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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wakey Whisk(e)y: Laphroaig 10-Year Single Malt Scotch

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and cheers to you all on the 7th annual World Whisky Day!  This actually makes my second #wakeywhisky post on World Whisky Day, which is celebrated on the third Saturday of May.  The first time around, I went with the Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch from Canada, and this year in the interest of keeping it whisky instead of whiskey I'm going to have some of one of my favorite scotches, Laphroaig's base expression, the 10-year single malt.  

Laphroaig is one of the handful of distilleries from the island of Islay off the West coast of Scotland that is unique enough to be considered its own scotch region.  All of the Islay scotches are known for being heavily peated, the flavor derived from smoking their malt over peat fires, which gives a medicinal phenolic flavor in addition to the smokiness.  Laphroaig was founded in 1815 and they do not go light on the peat, which produces a scotch that they claim "is the most richly flavoured of all scotch whiskies." Well, I'll be the judge of that.

Laphroaig 10-year single malt in appropriate glassware.

The scotch pours a typical dark golden color, and as soon as you catch a whiff it's obvious that there is certainly no shortage of flavor.  The smoky peat flavor hits like a campfire, but also with a strong iodine flavor and an ample aroma of honey sweetness.  Yes, it's certainly rich and complex, and the flavor of this 10-year expression holds on to that complexity with a balance of sweet malt flavors, robust smokiness, and unique peat smoke.  I think the best way to describe this one is a campfire in your mouth, and I mean that in the best way possible.  

I hope you are all enjoying a pour or two of your own on this World Whisky Day! 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Clown Shoes' Galacticake Douple IPA

By Eric Ducote

Good morning again everyone and welcome back to Bite and Booze for a mid-May version of Feature Beer Friday!  I have enjoyed writing these posts every week as I try some new beers and dig a little deeper into some old favorites.  This week I'm revisiting a brewery that I used to drink regularly, but seems to have faded a bit as the local guys surged.  Clown Shoes Beer originated from Massachusetts, and although they recently were bought by Harpoon Brewing (or their parent company, if we're getting technical) they retained their independence and "craft" status because Harpoon is itself a craft brewery.

I've always enjoyed Clown Shoes... their Hoppy Feet and Hoppy Feet 1.5 were both outstanding black IPAs when that style was all the rage, they consistently put out excellent creative stouts, and their label artwork is always top notch.  However, it had been a while since I had bought any their brews, so when I saw a relatively fresh (canned 3/8/18, always check the dates on hoppy beers!) 4-pack of their Galacticake Double IPA at Robert Fresh Market, I figured it was time to stock the fridge with a little more Clown Shoes.

Clown Shoes Galacticake Double IPA

The beer pours a rich copper color, clear and filtered, with a frothy bubbly head that took a few minutes to dissipate.  The malt that gives the beer it's deeper color is definitely present on the aroma with some caramel sweetness, but backed up nicely with fruity hop aromas like pineapple and plum.  The taste is well balanced between the caramel sweetness and the bitter fruity hop flavors.  The Galacticake is a 9% abv DIPA, but the malts and hops hide the alcohol very well.  There is an earthiness to the hops, but some fruit as well, and a nice blend of flavors that complement each other to form a bitter bouquet, but not one that lingers unpleasantly on the finish.

In summary, this is definitely an old-school throwback DIPA, aiming for a malt-hop balance and relying on bittering hops more than just all the late addition hops that we're getting from the hazy juice bombs.  However, it's a delicious well brewed throwback DIPA that I'd be happy to purchase again.   Cheers! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Parsnip-Potato Au Gratin

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

Potatoes Au Gratin are always fun to create because of the layering. The Freret Beer Room in New Orleans was my inspiration for this dish. They serve it as a side, but it’s massive! For me, it had the perfect amount of gruyere cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! For this recipe, I used manchego cheese instead of gruyere fora little extra bite and added Jay D’s Molasses Mustard to tied together the sweetness and add a little tanginess to the dish.

Potato-Parsnip Au Gratin

serves 4
3 potatoes, ¼” rounds
3 parsnips, ¼” rounds
1 whole leek, sliced into half-rounds
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 cups manchego cheese
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small skillet, sauté leeks and garlic until fragrant. Put one layer of potatoes around the bottom of cast iron skillet. Then pour ¼ cup of heavy cream over potatoes. Next, sprinkle small handful of leek/garlic mixture and 1 cup of manchego cheese over potatoes. Place another layer of parsnips on top of cheese. Sprinkle another small handful of leeks and 1 cup of manchego cheese over parsnips. Pour the other ½ cup of heavy cream on top of parsnip layer. Make another potato layer, then sprinkle leeks/garlic and ½ cup of Manchego cheese on top. Take the Molasses Mustard and drizzle on top, then sprinkle remaining leeks/garlic and ½ cup of gruyere cheese. Press down on the au gratin so that all of the layers are compacted. Cover skillet with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take foil off and continue baking until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before chowing down.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Gnarly Barley's Korova Milk Porter

by Eric Ducote

Good morning again everyone! It's time for another Feature Beer Friday (#FeatureBeerFriday if you want to join in on Instagram or Facebook!) and today I'm checking back in with Gnarly Barley Brewing out of Hammond, LA.  About a month ago I featured their Jucifer IPA, but this time it's their flagship Korova Milk Porter.  

The Korova has been a staple of Gnarly Barley's lineup for years, it's a baltic porter base with some oatmeal and lactose (milk sugar) added.  They say about this beer, "This Baltic Oatmeal Milk Porter will change the way you think about porters. From its sweet coffee and chocolate flavor, to its silky smooth finish, this is one unique brew. So sit back and enjoy her sultry sweet side." The Korova clocks in at a solid 6.2% abv.

A pour of the Korova Milk Porter, with appropriate glassware.

On to the appearance... Korova pours a deep brown color with hints of chestnut when the light shines through.  The head is a bubbly tan color that recedes over the course of 30 seconds or so.  The aroma is a delicious combination of coffee, dark chocolate, and marshmallow sweetness.  The taste is more of the same, with a creamy mouthfeel combined with a well blended balance of lactose sweetness and roasted bitterness.  

This is exactly what a flagship should be, an easy drinking yet flavorful beer that offers a slight variation on a traditional style.  Delicious, and now I'm ready for another!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Fried Salmon Burger

by Chef Aimee Tortorich

I love cooking burgers at home, but I wanted to create a burger using only seafood. I decided to go with salmon as my protein not only for nutritional purposes, but also the flavor. This Japanese inspired dish was a fun play on a baked salmon roll that you would find in most sushi restaurants. The panko gave it a nice crunch and the Sriracha and Jay D’s Molasses Mustard aïoli added a punch of heat and sweetness. I added some sliced avocado, pickled cucumber and pickled carrot to round out all the flavors. For those looking for a fun fish idea, this one is a winner all around.

Fried Salmon Burger with Molasses Mustard Aïoli

serves 2

2 salmon fillets, boneless, skin-off
½ onion, small diced
2 Tbs fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbs avocado oil
2 eggs
2 cups seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1 cup all purpose flour
2 hamburger buns

For the aïoli:
¼ cup Jay D’s Molasses Mustard
2 Tbs Sriracha
½ cup mayo

Sliced Avocado
Pickled cucumber
Pickled carrot

Heat a sauté pan on medium heat, add avocado oil and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add fillets to the pan and cook salmon on both sides until cooked through and starting to flake (about 10 minutes). Put salmon, onions and garlic in a bowl and let cool. Add one egg and ½ cup of breadcrumbs to the bowl and form into patties. If patties don’t form, add more breadcrumbs until they stay together.

Next, you’ll need to set up a breading station. You’ll need flour in a shallow dish, another dish with the beaten egg and one additional shallow dish for panko.

Dredge patties lightly in flour, shaking off the excess. One by one, dip in the beaten egg, coating completely and then roll in panko to coat.

Fry at 350F until golden brown. Build burgers with garnishes and aïoli and enjoy!