Tuesday, we launched our Memorial Day Food Challenge with Hy-Vee Stores‘ Chef Marty Lowry and FrankAboutFood.net‘s Frank Reiter. For the first course and background on the challenge, click here. For the second course, click here. For the third course, well, you know.
Beer #4: Mother’s Brewing Company – Three Blind Mice
For our final course, the dessert course, nothing says summer quite like ice cream. It’s a must when having a Memorial Day cookout. This dessert is going to be an easy one to toss together, so you can get right back to entertaining your guests, and tossing contraband Lawn Darts at your kids.
The beer that Ben put forward for this course is a bit of a curveball; I’ll explain. Typically, a brown ale is malty, with a roasty sweetness from that malt. However, Mother’s Brewing Company’s Three Blind Mice is NOT your Father’s brown ale! It’s a tip of the hat to three distinct beer styles: Irish Red Ale, English Brown Ale, and the German Altbier. The twist comes with the level of hoppiness that slips in from the ode to the Altbier. This makes it a bit more difficult to try to get a dessert pairing together. I had to play around and experiment with a couple of different techniques to overcome this bitterness, especially when reducing for a dessert sauce. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. By reducing an entire bottle down to about an ounce or so, and adding sugar and semi-sweet chocolate chips, I was able to bring the sauce to a palatable level. The vanilla ice cream brings the Ice component to the dish, and soothes any lingering bite from the sauce, which just takes on a dark chocolate character. The aroma of the sauce oddly struck me like toasted coconut. What’s a great marriage with toasted coconut and involves a grill? Yes, grilled pineapple! There’s our Fire component. For a base, I chose a shortcut: store-bought shortcakes. Build upon that foundation a grilled pineapple ring or two, a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream, drizzle with the Three Blind Chocolate Sauce, top with toasted shredded coconut. The levels of flavor that all work in harmony, give this dessert such complexity, yet it is so simple to put together.
You might say, “But, Frank, does it really go well with the beer?” Hell yes, it does. My test subject was my wife, who normally would shy away from such pairings… and I got a resounding thumbs up!
A great way to wrap up my menu, and gets keeps you from spending too much time on the food, and gets you back to enjoying your outdoor holiday!
It was truly a challenge to develop a dessert that includes a grilled component for this course. I had many ideas, but they were all missing… something? In order to unite the flavors and textures of this dish, I decided to make the Three Blind Mice into an ice cream, and voila! Grilled Banana Split. My menu shows chocolate and vanilla as ice cream flavors, you can make your own or get them from the store. You could also substitute another flavor of ice cream for the vanilla, like Heath toffee. I hope you have enjoyed our pairing exercise as much as we have! Enjoy this holiday weekend, and eat well!!
Recipes follow after the jump.
Marty’s Grilled Banana Split Recipe:
Bananas, skin-on, cut to desired size
Chocolate Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream (or other complementary flavor)
Three Blind Mice Ice Cream
Three Blind Mice Ice Cream Ingredients:
1 pt. Whole Milk
1 pt. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ cup Sugar
1 tsp Corn Starch
3x Egg Yolks, beaten
¾ cup Three Blind Mice
Coffee Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
½ cup coffee
1 cup Sugar
3 Tb Water
¾ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- Make the ice cream: mix the sugar, corn starch, vanilla, and eggs yolks in a bowl until smooth. Put the beer on in a saucepan, and reduce by 2/3.
- Put the whole milk on in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Pour half onto the egg mixture and combine. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk, add the beer reduction, and heat gently until custard is cooked. Let the custard cool, and chill overnight.
- Whip the cream until fluffy, and fold into the chilled custard. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, and store in the freezer when finished.
- Make the sauce: reduce the coffee by ½ in a saucepan, and set aside. Combine the sugar and water in another saucepan, and cook until a golden-brown color.
- Remove from the heat, and SLOWLY add the cream. This part is dangerous, be sure to keep the caramel away from you! Return to the heat, and incorporate. Add the coffee reduction, and stir until smooth. Serve warm.
- Put it all together: begin by grilling the bananas skin-side down. When the bananas become warm and tender, turn them over, and grill for 30 seconds.
- Peel the banana slices, and arrange on the plate. Place one scoop of each ice cream between the banana slices. Drizzle the warm caramel sauce over the plate, and garnish with whipped cream and roasted peanuts. Enjoy!
Frank’s Fire & Ice Pineapple Dessert Recipe:
NOTE: These recipe amounts will yield one dessert. You may just adjust accordingly for the number of guests you are serving. And yes, it takes a lot of the beer to yield the sauce.
1 – 12 oz bottle Mother’s Three Blind Mice
1/3 – ½ C semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp sugar
2 pineapple rings
Dark brown sugar
1 Shortcake (you know, the round, yellow ones from the store)
Vanilla ice cream
- Heat the beer in a saucepan over low to medium heat, watching carefully for boilovers, until reduced to about 1 to 1½ ounces. Remove pan from the heat. This step will take a while, perhaps 20-30 minutes depending on the level of heat.
- Whisk in the chocolate chips and sugar. Set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, lightly toast the coconut shreds over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, until just lightly golden brown, and aromatic. You do not want to burn it. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the pineapple rings with the dark brown sugar.
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grilling grate with a paper towel and vegetable oil. Grill the pineapple rings until some nice grill marks appear, and the sugar just begins to caramelize from the heat.
- Place a shortcake on a dessert plate. Stack the pinapple rings on top of it. Then, scoop a nice amount of rich vanilla ice cream atop them. Drizzle your Three Blind Chocolate Sauce over the mound of ice cream. Sprinkle the toasted coconut atop of that, and enjoy with your freshly poured Three Blind Mice!
So, that’s the final course. Who wins this round? Comment with your vote below and let’s see who wins the grilling challenge.