Burrata with Snow Peas
For this course, we chose to crack open a bottle of homeade limoncello from my sister in law as an apperitif. I imagine a good beer mate might be a refreshing wheat beer or crisp pale ale, something lemony and light.
Bloody Beet Steak, Steak
The bloody beet steak is a recipe from Farm and Fisherman, a nice byob in Philly. My wife figured it out on her own last summer but has since found the recipe. You cook the beets under a brick so they get flat and crispy, and serve them with crisy shallots. Then we had an actual steak, a ribeye, with grilled green onions and roasted carrots from the farmer's market on East Passyunk. For these courses, I wanted a beer with some heft, roastiness, and nice caramel malt flavor to match the caramalization of the steak and the beets.
Enter Flying Fish Exit 8, Chestnut Brown Ale. It was very rich and smooth, and did a nice job complementing the flavors of the food without overpowering them. The Flying Fish Exit Series is great, I wish I would have stockpiled more of it, as each exit is limited release.
Stilton with Berries and Apricot Honey
Port is stilton's friend in the wine world, so I wanted something boozy and sweet. Enter Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, made with Dutch chocolate and coming in at 8% abv, in a nice painted bottle, I might add. I enjoyed the beer, the cheese, and the berries, as well as the apricot spread. I'm not 100% that the beer was the right match, but it was a good effort.
I think it's great fun to improve your culinary life on all fronts, from knowing quality ingredients and cooking prowess to palate awareness and learning the principles of beverage pairings. It can add a lot of enjoyment to everyday life--we need to eat everyday, we may as well learn to do it well.