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Chimichurri and Pale Ale Infused Artichoke

Working at the brewery every single day makes it pretty difficult to find the time to actually cook something. Luckily, I’ve got the pressure cooker to combat that issue. Photographing is another story since I get home after dark every day. For this artichoke recipe, I started cooking at 9am so I could get my good lighting, wrap it up and be at the brewery by 10am. Nothing like garlicky artichokes and beer for breakfast!
art1 This is a recipe that has been on my brain ever since that first fateful day of Becki vs. artichoke. If you cannot beat the artichoke, you must become the artichoke. Lourdes Gourmet sent me another care package in the mail so I could actually make that dream of a recipe become a reality. First, you hack off the top inch of the artichoke and trim the leaves with kitchen shears.
art2 Smother the top with chimichurri sauce, being sure to work the sauce into the leaves with the spoon.
art4 Place in a pressure cooker with a cup of pale ale (preferably Snowbank Brewing’s Bike Trail Pale) and cook for 10-12 minutes.
art5 Serve and pair with a pint of the same pale ale you cooked with.

Chimichurri and Pale Ale Infused Artichoke

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 17 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish, Starter
Misc Serve Hot
This artichoke is infused with lemony, garlicky Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce and pressure-cooked to the tenderest perfection with the use of Snowbank Brewing's Bike Trail Pale ale in place of water.

Ingredients

  • 1 artichoke
  • 4 + 1 tablespoons Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 cup Snowbank Brewing Bike Trail Pale Ale (or other pale ale)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions

Step 1
Slice off the top inch of the artichoke and trim each leaf with kitchen shears.
Step 2
Spoon the Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce over the top and work into each leaf with the spoon.
Step 3
Place the cup of pale ale in the bottom of the pressure cooker and add the artichoke, stem down so the sauced end is facing upwards.
Step 4
Bring to pressure and cook for 11-12 minutes. Remove the pressure cooker from the hot area of the stove and allow to naturally depressurize.
Step 5
In a small cup, melt the butter and mix in one tablespoon of chimichurri sauce.
Step 6
Remove the artichoke from the pressure cooker and drizzle the butter/chimichurri sauce over the top.
Step 7
Devour the best artichoke you have ever had.

art3 The butter sauce for dipping afterwards is completely unnecessary. The Lourdes Gourmet Chimichurri Sauce melts in the pressure cooker and falls inside the leaves of the artichoke while the pale ale infuses its flavor into each piece. This is, hands down, the BEST and most tender artichoke I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. I ate it for breakfast and I would eat it again with every meal if I had the means to make it.

Now go invest in a pressure cooker and order some of this sauce online. You can thank me later.

I was supplied with free product from Lourdes Gourmet with which to create recipes. All reviews/opinions/obsessions are my own.

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Protein-Packed Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

It’s the last day of September and I think it’s past time to start in on copious amounts of deliciously warming autumn recipes. This soup is from an adaptation I made three years ago on the blog, but this time I added red lentils for a punch of protein – a perfectly rounded out vegan dish.
AM

Protein-Packed Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Serve Hot
This soup is SPICY, slightly sweet and full of veggies and protein thanks to the lentils! If you need to clear out your sinuses, this is the soup to make! Not only are you getting massive amount of Vitamin A from the butternut squash and a huge dose of protein from the lentils, but you also hike up your metabolism with the cayenne.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large butternut squash (halved and seeded)
  • 4 Large leeks
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils (rinsed)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cayanne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Place the butternut squash halves, cut side up, on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. At the same time, remove the papery skins from the garlic, then wrap the entire head of garlic in foil.
Step 2
Bake squash and garlic at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes, or until fork easily pierces through the thickest point of the squash.
Step 3
Allow the squash and garlic to cool while you prepare the lentils: Place the rinsed lentils in a pot with the 2.5 cups of water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 35 minutes, stirring often.
Step 4
Trim, wash and thinly slice the leeks.
Step 5
Saute the leeks in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat for 15-20 minutes while the lentils cook.
Step 6
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the casing and into the pan with the leeks and saute for another 5-10 minutes.
Step 7
Add the cubed butternut squash and saute for 10 minutes.
Step 8
Add the vegetable broth, cooked lentils, ground nutmeg, cayenne and ground pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 9
Take an immersion blender and puree the soup into a creamy consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle the soup into a blender and blend until smooth, then pour back into the pot.
Step 10
Slowly stir in salt, pinches at a time, until you reach the desired taste.

Butternut Soup I garnished this with my spicy-sweet roasted squash seeds, also from an old blog recipe, and paired it with one of my favorite pumpkin beers – Elysian Night Owl.
AM4 And now, I’m off to enjoy this gorgeous day with a mountain bike ride! Happy trails!
manana

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Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese

I just can’t seem to stop celebrating this past week!
am7 My Certified Cicerone pin and badge came in the mail yesterday, sending me off into another frenzied hour of joy.
am10 I got a carwash for the first time in months. With the small amount of time I have for myself, I kind of saw this as a celebration… Oy, I’m getting old.
am6 I also got back into the kitchen! These pumpkin spiced donuts were a regular in my life until a year ago, when my life got tossed around in beautiful ways and I had to move four times because of shifting jobs. I made these delicious donuts again, took one bite and realized something was off… Instead of 1/2 cup of brown sugar, I’d only added 1/4 cup. Well, crap.

They were still delicious, but obviously lacking just a tad.

I did what any normal person would do – melted butter, dipped the tops in butter and then in a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
am3 BOOM. Problem solved.
am4 Then I took another bite. Just to make sure the problem was actually solved.
am5 It was. Oh, my goodness, it was.
am I had quite a bit of pumpkin leftover from the donuts, so I made a form of mac ‘n cheese using pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese

Serves 4-5
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
A healthy version of macaroni and cheese with an added dose of dietary fiber and Vitamin A from pumpkin puree, as well as whole grains from whole wheat pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12oz whole wheat pasta ((3/4 lbs))

Directions

Step 1
In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Step 2
Add the onions, garlic and sage and saute until the onions are translucent.
Step 3
In a blender (I used my Magic Bullet), combine the pumpkin puree and cooked onions, garlic and sage, and blend until smooth.
Step 4
Pour the blended mixture into a saucepan and heat through.
Step 5
While the sauce is heating, cook pasta according to package directions.
Step 6
Add the mascarpone and parmesan to the pumpkin sauce and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 7
Drain the pasta once al dente, reserving about half a cup of the pasta water.
Step 8
Place the drained pasta back into the pot and add the pumpkin sauce, stirring until all the pasta is coated. Add pasta water if necessary to thin out the sauce.
Step 9
Any add-ins should be mixed in next - I sauteed chicken apple sausages and added frozen peas to give a little more substance.
Step 10
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and devour.

am1 And since I felt so healthy after this meal, I decided it was time again to celebrate.
am8Berliner Weisse with (way too much) woodruff syrup at Golden Road.
am9And a sample of their West by Northwest collaboration brew with Deschutes! And now I’m off to prep for a crapload of beer dinners I’m hosting in the near future.

Life be good.

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