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.