Friday, January 4, 2008

Not beer related....

I know, I know, it's a beer blog, not a food blog, but it's my blog, and I'll post a recipe if I want.
I got this out of "Roast Chicken and Other Stories" by Hopkinson(?). The book's been getting a lot praise from the NYT and I guess other places, and overall, it deserves the praise it's getting.
I made this eggplant recipe from it last night with a pan-roasted pork tenderloin and jasmine rice:
Chili spiced eggplant:
1 1/4 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut into 1in. cubes
6 tbsp veg oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sliced green onions
1/2 - 1 tsp dried chili flakes (to taste)
Saute eggplant in the oil over med to med-hi heat until brown on all sides.
Remove from pan to drain on paper towels.
Add vinegar, sugar and salt to hot pan, and reduce until syrupy (I did "slightly syrupy", but it's a matter of taste).
Return eggplant to pan, and add green onion and chili flakes, stir to coat eggplant with vinegar. You're done when the eggplant is warmed thru.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to taste.

It was excellent with the pork we had, which I cook this way:
Pan-roasted pork tenderloin:
->1 pork tenderloin (roughly 1 lb, or more), patted dry.
->spice mixture (salt + pepper + thyme, greek spice, chinese 5-spice, or whatever else you desire
->1-2tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 375deg
Rub tenderloin with spice, and then coat with olive oil.
Heat an oven-safe skillet (ie, one with a metal handle, and nothing on it that will melt) over high heat (it's ready when a drop of water will dance on it).
Sear tenderloin on all sides until brown, and then put in oven for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Tenderloin's done when thermometer in the thickest part reads 137 or higher (meat will still be slightly pink).

I'll leave "rice" to the reader.

Enjoy. (And I promise beer content this weekend)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What I'm reading and listening to....

Right now, I've been on a big horror kick, plowing thru several Brian Keene books. He's a pretty good writer in the pulpy horror vein. Over the xmas break, I read his "Dead Sea" (zombies), "Ghoul" (ghouls), and "The Conqueror Worms" (end of the world).
I just started his "City of the Dead" (more zombies). Of the four, "Conqueror Worms" was the weakest. I'm not sure if I'm getting burned out on the style or if the book just wasn't very good. Regardless, if you like horror, check him out. His books are quick reads, and go down easy.

On the music side of things, my wife gave me an iTunes giftcard, which I promptly spent on Sleater-Kinney's "The Woods" (their last album) and Clinic's "Visitations". I've already made my feelings known about Sleater-Kinney. Clinic kicks serious butt. It's an awesome album.

Happy New Beer!

It's the new year now, and I've got one beer bottled, and the other in my closet doing the dry-hop/secondary thing. I've already tasted my bottled beer, and while it's good (in the sense that there's nothing 'wrong' with it), it's a little more "stouty" or brown-aley than I really care for.
Oh well, I guess that's the price we sometimes pay. However, when I got done bottling that batch, I moved my version of "Maura's Bride Ale" to the secondary, and of course, I had to take a taste to be sure everything was ok. Fortunately, I think my concerns about the high temp were (at least this time) unfounded. The beer tasted "a-ok" to me. Now all I have to do is bottle this weekend, and I'm on to the next batch.
Since I'm working my way thru the "Homebrewer's Recipe Guide", and it's starting to get cold, I'm going to do a "Winter Prowler". Should be good.
Stay tuned, since I'm working on label designs right now, and I should be posting some this week (if I can figure out Inkscape, my illustration program).