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Topics - pete b

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All Things Food / Thanksgiving Leftovers
« on: November 26, 2017, 11:36:52 PM »
A pot pie with root vegetables: carrots, rutabega, celeriac, sweete potato, as well as bok choy,onions,and garlic and fresh thyme and sage.

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Commercial Beer Reviews / East vs West
« on: August 12, 2017, 01:00:29 PM »
This is a the name of a Treehouse/ Sierra Nevada collaboration that I didn't know existed until I was at a restaurant in my town and asked what was on tap. Anyone else see this? I don't know if it's widely available because of Sierra Nevada or if it's only around near Treehouse.
It was nice. It wasn't hazy and it seemed to have west coast style bitterness. I think what Treehouse brought was a fruitier as opposed to piny/ citrus hopping.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Spencer Monk's Reserve (Quad)
« on: July 22, 2017, 11:20:57 PM »
I have been waiting for this for a long time.
It didn't disappoint.
It is a deep mahogany with a moderate tan head. The aroma is dominated by dried fruit. The flavor also has a lot of dried fruit and I specifically get dried cherry. Malt flavor is very prominent too, but not overly sweet. The finish is a firm but unobtrusive bitterness with only slight alcohol warmth. (10.2% ABV btw). This beer has that Belgian"digestibility" with malt sweetness well balanced by it's dryness and bitterness.
It was weird drinking this in July. I look forward to sipping it I. Front of the fire.

The Pub / Summer Beers
« on: July 04, 2017, 12:45:29 PM »
There is a good beer store near my father in laws cottage.
The picture is a bit dark, it's Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, bitburger lager, Jack's Abby IPL,Konig pilsner, and Benedict eric helles.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Nagged About Brewing
« on: June 02, 2017, 12:54:38 AM »
My wife has been upset lately because I haven't been brewing due to the time I have spent on other projects at home. She has offered to help out more with stuff at home so I can find the time to brew. Have you all been subject to challenges like this at home?

All Things Food / Pizza Time
« on: April 23, 2017, 08:11:39 PM »
A beautiful day so I decided to take the afternoon off from work around the homestead and fire up El for now. Pizza as well as a loaf of pain de campagne and some pizzas are happening.

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Equipment and Software / MegaPot Savings!!
« on: April 20, 2017, 03:17:41 PM »
That's the email I got today from NB. Its 4/20 today. Pretty slick!

All Things Food / Roast Chicken
« on: April 02, 2017, 01:25:00 AM »
I have been playing around with perfecting roast chicken. It's a favorite weekend meal with lots of leftovers or when we have another couple over. It's perfect because most of the time is in the oven while you prep sides and keep things clean. And drink beer.
I have a method that's easy with great tesults. So I thought I would share.
1. Get a nice chicken. I find the flavor is directly proportional to the size of the operation: local farm good, Perdue bad.
2. Brine if you have time. It makes a difference but isn't crucial.
3. I preheat oven to 350 and rough chop an onion, a couple carrots, and a couple stalks of celery and put them in my cast iron Dutch oven. The chicken gets patted dry, skin and cavity salt and peppered. I likely stuff cavity with moisture producing aromatics: garlic, lemon, onion, herbs, what have you. The chicken goes on top of the mirepoix breast side down, the lid goes on the Dutch oven and in it goes at 350.
4. After 30 minutes crank up oven to 450 without touching the covered Dutch oven.
5, after 30 minutes pull out Dutch oven and check temps in the middle of the thigh and breast. Once the breast is about 120 the thigh is about 160. This might be now or 15-20 minutes later.
6. Once the breast is 120 put chicken on rack, this time breast side up, in shallow pan. Put back in 450 oven 15_20 minutes to brown skin and finish cooking.
7. Meanwhile add a quart of chicken stock to the mirepoix and chicken juices in Dutch oven and put on high burner. Add salt and pepper, reduce for awhile then strain into saucepan and reduce.
8. When chicken is done put on cutting board to rest and pour juices into Pyrex measuring cup and put in freezer for a few minutes. Spoon schmaltz into a container for future cooking adventures and add brown juices to reduced​ stock and continue reducing into a reminder glace. The demo glace can be made into any sauce you like. Today I added two bulbs of roasted garlic. Herbs and cream or Dijon mustard and cream is nice. Today it got served with roasted beets, potatoes, spring dug parsnips and leeks.

This method yields juicy breast, fall off the bone dark meat, and juicy skin. The dark meat gets a big head start with the bird upside down in the Dutch oven.

Classifieds / Free beer bottles:central Mass
« on: February 07, 2017, 03:36:57 PM »
All clean and and stored upside down in cardboard wine boxes. I have more than I can ever use and want to unload a few dozen. Mostly bombers.
I am willing to drive an hour to meet so Worcester, Amherst, Leominster, metro West etc.

All Things Food / Podcast: The Level teaspoon
« on: December 14, 2016, 04:41:03 PM »
I was recently interviewed for The Level Teaspoon, a cookbook podcast by T. Susan Chang, a cookbook reviewer for the Boston Globe and NPR among others. Each episode contains one or more interviews with cooks who have tested recipes from a particular cookbook in their home kitchen. I know Susie because she is a fan of my girlfriend's art and lives locally enough that they have become friends.
I tested Bread Illustrated from America's Test Kitchen, which I highly recommend. I appear around 19:50. Man, its weird hearing your own voice.
If you know someone who is interested in cooking and cookbooks please share as Susie is trying to build an audience big enough so she can get sponsors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Online Home Brew Stores
« on: December 04, 2016, 02:47:09 PM »
I can't get to my lhbs as often as I would like so I have to rely on online stores. I had mostly been using Northern Brewer. I was happy with their customer service and selection, not so much with shipping speed.
Now that they are being bought out its an easy decision to switch.
Any suggestions?
In addition to the obvious quality, customer service, and selection, I am hoping for fast shipping to New England. Also, it would be a plus if they had consistently good prices as opposed to "deals". I'm a little sick of the game these places play with a different deal every day. Multiple times I would have gotten a better deal a few days later but had no way of knowing.

The Pub / Cocktails
« on: November 19, 2016, 11:45:44 PM »
Any unusual recipes to share or drinks to recommend?
To get started:
The Smoking Gun
2oz Laphroaig or other Islay scotch
3/4 teaspoon fernet branca
1/2 tsp brown sugar syrup
2 shakes bourbon barrel bitters
Stir with ice, strain into chilled glass

I know, what's better than straight up Laphroaig? But sometimes nothing hits the spot like this. Either as an apertif before dinner, or as a digestive that bucks you up after too big of a great meal, this is the stuff!
The brown sugar syrup is 2 parts brown sugar, 1 part water, boil two minutes. Add a shot of dark rum after it cools and store in fridge.

I think this is a good name for a bluegrass tune. Just saying.

Kegging and Bottling / Should I Try This
« on: September 18, 2016, 05:07:21 PM »
I have a 3 liter bottle of 17% Pilsner that I won 2 years ago from a local brewery. Due to the alcohol content I have not yet opened it. We keep thinking that we will serve it at a party but there is always too many choices to drink and we don't want people to get too hammered and drive.
I'm thinking of racking it into a purged 1.75 gallon keg and serving from that.
What do you think?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Spencer Feierabendbier
« on: August 31, 2016, 12:41:22 AM »
This is St Joseph's Abbey's Pilsner. It's just so fun to drink. The beginning of the flavor that hits your mouth is a rich grain sweetness that is almost instantly attacked by an aggressive army of crisp dryness and intense hops bitterness. It's a refreshing war in your mouth won by General Flavor Juxtaposition.
My sense of smell sucks today so no aroma notes.

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