Even if you're not the one wearing the apron, you still understand how much effort goes into making a holiday meal for the masses. The process could be compared to--oh, we don't know--brewing a solid batch of craft beer. Well, now those worlds have collided. We've stumbled upon a collection of recipes that bring together classic comfort foods and flavor-infused ales. The dishes in The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn Dodd are sure to be big winners around the turkey day table. So, fire up the oven and pop open a cold one, and be sure to save some of the good stuff for cooking.
IRISH RED ALE BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE WITH GOAT CHEESE AND POMEGRANATE
- 1 (3½–4 lb) butternut squash
- 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 head garlic
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red ale
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Pinch cayenne
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 oz goat cheese
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Cut the squash down the middle lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds. Place cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Cut the pointed tip off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place the garlic head on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and fold into a tight packet. Place garlic packet in a baking sheet with the squash.
- Roast squash and garlic for 30 minutes. Remove the garlic and allow to cool. Continue to roast the squash until fork tender, another 20–30 minutes (total of about 1 hour). Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Gently scoop out the flesh (should be 4–4½ cups).
- In a pot over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil and the shallots. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have caramelized, 15–20 minutes (do not cook at too high heat or the shallots will burn). Add the broth and the beer and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Remove from heat. Add the roasted squash, salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne, and cream, stirring until well combined.
- Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. (You can also work in batches to puree in a food processor or blender.) Return to heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add broth to thin, if desired.
- Ladle into serving bowls; garnish with goat cheese and pomegranate.
Choose the Right Brew
Irish reds are a fun bunch. Slightly sweet with toasty notes and a medium-hop profile, they really bring a rounded flavor to this soup. Look for a red (or even a brown ale or an amber) that has notes of caramel, nuts, and malt. Medium-hop profile is where you want to aim—too high and the flavors might be overwhelming.
Excerpted from The Craft Beer Cookbook Copyright © 2013 by Jacquelyn Dodd and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photographs by Jacquelyn Dodd.