Amazing gastropub dishes, from chickpea fries to fresh ricotta and radish crostini.
Food & Wine
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Boudin Blanc with Leeks and Mustard Sauce
The French veal and pork sausage called boudin blanc, is often served with a black truffle-flecked cream, but in this dish the pungent truffles in the sauce are replaced with beer-friendly smooth Dijon and grainy mustards.
Tyler Florence likes making this one-pot, gastropub style dish for parties because it requires so little cleanup. He simply steams plump mussels in lager, then tosses them in a creamy, spicy, slightly tart sauce made with ginger, chiles, coconut milk and lime juice. The result is a Thai-inflected version of the French classic.
At the excellent little restaurant, Park Kitchen in Portland, OR, Scott Dolich (a Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef 2004) serves these crisp-outside-tender-inside jumbo fries with homemade pumpkin ketchup, but they're also wonderful on their own. He spikes the fries with sambal oelek, a bright red Southeast Asian chile sauce available at Asian markets.
Beer-Braised Chicken Stew with Fava Beans and Peas
1999 Best New Chef Paul Kahan is a big fan of chicken thighs because they have so much flavor and are so inexpensive—the best of both worlds. He braises the thighs in beer to make an excellent stew that he (naturally) pairs with more beer, such as Pere Jacques from Chicago's Goose Island Beer Company, a Belgian-style ale full of caramelized malt flavors. Alternatively, try using frozen lima beans or other shelled beans in place of the favas and peas.
Homemade ricotta cheese is completely delicious and unbelievably easy to prepare—all it takes is milk, lemon juice and a little heat. Chef Paul Kahan spreads it on crostini, then adds a few slices of pretty red radish and a sprinkling of pepper. Pair the crostini with a refreshing lager, like pale-gold Peroni from Italy, which won't overwhelm the delicate ricotta.
At his new Eamonn's a Dublin Chipper, Dublin-born Cathal Armstrong (an F&W Best New Chef 2006) brings the fish-and-chips pub tradition to Alexandria, Virginia. Armstrong serves two types of fish, plus fries and a host of sauces, like the one below.
Leeks Vinaigrette with Fried Eggs and Smoked Prosciutto
When 1999 Best New Chef Paul Kahan develops recipes, he starts with something traditional—like leeks vinaigrette, the time-honored French dish—then adds a twist. Here he substitutes fried eggs for the standard hard-boiled-egg topping and adds crisp strips of speck, a smoked prosciutto. With this dish, Kahan suggests pouring a full-flavored bock beer, such as the dark, smoky Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock from Germany.
Crispy Grits with Sweet-and-Sour Beets and Mushrooms
This recipe was inspired by a grits dish made by Paul Virant, who worked in 1999 Best New Chef Paul Kahan's Blackbird kitchen before becoming chef at Vie in Western Springs, a Chicago suburb. "Grits aren't necessarily part of my cooking—polenta would be more traditional. But the texture of these white grits blew me away," he says. The earthy grit cakes are ideal with a medium-bodied Belgian-style beer like Italy's Le Baladin's Nora, with its ginger and orange peel notes.
Dressing Room takes this classic British dessert—which is said to have originated in the 1960s in England's Lake District—and makes it ultramoist by poking holes in the date cake and soaking it with a rich, buttery toffee sauce.