Category Archives: Food and Beer

Abita Beers and Crock Pot ideas

I’m getting tipsy on Jockamo, which as reviewed, I don’t like.  BUT TONIGHT, I have some ideas for the Crock Pot that I need to get out.

  • Pork butt, 5-spice, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, baby bok choy.  The bok choy should go in, about half an hour to an hour before dinner.
  • Brisket, garlic, chipotle in adobo, serve in warm flour tortillas with shredded cabbage, sour cream
  • Deboned chicken (thighs and/or breasts), peanut sauce to cover, green onions, cilantro.  Serve with rice noodles and more cilantro.
  • Clam, potatoes, chicken stock, green onions or chives, parsley, cream cheese (at the end)
  • Bone-in ham, potatoes, corn, onion, garlic, S&PTT, parsley, thyme, milk (at the end)
  • Lentils, tomato, onion, eggplant, curry spices, extra cumin and paprika (is tasty, have done this already)
  • Chicken, poultry seasoning, a coke, salt
  • Pork chops, apples, onions, brown sugar (only a little), cinnamon, sage, black pepper
  • Ground beef, caramelized onion, and zucchini or eggplant
  • Chicken, cumin, tumeric, paprika.  Half an hour before serving:  Green olives, lemon zest (maybe preserved lemons?).  Serve on basmati, drizzle with olive oil, toasted almonds
  • Black eyed peas, sausage
  • Corned beef, cabbage, potato, carrot
  • Italian sausage, spinach, potatoes.  Serve with parm and good hot bread.
  • Stew meat (beef), merlot, mushrooms, brown roux, season to taste.  Serve on egg noodles.
  • Potato soup mix, water as required, turnips, carrots, handful of oatmeal, white fish, 1/2 and 1/2 on serve.
  • Ribs, whiskey, bbq sauce, serve with corn on the cob.
  • Apple, sweet potato, chicken, S&PTT, cook with a slice of bacon, but also top with bacon crumbles when it comes out.
  • Butternut squash, red curry, coconut milk; puree the butternut when it’s done, add shrimp
  • White chili (chicken, white beans, etc)
  • Pork, bacon over the top, glaze with maple & dijon, paprika.  Serve with grits or polenta

Just a quick self-note about the Abita beers:

  • Restoration Pale Ale:  Is good, citrusy, very pleasant.  Will buy more.
  • Jockamo IPA:  Still don’t like it
  • Purple Haze:  It’s okay, it tastes like a nice wheat beer, but it doesn’t have enough raspberry to impress.
  • Turbodog:  Oddly delicious, for a beer that sounds like it was named by a douchebro.  Best of them all, possibly.  Might like Restoration more.
  • Amber:  “Just a beer”, nothing worthy of note.
  • The … Lemon one:  Gross.  Too much fake lemon flavor.
  • **ROOT BEER**  Didn’t come with the party pack, it was just something I coincidentally ran into at the grocery store, and also picked up, but I love Abita’s root beer, which is, as you would expect, completely free of booze.  But as far as sodas go, it’s really good, and made with cane sugar, and delicious.  They, surprisingly, haven’t changed the formula since I was a kid.  Mmmm, nostalgia.  ❤

Dear self:

Make lentils in the crock pot, because it seems they were less inclined to turn into a pile of mush that way!  Which is hilarious, because you found that out making Dhal, which is supposed to be lentil mush.  Although they taste good not-mush, too.  :3

Also, make this again:  http://www.scotlandforvisitors.com/recipes/fishbrose.php

A couple more beers

So this weekend, aside from trying Left Hand Milk Stout, I also tried Young’s Double Chocolate, and Abita’s Jockamo IPA.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

IS IT GOOD?
No.  I would actually drink a Budweiser Black Crown over this.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Obviously, it was roasty, and tasted somewhat of chocolate.  On the other hand, I felt it was far too tart for a stout.  Acidity was very high, and overbearing, especially when chocolate and stout are things which you associate with something bitter.  The mouthfeel was also watery to me.  It was like drinking weak, cheap coffee, you know, with that annoying tang that shouldn’t be in a good coffee.  Maybe some people actually enjoy this tartness- I imagine the same kind of people who really dig Starbucks- but I do not.  It was so distracting to me, that I could not enjoy the chocolate notes of the stout itself.  What chocolate I did taste, seemed to be a bit artificial, and indeed, the packaging does list artificial flavoring.  But I still could have rated this beer as okay, if it weren’t so… flat.  It plainly lacked the carbonation a beer should have.  It was like how I expect a beer to be when it’s been left out for a couple of hours, or when you’re drinking from some big, shitty pitcher of beer at a sports bar.  Actually, I think I’ve had more fizzy beer from a pitcher.  I was reading about Young’s on beeradvocate, which gives Young’s fairly high praise, and there was one review that stood out.  It said, simply, “I don’t care what the beer snobs say.  It’s got all the qualities they describe, but it just doesn’t taste good.  If it doesn’t taste good, then it doesn’t deserve a good rating.”  I agree with that sentiment.  Young’s just doesn’t really taste good.  It’s not terrible, but I’m wholly sure there are better chocolate stouts out there.  In the land of beers, this is probably one of the few beers I would say that I’d never buy again.  First of all, for $10 for 4 cans, it should taste much fucking better.  This was the most expensive beer I bought recently, BY A MILE, and it was the most disappointing.  Second, it’s so low on the scale of mediocrity, that I would rather take a chance on a completely unfamiliar beer, than to ever buy this again.  Even if it was half the price, it’s not even mediocre enough for me to re-purchase on a day where I feel risk averse, and just want to drink something that will taste alright.  And finally, this beer won a couple of awards in the late 90’s and early 00’s.  But the last award was in 2004, and the awards went “Silver, silver, bronze, bronze.”  I suspect it used to be a good beer, and they started making it more cheaply and carelessly, after they’d built a following.  Typical marketing bullshit.  That’s only speculation, but if you were winning awards every couple of years, and then there’s a ten year lapse, something has maybe gone awry.  Vastly over-rated, and over-priced.

The Jockamo IPA

jocamo_group

IS IT GOOD?
It’s a pretty good ale, but it’s not a very good IPA.

WHAT IS IT LIKE? 
Like disappointment, that’s what.  I wanted to cut my teeth for IPA on something familiar, and this was a letdown.  Okay, okay.  It was kind of grassy and piney, definitely had the hops thing going, had very good carbonation, and was pretty decently balanced.  It was tart, dry, bright.  It has more flavor than the usual suspects, but a lot of things were just amiss about its labeling.  This “IPA” is only 5.5% alcohol.  Which I actually feel is a mis-calculation.  I can get a buzz on three beers at 3.2%.  I couldn’t get a buzz on three Jockamo.  I tried!  I decanted three of them into a clear tumbler and decided that this is what I was drinking for the night.  I went through it in about an hour and a half, and felt nothing at all.  If I had done this with my favorite cheap wheat beer (3.2%), I’d have felt something.  That’s even accounting for the fact that I usually crack the first cheap beer with dinner on Saturday or Sunday.  But with Jockamo, I got nothing, even though I was eating soup for dinner.  I don’t know what kind of wizard made this beer, that it can be 2.35% higher than the cheap beer that I can get a buzz on, and not give me a buzz.  Even if that 5.5% is accurate… that’s still not really IPA levels, and I’ve had beers that weren’t IPA, that had about the same amount of hops.  If you like IPA’s, and want a bitter, hoppy, alcohol-ladden beer, you’re going to be even more disappointed than I was.  It’s not a bad beer overall, though.  If these are freely available to you, by all means, drink up.  If this beer was just called “Jockamo Ale”, I’d give it a recommendation.  But I dunno, I sorta feel like the words on the label of a thing should reflect its contents.  ILU, Abita, but this isn’t much of an IPA.

Disclaimer
I write all my reviews aimed at a “normal people” crowd.  If you want proper beer and wine reviews, there are whole websites dedicated to that.  This is me, logging what I like, why I like it, and why other people might like it.  I do have a professional culinary background, but I don’t look for semi-imaginary flavors in beer and wine.  (I’m not saying that some wines don’t taste and smell like “crisp green apples, autumn oak leaves, and a bit of lemon”, but normal people don’t think like that.  They think “tart, woodsy apple”.)


Personal Thought
I was born in the 80’s, and it was really nice to see that a large volume of the people in the beer aisle, were actually women.  Two of them were discussing their likes, and one of them was getting three six packs of Abita Pecan, which was what drew me over to the Jockamo IPA.  Another had a variety of beers that I didn’t glean too closely, but they clearly had strong feelings about particular brews.  Dear ladies in the beer aisle:  You’re the best.  Dear beer world:  thanks for getting good enough these past couple decades that you stopped just being a thing that only guys drank, mostly to get drunk, and prove that they were manly enough to tolerate the disgusting taste of beer.  :3

Look at Me, I’m Writing a Thing!

Good day future viewers!  Pff.  (That felt silly.)

I was recently visiting the blog Live Your Legend, and read about their blog challenge.  I wanted to participate, but had no idea what I would write about.  I decided to think it over.  Over the course of a couple of days, while I didn’t think of a topical blog to start, I did decide that it would be a great idea to start a blog in general.  This was sparked by the fact that I tried an immensely delicious beer, and made an immensely delicious soup.  It occurred to me that I have created or tried many recipes that are really tasty to me.  I’ve tried wines and beers that I’ve loved.  I’ve read books and played games that were mind blowing.  In every case, I’ll forget them, until someone else brings them up.   That nonsense stops now!

So, for today I’ll be telling the blog world about the beer and the tortilla soup.

Left Hand Brewing’s Milk Stout

milkstout
Clicking the picture will take you to the Left Hand Brewing website.

IS IT GOOD?
It is REALLY good.  🙂

WHAT IS IT LIKE?
This stout is deliciously coffee-like, even compared with other stouts I’ve had.  I have not had a great many stouts, but it tasted to me almost like a latte.  It was mellow and creamy, like good coffee and milk.  Not too acidic like the Young’s Double Chocolate I’ve tried, and not too bitter like Guinness.

Disclaimer
I write all my reviews aimed at a “normal people” crowd.  If you want proper beer and wine reviews, there are whole websites dedicated to that.  This is me, logging what I like, why I like it, and why other people might like it.  I do have a professional culinary background, but I don’t look for semi-imaginary flavors in beer and wine.  (I’m not saying that some wines don’t taste and smell like “crisp green apples, autumn oak leaves, and a bit of lemon”, but normal people don’t think like that.  They think “tart, woodsy apple”.)


Homemade Tortilla Soup

[Pic Goes Here o3o]

There are a lot of times where I would say I don’t believe in recipes, but it would be more accurate to say that I think having a method is better.  For instance, sometimes, you might have super hot jalepenos.  Other times, you might get very mild ones.  Summer tomatoes are much more flavorful than greenhouse winter tomatoes.  Recipes can actually give more an inconsistent result than a method, so here is one of those recipes that’s just a method.  No hard measurements.

I BOUGHT
A big chicken, A medium red onion, a head of garlic, a jar of Herdez Pasilla Chile Mexican Cooking Sauce, a regular sized can of crushed tomatoes, a couple of small cans of corn, about 6 oz of pepper-laced cheese, milk, tortilla chips.  I also had homemade guacamole, and bought some extra cheese for topping, but that’s optional.

HOW I MADE IT
First thing I did, was grab the chicken, season it with a little seasoning salt, and threw it in the oven at 250 F, for about 3 hours.  Slow roasting is the best thing.  My room-mate and I split one of the breasts, because a 6 pound chicken is huge.  Then I let it cool off, stripped the meat from the bones.  I had about 4 cups of meat all in all.  I put the meat into the refrigerator.  I put the bones, scraps, and drippings from the chicken, into my slow cooker, added enough water to cover all the bones, and set it to high until it reached a boil, then back down to low.  I let it go like that overnight.  I guess if you had only an oven, you could get a heavy, oven-proof stock pot, bring it to a boil, and then put it in your oven at 200 to 250F.  If you were using the oven, though, you would probably have to get up in the morning, take the bones out, and cool the broth off until a couple hours before dinner time.  If you use a crock pot, you can just set it to low, and forget about it until about an hour before dinner.

THE NEXT DAY…. About an hour before dinner, I took all of the bones out of the crock pot, leaving a very tasty broth, and then, chopped half of the red onion, four cloves of garlic.  I sauteed those until the onions were clear, I added them into the crock pot, as well as the chicken meat, pasilla sauce, tomatoes, and corn (if you use frozen, heat it before adding).  When it was time to eat, I stirred in about a cup of milk (eyeballed, use more or less depending on how creamy you want it), and 6-8 oz of cheese, and turned the crock off, so it wouldn’t curdle the milk.  Served with the tortilla chips and topped with spoon of guacamole, extra cheese, and a drizzle of kefir, if we’re being really honest.  (Although most people would probably want sour cream, not kefir. )

JUST SOME THOUGHTS
I think this would be really good with white beans.  It would also be a good addition, if you had eaten more than half of the chicken.  Like say, if you have a family, and need to eat up to half the meat, that’s okay.  The amount of meat isn’t that important, since the broth flavor comes from the bones.  If you do your family the “favor” of serving them portioned chicken, with some good sides, it shouldn’t be too hard to preserve enough of the meat for the soup.


So, yesterday was a really nice day for food.   I had to stop myself from eating two bowls of this soup.  If anyone out there makes it, do tell me how it comes out!