Beer 501: #dinnerdare pairings the first [Updated again!]

Mar 14 2012 Published by under Beer, Life

So the Twitterz #dinnerdare challenge is off and running. Last night saw some strong entries. As promised, here are some beer pairings. I apologize to any #dinnerdare participants whose entries I've missed - let me know in the comments and I will rectify.

Note that for those entries where no recipe has been posted I am taking something of a guess at some ingredients and hence with the beer pairing.

In no particular order...

Dr Becca's Shrimp and Grits (Cakes):
Dr Becca apparently threw this together using whatever she already had available in her epically small kitchen. Impressive. I'm bookmarking this one to try myself. Now shrimp and grits, with the coulis Dr Becca threw together, tend to have mild - subtle even - flavors, so you don't want to overwhelm these with an in-your-face beer. I'm going Belgian. Try the Dupont Foret, a farmhouse ale brewed for summertime consumption. Refreshing citrus notes with a champaign-like dryness. Another, easier to find, possibility is Avery White Rascal - a Belgian-style unfiltered white ale spiced with coriander and orange peel.

ProfLikeSubstance's Guacamole:
Not a dinner of course, but a damn good appetizer. PlS has a bottle of Ithaca Brewing Flower Power IPA in the pictures. A bitter IPA is a great choice to set off the creamy avocado and complement the added lime juice. I've not had the Flower Power, but would suggest a citrusy IPA like Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum or Southern Tier's 2XIPA. The latter is a double IPA, so extra hoppy, but doesn't lose that citrus background.

Jason Goldman's Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya Pasta:
Jambalaya pasta? Looks good. No recipe though, so I'm going to assume it tastes like jambalaya. With pasta. One could go with an English bitter such as Fuller's London Pride or Samuel Smith's Organic Ale. These aren't really bitter, just bitter by English standards. They tend to have malty caramel notes and are well-balanced by the hops. Or go out on a limb and try it with a Scottish Wee Heavy like Bellhaven Wee Heavy - butterscotch and Scotch (whiskey) notes should pair well with a smoky sausage in the jambalaya.

[UPDATE] And here's Jason's recipe!

ProfLike's Grilled Fillet, Portobella, Curried Broccoli Rabe, and Roll:
Good old grilled steak calls for a good old... porter! The caramel, chocolate and coffee notes in a good porter pair well with grilled red meat. And portobella. Try Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter or Bell's Porter.

NatC's Chana Masala:
Indian food, and Asian food in general, tends to be chock full of flavor. A beer that can hold it's own, without being overwhelming, is called for. The Avery White Rascal described above would be good. Or you could try an English-style IPA like Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey.

Dr24hours' Chili-lime Grilled Swordfish, Grilled Squash/Carrots w/ Balsamic Reduction, and Piñon Rice Pilaf:
This dish screams "Summer!". It needs a refreshing beer that won't mask the subtle flavors found in swordfish. Dupont Avril would work. Fruity dryness with almost champaign-like effervescence. Or if you can't find that, try Avery Joe's Pilsner. I'm not a huge fan of pilsners - or "pisswasser" as I may have referred to it - but this is a good one. Very drinkable. Don't be put off by the fact it comes in a can - pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Katie's Moroccan Chicken with Lentils and Basmati Rice:
Yum! I haven't had Moroccan in a while... Let's go Trappist(-style)! Sierra Nevada's Ovila Quad is a Trappist-style dubbel with plum, date and fig notes, with a low level of bitterness. Or you could go with an authentic Trappist ale like Chimay Grand Reserve (Chimay Blue) or Rochefort 6, both medium sweet with candied fruit characteristics.

And lastly for today, while not tagged as a #dinnerdare entry...

DrugMonkey's Arugula/Mushroom/Mozzarella/Prosciutto Pizza/Calzone Thing:

I think this needs a good pale ale. My current favorite is Schlafly's APA. Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale would also work. If you're a little adventurous, try Stone's Cali-Belgique IPA - an IPA brewed using a Belgian yeast which gives it a fruitier, spicier flavor than most IPAs.

[UPDATE] I knew there was one I missed...

Geeka's Simplicity: Pea Shoots, Goat Cheese, Pear Vinegarette:
A beer with salad? Why yes. Goose Island Fleur. Strawberries, maybe hibiscus tea. Perfect with a vinaigrette.

[UPDATE] And another I missed...

SugarScientist's caramelized Onion, Potato, and Broccoli Quiche:

Hmmm, quiche... I'm going to give you three potential pairings. Each quite different from the other two. First, Goose Island Matilda, a Belgian-style amber ale. Somewhat acidic with apple and cherry notes. Second, Sierra Nevada Kellerwies, an American hefeweizen (wheat beer). Both bready and fruity. Lastly, Brooklyn Summer Ale, a crisp, light ale with bread and citrus undertones. Take your pick!

Now I'm hungry. And thirsty.

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