Oktoberfest officially comes to an end this week, but that doesn’t mean I won’t find an excuse to prolong the beer festivities. We are on our way to New Mexico, and the plan is to spend our time (in between hiking and admiring hot air balloons) checking out what’s on tap locally AND hitting up the New Mexico Brew Fest!
On the topic of beer, I am all about finding the proper beer bites to soak it all up. In John Schlimm’s latest book, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour, he shares ideas for pairings – bar bites, salsas/dips, tapas and more. I was sent a copy to peruse. The book arrived only yesterday, so I haven’t had much time to look it over. Schlimm includes descriptions of different beer types, as well as a seasonal beer chart, but he makes it pretty clear that his “rule of thumb is: drink what you want, when you want it!”
While most of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, I was impressed with the creativity of the recipes. I do love my veggies, but I have plenty of room in my stomach for meat and fish. Depending on my mood, I might follow the recipes to a tee or change up a few things here and there.
With over 325 recipes and several beer pairing ideas for each recipe, you’re bound to find something you will like. If you’d like to win a copy of The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour and other goodies, enter the giveaway below!
Here are two examples from the book of suggested pairings for Oktoberfest beers:
Hippie Cayenne Sourdough Pretzels
Pair with: Oktoberfest, Pale Lager, Pilsner
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard, such as Colman’s, or to taste
2 teaspoon mace
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
1 (1-ounce) packet dry vegetable soup mix
2 dashes Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
1 teaspoon molasses
8 droplets liquid smoke, or to taste (search Colgin.com for plant-based liquid smoke flavors)
20 ounces sourdough pretzels
Preheat 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the margarine in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, mace, lime juice, vegetable soup mix, hot sauce, molasses, and liquid smoke. Heat until just bubbly.
Using tongs, dip the pretzels in the mixture, one at a time, coating them completely, and place them on the baking sheet. Let the pretzels rest for 15 minutes, then bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, and let the pretzels cool there thoroughly, for 90 minutes or so. Serve the pretzels or store them in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to a week.
Yields about 4 cups
Flying Buffalo at the Tap Pizza
Pair with: American or English Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Oktoberfest
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup chopped yellow onion
8 ounces seitan, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, or tofu, pressed drained, and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes (OR MEAT)
2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
1 (12-inch) prebaked pizza crust
1 1⁄2 cups arugula or spinach, julienned
2 carrots, shredded
1⁄2 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices
Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the ketchup, hot sauce, and liquid smoke in a small bowl, stirring well. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the seitan and mushrooms, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft. Remove from the heat. Combine the seitan mixture and ketchup mixture in a medium-size bowl, mixing gently to coat well.
Spread the seitan mixture over the crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crisp. Top with the arugula, carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes before serving.
Yields 1 pizza or 8 to 10 slices
Either of those sound good to you?
There are also sections in the book with Beer Cocktails, Beer Chuggers, Beer Shots, Shooters & Chasers. Beer cocktails seem intriguing, while the beer chuggers and shots scare me a little bit. I can’t party like I’m 22 anymore!