pairing: Sacrifice some of this beer to make a fantastic onion soup, topped with croutons and Gruyère.

Ripsnorter: Bourbon Porter

Ripsnorter- Bourbon PorterIf you’ve never considered “dessert beer”, here’s your opportunity. This smooth, rich brew is a perfect alternative to after-dinner liqueurs. Made with whole vanilla beans and bourbon barrel oak. 8.7% ABV and 37 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Chocolate fudge in colour and with a thick foamy top, this superb porter tastes of caramelized brown sugar, sweet cream, espresso, and vanilla. It’s smooth and flavourful, lingering in the mouth like a good coffee liqueur.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chocolate espresso brownie (recipe below) with a dollop of French vanilla ice cream. I’ll take two helpings, please!

 

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops

 

With Pouch Envy: Australian Pale Ale

Pan-seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce

Recipe and photo: Fine Cooking

IngredientsScallops

1 lb (450 g) dry large sea scallops
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

3 Tablespoons (45 mL) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) finely diced shallot (1 medium shallot)
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white vermouth or dry white wine
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and chives
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppeR
2 to 3 lemon wedges for serving

Method

Remove the tough abductor muscle from the side of each scallop (some scallops are sold with the muscle already removed). If you feel any grit on the scallops, rinse them under cold water. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels; surface moisture impedes browning.  

Heat a 10- or 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter, if using, and heat until quite hot. Pat the scallops dry once more and put them in the pan in a single, uncrowded layer. Season with salt and pepper and let sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is well browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, transfer the scallops to a plate, and set them in a warm spot. Let the pan cool for a minute before you make the sauce.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add a piece of the butter (1/2 tablespoon or 12 mL) and the shallots and sauté until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth or wine and simmer until reduced by about half, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbs and lemon zest. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until the butter melts into the sauce. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan. Gently roll the scallops in the sauce to warm them through. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the scallops.

With Noble Oaf: Rye Saison

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Cream Sauce

Recipe: A Taste of Québec
Photo credit: Eating Well

IngredientsPork Chops Refined brewery

2  pork fillets (750g)
2 tablespoons (25 mL) all-purpose flour
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
1 tablespoon (15mL) vegetable oil

For the sauce:

½ cup (125mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup (50mL) granulated sugar
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 2 tablespoons (25mL) water
1/4 cup (50mL) whipping cream

Method

Lightly dredge pork fillets in flour seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy frying pan; brown pork quickly on all sides.

Place fillets in a shallow baking dish. Roast in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pork, and leave in oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.

Meanwhile, combine cranberries, sugar, and dissolved bouillon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar has dissolved. With a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from syrup and set aside.

Bring remaining liquid to a full boil and reduce until thickened, but not caramelized.

Whip cream until stiff; fold into warm sauce along with reserved cranberries. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut pork into slices. Arrange on 4 heated plates and pour some of the Cranberry Cream Sauce over each serving.

 

With Mid-life Spices: Braggot

French Onion Tart

Recipe and Photo: Food Network

IngredientsPizza refined brewery

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator overnight
2 Tablespoons (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3 large Vidalia onions or other sweet variety, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) good quality beef stock

Method

Preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a work surface, roll the puff pastry into a roughly 10 by 16-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, trim uneven edges to make a perfect rectangle. Evenly cut off the outer 1 inch of each side of the rectangle in strips; put the puff sheet on the baking sheet. Dip your finger in water and run around the top edges of the rectangle and replace the removed strips of pastry along the edges of the sheet, pressing lightly to adhere. With a fork, pierce the interior of the tart shell to prevent rising; do not pierce the adhered edges. Bake until the outer edges have puffed and are golden in colour; about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and thyme sprigs and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Add the stock, a tablespoon at a time, as the pan gets dry, scraping and stirring the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. When the onions are caramelized to a dark golden color, remove from the heat and discard the leafless thyme sprigs (the leaves fall off while cooking).

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350° F. Evenly spread the caramelized onions on the cooked pastry shell and heat in the oven until warmed through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven, to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish each wedge with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

With Short Pier, Long Walk: Double IPA

Beer Nuts

Recipe and Photo: Food.com

IngredientsBeer Nuts Refined Brewery

4 ½ cups (640 g) peanuts, raw and shelled
2 cups (500 mL) sugar
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt, plus more to taste
1 cup (250 mL) water

Method

Bring peanuts, sugar, salt and water to a boil.

Continue to boil until all liquid is absorbed (approximately 25-30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

Spread nuts on lightly greased jelly roll pan and sprinkle with salt to your liking and.

Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and gently stir, sprinkle with more salt to your liking and bake 20 minutes more.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

With Ripsnorter: Bourbon IPA

Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Recipe and Photo: Cookie & Kate

IngredientsCHocoalte

10 Tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1¼ cups (312 g) pure cane sugar
¾ cup (187 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon (1.25 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) espresso powder or very finely ground coffee (optional)
2 cold large eggs
1½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) vanilla extract
⅔ cup (167 g) white flour
2 ounces (57 g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper, making sure that the paper is long enough to go up the sides a couple of inches. Grease the parchment paper.

Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, while whisking constantly, until it’s a pale golden brown and the particles suspended in it are reddish brown. This usually takes me about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Then add the cocoa powder, sea salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula after each one. When the mixture looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the vanilla extract and the flour. Stir until you no longer see streaks of flour. Then beat vigorously (put those arm muscles to work!) for 50 strokes with the wooden spoon or spatula.

At this point, the mixture should be no more than slightly warm (if not, let it cool for a few more minutes). Fold in the chocolate chunks or chips.

Spread the batter in the lined pan, then use a knife to make light swirls in the top of the batter. Bake on the lower rack for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool the brownies in the pan on a baking rack.

Once the brownies are completely cool, lift the edges of the parchment paper and transfer the
brownies to a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the brownies into 16 or 25 squares. 

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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