Category Archives: Eat This

Dinner Party Prep w. Ryan Miller, Jeff de Picciotto, & Andrew Gerson

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Brooklyn Brewery’s Dinner Party is a collaborative, multi-course meal series with rare beer pairings held at Humboldt & Jackson, dedicated to spotlighting local producers.

Between bites of mole-hozon brownies and radishes dipped in a hummus-style hozon dip, we spoke with Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson and his partners in culinary crime: Ryan Miller and Jeff de Picciotto. Ryan and Jeff are product development chef and project manager, respectively, at Momofuku’s Kaizen Trading Company (which is where the magic happens, provided by “magic” you mean “fermenting legumes”). As Dinner Party No. 1 draws closer, the chefs have been working at an increasingly fevered pace.Luckily, between menu revisions and recipe testing, they had a few minutes to talk bonji, hozon, and the collaborative process. Check out the interview & menu below.

Brooklyn Brewery: Can you tell us a little bit about your personal cooking philosophies and how you merged them to throw this Dinner Party?

Ryan Miller: Our main goal at the lab is to investigate culinary traditions that involve fermentation. They’re things that take a lot of time to produce strong and interesting flavors, so we’re not necessarily your normal kitchen. It’s a lot of prep, and a lot of waiting, and trusting the fermentation process to do its job.

Andrew, the menus you create during The Mash focus a lot on fresh, seasonal cooking, so how does that style interplay with the really deliberate process that the Lab works with?

Andrew Gerson: It’s hard to consume all of the bounty of what you have available in any given season, so preservation in all of its forms is really important. How you do that, whether it’s through using the ingredients when they’re freshest, pickling them, fermenting them, or curing them, it’s all kind of the same. You still honor those ingredients.

Can you walk us through how Dinner Party No. 1 came to be? What’s the process of planning a meal on this scale like?

AG: I would say it started with a conversation. The point of Dinner Party is to highlight local producers and to share their products with our guests. The very first thing we did was come here. I really geeked out, and got to try tons of bonji and hozon and different experiments from the lab.  So we came in, we tried a bunch of stuff, and then we started brainstorming. I know we all had a few ideas coming to the table. There are some dishes that come more from this kitchen, there are some that come a little bit more from me, but overall it’s a pretty even collaborative meal between the four folks here that run this kitchen every day, and myself.

You guys ever butt heads at all?

AG: What I think that’s nice about this is that there isn’t ego. It’s not like “this dish is mine!” and “this is my component!” It’s like, hey guys, let’s try this together. What can make this work? We’ve done two taste tests, and today is our third. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter whose it. Let’s put forward a dish that we’re all proud of that represents the products that we’re using. And so far, it’s been pretty good.

Jeff de Picciotto: And not only has Andrew and the Brooklyn Brewery team been able to try our products, but we have been able to go over to the Brewery, see their processes, try their beer, and then see how those pair with the hozons and bonjis specifically.

AG: I see a longer relationship here, and I think so much of what we do at the brewery every day is about collaboration with the folks in our neighborhood. It’s really exciting and humbling to be able to work with these dudes and gals.

Do you find yourselves leaning towards a certain region or cuisine when you’re cooking with bonji and hozon?

RM: That’s the great thing about having two products that haven’t really existed before. They have flavor profiles that haven’t existed. It’s allowed us a range of styles. The menu for this dinner actually goes from cacio e pepe to a mole. Those are pretty far from each other, geographically. It’s not supposed to be fusion, though.

AG: There’s no fusion here. You’re taking flavor profiles that may be reminiscent of Asia or Europe or wherever, and you’re creating something that is its own. I hate the word fusion. People are always asking what style of food you make, and my answer is that I make good food with things that I have around me. There’s inspiration from different regions, but I think it’s a unique menu in that it’s capturing those flavors wherever they fall.

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So since Kaizen products are so new, how are you introducing them to the public?

RM: I think for the general public, it’s going to have to be a very educational process, just as it was for craft brewing. It took a while for craft beer to really take hold, and now it’s in every bodega, which is great. I hope that at some point, we’ll get to that level.

JDP: It’s sometimes hard for people to wrap their heads around a miso paste made from a different ingredient or soy sauce with something that’s not soy, but, really, it’s just a spoonful away. Once they have that first taste it really opens up their mind. A lot of it has to do with just tasting.

RM: We say that it adds a backbone to any dish that, with vegetarian products, you wouldn’t have. If you’re going to sauté some vegetables and add a little hozon to it, you won’t really miss the meat. You won’t want bacon, you won’t want chicken stock. I focus on that aspect.

Like those rapturous Eater reviews of the chickpea hozon ramen!

AG: Right. The bonji & hozon also provide, as far as our foodsystem goes, an easier alternative. It’s not just eat your tofu, eat your tempeh, eat your vegetables. Animal protein production is really destructive, mostly, and what we’re doing is a great way to support that change to a more vegetable and fruit based diet, which we could all benefit from.

What do you want people leaving this Dinner Party to walk away thinking?

RM: I want them to walk away knowing that the culinary heritage in the states is really young, but we really are starting to develop and come into our own, whether it’s craft beer or fermented pickles or east Asian ferments. Miso and soy sauce are just the beginnings of what we can create here in the states that rivals some of the best products imported from Japan. Hopefully everyone sees how easy it is to incorporate these things into your cuisine and up your game in the kitchen.

AG: For us, the goal of Dinner Party is to highlight and collaborate with really cool makers, so I want people to leave this dinner talking about Kaizen, and talking about what restaurants are using this product and where they can get more of it. Kaizen and Ryan value a lot of the same things I do, and it’s exciting to find and work with people nearby who love what we love. I want our guests to leave satiated and full and content and slightly drunk and having a good time. That’s the goal.

 

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Dinner Party No. 1 sold out quickly, but tickets for No. 2, happening August 7th with Brooklyn Grange, will be available soon. Keep your eyes on the blog, or follow us on Twitter for more details.

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Mash Files: Chicago Edition

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Chicago Mash

All Mash Cities have a certain charm, but Chicago is the city I had the most trouble saying goodbye to. Diverse neighborhoods bleed into each other ripe with unique and delectable restaurants serving fall inspired dishes with a laid back feel. I haven’t experienced this concentration of incredible eating locales in any other city but the one I reside in. The array of talented chefs that grace this town are not doing anything incredibly different than other cities we have visited along the Mash, but they are doing it consistently, creatively  and  collaboratively across the board. The “Shi” is an artistic metropolis with a true neighborhood feel, offering as many cultural perspectives as The Bean (Cloud Gate) itself. Steel bridges connect this lakeside city and add as much character as the myriad restaurants we frequented.

Lake Michigan provides a gorgeous city backdrop, but it also creates the brisk winds and chilling temps that make Chicago one of the coldest cities in the country. I think the chefs there understand this better than others and truly value the short growing season, preserving the rich bounty for the cold months to come, and honoring the fresh ingredients in a simple, yet sophisticated manner. The network of chefs that I encountered was truly inspiring, and everyone seemed to know everyone creating a culinary community that spans many bridges.

Slow supper prep at Found restaurant reminded me of Chris Sheppard’s kitchen (at Underbelly, Houston), with more preserves and pickles then I could imagine. The walk in refrigerator boasts a rainbow of pickled produce that could have easily been an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Packed Mason jars abounded like the preservation kitchen at Blackberry Farm, as captivating as the amphitheater and BP Bridge in Millennium Park, by architect and artist Frank Gehry. Nicole Pederson might be a pickle queen but she sure knows her way around rabbit rillettes, and presses a mean goat pate that tastes of barnyard and pistachio, a perfect accompaniment for one of our Ghost Bottles of Crochet Rouge Riesling. Combined with pickled sausage, fresh made mustard, and sweet but tangy plum butter. This course and many others demonstrated the typical style of many of the chefs we encountered, with a full understanding of local ingredients and a playful, yet traditional approach.

Small Bar’s rabbit pate, marmalade, and parsley salad also accented the nuances of Crochet Rouge Sauvignon Blanc, expertly prepared by Executive Chef Justin White.  Ghost Bottles graced the tables at both of our meals, but  Carnegie Special 175th Anniversary Porter was most appropriate in capturing the essence of our 1883 World Fair Slow Supper feast, and a perfect accompaniment to the dramatic reading by Paul Durica, author of Chicago by Day and Night, as well as the delectable poached pear and sponge cake it was served with.

Our week of Mash events melded perfectly  with the intoxicating energy of Chicago, from its many farmers markets, artistic and thoughtfully designed green spaces, diverse neighborhoods, talented chefs, and impressive architecture. From Longman and Eagle, to Lula café, Nightwood, Fat Rice, Little Goat, there were more great restaurants then I could imagine, or find time to eat at. Whether sitting in a hole in the wall Mexican place on the east side, dining on Randolph street, or out in Evanston you can be sure that Chicago’s food scene will leave you satiated, smiling, and extremely impressed. I just hope your stay is longer than mine. I am in agreement with my cousin Ari, Chicago may be the greatest city in the country, at least four months out of the year. I hope your larders are packed for the remaining eight months. Stay warm Chicago, can’t wait to see you next year!

NORTH X BROOKLYN

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In 2003, Brooklyn Brewery started selling beer in Denmark. Ten years later, Scandinavia is home to Brooklyn’s fastest growing fanbase. The Brewery’s involvement in the North hasn’t been limited to just sales. Our Brewmaster Garrett Oliver has done beer dinners at Noma, AG and American Table.  We’ve produced two Brooklyn music and arts festivals in Stockholm, brewed collaborations at various Scandinavian breweries, and are in the process of building the New Carnegie Brewery, a joint venture with Sweden’s oldest trademark, Carnegie.

Thusly, it made perfect sense to get involved in New York City’s first Scandinavian food festival, NORTH. NORTH’s inaugural programming of unique dinner parties, collaborations and classes is seriously impressive. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it. Here’s where you’ll find Brooklyn Brewery throughout NORTH:

Aamans-Copenhagen Goes Helsinki, Oct 4th & 5th
Finnish chef Sasu Laukkonen of Chef & Sommelier and Carl Frederiksen of Aammans-Copenhagen cook alternating courses to compete for your tastebuds. Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver has paired beers to three of his favorite courses. Sorachi Ace, Ama Bruna, Greenmarket Wheat star. For full menu and tickets click here.

New York Goes Oslo, Oct 3rd & 4th
Fredrik Berselius’s nordic influences shine at Aska, across the street from The Brewery. For this mean, Garrett is sending beers that reflects Aska’s nordic roots, but also its focus on local collaboration. The exquisite menu will include Nordic collaborations of our own, including Carnegie Special 175th Anniversary Porter and our Sinebrychoff project, Two Tree Porter. This dinner is Sold Out.

Master Classes in New Nordic Cuisine, Oct 5th & 6th
Taste Lounge is the social center of the International Culinary Center and with the Norwegian Seafood Council will be presenting classes in the heritage and preparation of New Nordic Cuisine from some of the most talented Scandinavian chefs in the world. Brooklyn Brewery is providing Oktoberfest and Lager for all the students and chefs working up their knowledgeable thirsts. For a list of full classes click here.

Mash Files: Boston

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Mash Boston reaffirmed my love for bodies of water.  This sounds strange but bays, oceans, tributaries and the beauty they encompass set a perfect backdrop for our week of events.   My past Boston culinary experiences were limited to super carnitas burritos at Anna’s Taqueria when I would visit an old girlfriend during college. Things have changed quite dramatically over the last ten years, and great restaurants are popping up all over offering interesting riffs on traditional New England cuisine along with many other styles of food.  I had one of the best clam chowders of my life at Island Creek oyster bar, New England of course, none of that tomato malarkey.

I was able to gain a new respect, and perspective on aquaculture and the vital role it plays in New England life.   The Atlantic Ocean, its tributaries, and the many rivers that lead into it have long been a source of sustenance, income and leisure, for New Englanders, playing a vital role in the areas evolution.  Much of our week was focused on maritime activity or its byproducts.  A small detour from our seafood centric meals was our Local Two Ways dinner at Poe’s Tip Tap Room with Chef Brian Poe, and many happy hour events at Stoddard’s Pub.  If you think I am busy you should check out Brian Poe, juggling three restaurants with the expert skill and precision of a veteran circus clown (the talented ones that hurl multiple flaming bowling pins effortlessly, while telling jokes). Brian and I prepared antelope tips and kangaroo tartar with a pistachio and yuzu gremolata.  I don’t know about you, but I have never eaten, let alone prepared kangaroo in my life, needless to say it was a night to remember, and as  I hop from city to city it is a flavor I will hold onto and savor.

We were back to the sea the next morning as we headed out of Boston towards Duxbury bay, home of Island Creek Oyster Co.  We arrived nursing hangovers that would make a college student proud, and were met with the sweet salty air of the ocean and Chris Sherman the Vice President of ICO, and one of the most knowledgeable, well spoken, and  downright enjoyable people I have met in a while.  Our trip began in the hatchery where oysters are bred, reared and transferred to holding tanks below the docks where they spend their first six months of life.  The algae lab is the most essential part of this process.  Multiple strains of algae (oyster feed) are grown in tanks and tubes of various sizes and pumped into the tanks that house these growing prehistoric creatures.  We boarded a small boat and headed out to the oyster beds that dot the bay, protected by a large half moon strip known as Duxbury Beach, and boarded the floating house where oysters are sorted into three different grades.  The passion and expertise of these rugged oyster farmers, and savvy business men, have made these oysters a coveted mainstay at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, French Laundry, and many other fine dining institutions across the couomtry.

Lowell’s Boat house, the oldest active boat house in the country was the setting for our Slow Supper dinner with Chef Marc Sheehan of Brasstacks (a local pop up restaurant concept). Marc honed his skills at Blue Hill, under Dan Barber before taking over some of Boston’s best kitchens.  I was thrilled to put out plates that mirrored the flowing history of the Merrimack River and work with such a young and talented chef whose historically relevant and technical approach to cooking left our guest begging for more.  Quahog bread and Black Ops pretzels where paired with Silver Anniversary Lager, and the boisterous conversation and glass clinking echoed far across the river just feet from the long wooden  planked  communal table constructed for our dinner by master boat maker and teacher Graham McKay of Lowell’s boat shop.

Our week culminated in a cyclical manner with our Togather event featuring Erin Byers Murray, author of Shucked, Chris Sherman, and Graham McKay discussing the waters that have shaped their lives, careers, and outlooks.  My sea legs felt much sturdier after absorbing bits of their passionate conversation that flowed effortlessly like the Merrimack, or the tides of Duxbury Bay.  All hands from our week of adventures were on deck for this memorable event. Sipping Brooklyn Summer Ales, and slurping oysters felt more like an outing with old friends then a literary reception. Boston I can’t wait to set sail for your waters next year. Ahoy Mattie’s!

 

 

A Table Full of Ace’s (and Oysters)

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What  used to be a poor mans lunch, (Oysters and farm house saison), has become  a decadent  snack .  Sorachi Ace is a likely companion for the sweet flesh of the West Coast  Kumamoto oyster, picking up on the citrus caviar (finger lime) accompaniment.  Sorachi also balances the ocean-like salty brine of local Blue Point Oysters, and the apple mignonette they where topped with,  making it an ideal pairing for East or West Coast oysters, and a lazy afternoon with friends.

A meal fit for Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager.

Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager

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Seared Hanger Steak with Cayuga Grains Wheat Berries, and Parsnip Puree

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Sleeper Moses Brie (Jasper Hill Dairy) Wrapped in Roasted Purple Spring Onions

The smooth malt character of this Dopelbock version of our flagship lager balances the roasted elements of this dish with the sweet and earthy notes of the parsnip puree. With a body strong enough to hold up to roasted meat and fine tuned delicate flavor to work with the subtleties of this unique cheese and onion pairing, the versatility of this beer makes it an ideal dinner guest.

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Eat This: Brooklyn Brewery EIPA Crepes w/ Chili Caramel Sauce

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The culinary minds at Spoonable have developed a crepe recipe using our Brooklyn East India Pale Ale to add airiness and a backing hop flavor. The crepe is then paired up with Spoonable’s own Chili Caramel Sauce (pictured below). The author credits her mother for the idea, reaching back to childhood memories of crepes she made for Mardi Gras. You can view the original post on Spoonable, or follow the recipe here.

 

Eat This: Brown Ale Banana Bread

From Ansley at NYC Food Discovery:

I love banana bread. When I was a kid I liked it with chocolate chips and more recently I’ve been baking dense, fudgy versions. I got the inspiration for this new recipe from Brooklyn Brewery’s Brown Ale. The notes of caramel, chocolate, and coffee are a natural match for banana. Plus this recipe calls for half a bottle, so please give the other half a good home.

The result is a fluffy, complex banana bread with a moist crumb. I use a mix of regular and whole wheat flour so I can feel less guilty about eating this for breakfast.

Ingredients

  •    1 and 3/4 cups flour
  •    1/2 cup sugar
  •    1 teaspoon baking powder
  •    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •    1/2 teaspoon salt
  •    3-4 very ripe bananas (I store mine in the freezer once they start to go south)
  •    2 eggs
  •    1/3 cup melted butter
  •    6 oz (half a bottle) Brooklyn Brown Ale

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking power and soda, and salt) together in a large bowl.

2.Mash up all but one of your bananas. Cut the last banana into coins. Mix together your wet ingredients in a small bowl. (Make sure the melted butter has cooled or it will cook your eggs!) Stir your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.

3.This makes one 9 x 13 loaf or two smaller loaves. Bake for 45 mins or longer- make sure the middle of the  bread doesn’t jiggle when you remove it from the oven.

After the bread cools, enjoy with coffee, chocolate milk, or of course, a Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale.

Eat This: Lemon Glazed Cheesecake from Tapped Craft Beer Events

Lemon Glazed Cheesecake, from Creative Culinary

Blogger Jonathan Moxey pours Sorachi Ace at Tapped Craft Beer’s Beer & Dessert Pairing

From Emily & Matt of Tapped Craft Beer Events:

Ever since we started up Tapped Craft Beer Events last January, I’ve been dying for a client to request a beer & dessert pairing event! Finally, this past week I got my wish when we hosted a super fun and educational pairing of 5 beers & desserts for The Williams Club and The Columbia University Club of New York.

I wanted to ensure that we showcased a wide variety of beer styles and dessert types, particularly because our audience was mostly new to craft beer, and having at least one easier-drinking option is ideal. Also, beers in the Brown Ale, Porter & Stout families and desserts in the caramel, nut and chocolate vein are the perfect go-tos, but what some other flavor profiles to keep things interesting and unexpected?

As I thought back to a couple of our beer & cheese pairings for another Williams Club event last year, the idea struck me — Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace and cheesecake! Perfect! To make it extra special, I knew that I wanted to add a lemon spin to the cheesecake.

Since I couldn’t find a bakery that made lemon cheesecake, I whipped up some homemade lemon glaze, using the following super-easy recipe from Creative Culinary. I added it to a nice store-bought cheesecake, but the link above also includes an accompanying cheesecake recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water (I substituted 1/2 cup Limoncello for the water but it’s optional. I also ended up adding just a touch of lemon paste color. )
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

  1. Make glaze by combining sugar and cornstarch, blending in water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook 3 minutes. Chill until cool but not set.
  2. Spread top of cheesecake with lemon glaze. Chill several hours or over­night. Can also be frozen.

One guest commented, “All of the pairings were great, but this one really sings!” It was also the favorite of our event host, Jonathan Moxey.

The acidity and dryness of the beer, due to the champagne yeast and zestiness of the Sorachi Ace hop, cuts (“razor-sharp,” as Jonathan put it) through the rich creaminess of the cheesecake, cleansing your palate and readying it for the next bite. Additionally, the lemon glaze complements the lemon flavor and aroma of the unique Sorachi Ace hop.

And one Brooklyn Brewery beer wasn’t enough for us — the last dessert we served was a beer ice cream float using Black Chocolate Stout and vanilla ice cream. It was a HUGE hit!

Drink This: Beer Cocktails

(Left to right: The Brady Brunch, Thyme Is On Our Side, The Brooklyn Squall, Pearallel Lines)

In the not too distant past, I was asked to participate in the “Beer Cocktail Brunch Off” at the East Village establishment Jimmy’s No. 43. I can’t say I was particularly thrilled at this prospect. Every beer cocktail I had ever had was not very good. Beer is so delicious on its own! Why mask the awesome flavor of beer with juices and syrups? I’ve always been a sucker for a challenge though, so I accepted.

With the help of my dear friend, the distiller & zineman Chris Elford, we spent a day slaving over a juicer, jiggers, and quite a few bottles of beer. Our entry to the Brunch Off, “The Brooklyn Squall” (a variation on a Dark & Stormy), didn’t win, but we came up with four recipes that made us both begrudgingly admit beer cocktails can be quite tasty.

The Brady Brunch
2 oz Marmalade syrup (1/2 oz OJ, 1 oz grapefruit juice, 2 teaspoon marmalade)
3 oz Brooklyn EIPA (or another English style IPA)
Garnish with an orange twist 

Thyme Is On Our Side
Rosemary & Thyme Tea (Boil 1 cup of water, add 3 springs of rosemary & 2 springs of thyme. Steep for 5 minutes)
Add 1 oz tea to 1 oz fig jam
Add 2 oz fig syrup to 8 oz Brooklyn Winter Ale (or another Scotch Ale)
Garnish with a spring of thyme

The Brooklyn Squall
1 oz ginger syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz Brooklyn Brown Ale (or another Brown Ale)
1 oz Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout to top (there is no substitute)
Garnish with candied ginger 

Pearallel Lines
Poach pears in 24 oz apple juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave & 3 dashes of liquid smoke for 20 minutes
Puree pears with 4 oz of poaching liquid – strain
Add 2 oz pear juice to 8 oz Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
4 dashes tiki bitters