Light the Grill....Crack a Beer....Crank the Tunes

Light the Grill....Crack a Beer....Crank the Tunes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hot Giardiniera Italian Sausage Pizza Dogs/Southern Tier Farmer's Tan/1000mods "Vultures"

This week we're cruising through some of the recipe ideas we've had written down for quite some time.  Tonight, it's this spicy Italian spin on the classic bagel dog.  We start with hot giardiniera italian sausage that we got from our local Caputos that we simmer in chicken broth, garlic, onions and peppers until mostly cooked through.  The sausages get a quick spin over the coals to char up a bit then get wrapped with provolone and pepperoni in some pizza dough before being dusted with oregano and baked until golden brown.  Served up with a side of tomato basil marinara, these were the perfect combination of bagel dog and calzone.  To drink we had a six pack of Southern Tier's take on a low ABV IPA with their Farmer's Tan.  For the tunes, we went back to Greece and back to the excellent 1000mods with their latest "Vultures".

Hot Giardiniera Italian Sausage Pizza Dogs -  With a store bought pizza dough, this meal comes together in a snap.   The only time consuming part is the sausages so let's start there.  In a large sauce pan bring 1 quart of chicken stock,  a dozen pearl onions, 6 cloves of garlic and 2 green peppers sliced into strips to a low boil.   Add the sausages to the pot.

Reduce heat to medium/low and let the sausages simmer for about 20 minutes until almost cooked through and remove from the heat.

These are ready for the grill.  Since they are pretty much cooked through, we just need a low flame to char things up a bit.  Place the sausages over direct heat and turn often until browned on all sides.

Now we can get to work on wrapping these things up.   We roll the pizza dough out into a large rectangle and slice the dough into 6 - 2" strips.    Place a slice of provolone on top of the dough, followed by a few slices of pepperoni and an italian sausage.  Wrap the dough around the filling until it is completely encased then sprinkle oregano on top.

These go on a soaked wood plank and get grilled over indirect heat for about 20 minutes until the pizza dough is cooked through and golden brown.

The only thing left to do is serve these puppies up with a side of tomato basil marinara for dipping and they are good to go.

Southern Tier Farmer's Tan - New York's Southern Tier Brewing Co. has been known to churn out their fair share of killer beers. We've been big into these low ABV pale ales and were excited to give their Farmer's Tan a spin. The beer pours a shiny bronze color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet, partially from the mango in the hops and partially from the chewy malts. The flavor is a little tart, a little malty and a tad bitter not really overwhelming in any one particular characteristic. The mouthfeel is super light which goes along with the 4.6% ABV and puts the "sessionable" in the Sessionable IPA. It's a decent brew, not overly hoppy unfortunately as most of the low ABV pale ales on the market are still able to hone in on that delicious hoppiness. The light beer actually worked out well for the food pairing, providing an easy drinking counterpart to the spicy and salty sandwich.

1000mods "Vultures" - If you ever wanted to hear what Palm Desert mixed with Swedish stoner rock by way of Greece sounds like, look no further than 1000mods.    These desert rockers are back with their follow up to the awesome "Super Van Vacation" with 2014's equally incredible "Vultures".    The opening track is "Claws" and it gets the blood pumping right away with its driving beat and infectious riff.  A decidedly Cream-like riff kicks off "Big Beautiful" before changing gears to the heavier fuzzed out side.  "She" begins as a bluesy number, with a back alley, down and out sounding riff that is custom made to be played in smokey bars and concert halls.  The song gets progressively heavier without losing its groove sounding a little like Fireball Ministry by the end of the song.   "Horses' Green" is a brooding, building number with a NIN/Tool angst-ridden vibe.  After a couple of slower tunes, "Low" ratchets the tempo back up again.  The title track is another exercise in the blues, but with some darker vocals more reminiscent of AIC.  It's one of the best tracks on the album.  "Modesty" just flat out blows the doors off the place.  It features a bull-whip riff, killer groove and great raspy vocals that give it top honors for the album's best song.  The closing track is the appropriately named atmospheric "Reverb of the New World".  It's an instrumental that picks up steam as it goes on and ends with a jam of epic proportions.  "Vultures" is another great release from this stellar band.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Spicy Chorizo and Queso Stuffed Mushrooms with Ranchero Crema/O'Fallon 5 Day IPA/Slow Season "Mountains"

We've had this idea written down forever, the time has come to finally make it.  Taking our cue from the classic Italian sausage stuffed 'shrooms, we take the recipe south of the border by swapping out the italian sausage with chorizo, the parmesan for chihuahua cheese, the breadcrumbs for crushed tortilla chips, the…well, you get the picture.  We hollow out some large button mushrooms then stuff them with a mixture of browned chorizo, cheese, chopped cilantro and jalapeño and crushed tortilla chips.  These go over indirect heat on the grill until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is melted and bubbly then get served up hot with a side of tangy and creamy ranchero crema.  To wash these little morsels down with, we opted for the easy drinking 5 Day IPA from Missouri's O'Fallon Brewery.  On the stereo is the brand new release "Mountains" from California's Slow Season and it's freaking melting our speakers.

Spicy Chorizo and Queso Stuffed Mushrooms with Ranchero Crema -  These little apps are really super simple to make, the hardest part is coring out the mushrooms.  Not that it's hard, just a little time consuming.  Using a wet cloth wipe down a dozen or so large button mushrooms.  Using a small knife (or a jalapeño corer, don't ask why we have one), cut off the stem of the mushroom (save them for the filling) then work it around the perimeter of the mushroom and dig out as much of the interior as possible being very careful not to pierce through the outer shell.

Keep the cored and hollowed out mushrooms to the side while we knock out the filling.  In a medium sauté pan brown one link of chorizo.  In the same pan saute the chopped mushroom stems and the diced  jalapeño until the veggies are soft.  Move the mixture to a medium bowl.

Add in 6 oz of shredded chihuahua cheese, 1 small jalapeño diced, 1 small handful of chopped cilantro and 1/2 cup of crushed tortilla chips.

With a small spoon stuff the filling in each mushroom cap leaving a rounded amount on top.  Walk these out to the grill that has been set-up for indirect grilling and place the mushrooms on the cool side.

Cover the grill and let these go for about 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms are slightly wilted and the filling is bubbly.  Remove from heat and keep warm.

While the 'shrooms are hanging out, we can knock out the ranchero crema, which in all honesty is just a fancy name for red enchilada sauce mixed with Mexican crema and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Serve up the stuffed mushrooms on a platter with the sauce on the side.  We had high hopes for this combination and the final product even exceeded our already high expectations.  The smoky, earthy mushrooms were the perfect little cauldrons for the spicy and cheesy goodness that rest inside.  Dipped in the addictive crema, you've got an app that will disappear in a heartbeat.  

O'Fallon 5 Day IPA - Our first sample from this Missouri brewery is their 5 Day IPA.  The beer pours a fairly dark amber with a thin wispy head.  The aroma is sweet and malty with none of the typical hoppy notes you would normally detect before diving into an IPA.  The flavor more closely resembles an amber ale; it is slightly sweet with vanilla tobacco with just the slightest hoppy bite on the finish.  It's a pretty easy drinking beer at just a hair over 6% ABV.  Pairing-wise, it worked fine with the 'shrooms, the slighty sweet brew working well with the earthy and spicy dish.

Slow Season "Mountains" - Immediately the first thought you'll have when you spin this new release from Slow Season is the huge Led Zeppelin influence, especially after the "Good Times, Bad Times" lick that kicks off the opening track "Sixty-Eight".   Over the course of this amazing album, that Led Zep feel remains throughout but the band mixes in a good amount of psychedelia, both heavy in the form of Blue Cheer and mystically bluesy like The Doors.  Back to "Sixty Eight" for a minute, this lead track not only will slay you with the aforementioned killer riff but will also pummel you with its ridiculously loose groove.  Toss in some soaring, raspy vocals and you've got the listener totally hooked for what's to come.   "Synanon" is a brooding, eerie number that picks up steam as the song rolls on.  It's got a huge anthemic beat to it the whole way through ending with some cool Eddie Vedder-like vocals.   There is a rolling classic blues riff that kicks off "King City" that combined with the Morrisson-esque vocals make for a very Doors-y tune.  Keeping things firmly rooted in the heavy early 70s rock and roll is "Shake" which does a fine job of mixing Deep Purple with Cactus.   One of the best tracks on the album is "Damos Days" which has an addictive riff at its core and some incredible vocals.  It's a beast of a tune that needs to be cranked up loud.   Some rag-time piano opens up "Ain't Gonna Listen" like the start of classic Elton John tune, that feel continues throughout the song mixing in a little Rolling Stones with its "Sympathy for the Devil" groove.  Diving into the early doom sound of Pentagram, "Wasted Years" is a dark sludgy slice of heaviness.  The song morphs into a good time jam with an organ thrown in for good measure, but stills stays true to its heavy roots.  Another killer riff kicks off "Endless Mountain ", a take off Budgie's "Breadfan" with an equally impressive wail to boot.   Toss in a little a blues harp and you've got one heck of a rollicking number.   "Apparition"  features some Eastern guitar work and layered vocals that make up a pretty chill tune before the closing tune "The Defector" puts a heavy Led Zep exclamation point on a simply incredible release.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Patches now available at the Stoner Rock BBQ Store.

Patches for sale for $5 each or order one of our reduced priced t-shirts for $15 each and get a free patch.  Visit the Merch section or click on the shirt in the right hand corner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stuffed Maple Apple Pie French Toast/Anchor Brewing Big Leaf Maple/Wooldozer "First Dig"

Well some maple beer made its way into our cart recently without a thought at the time as to what we were going to drink it with.  Being fall, we thought pairing it up with another favorite autumnal favorite, apples, was the way to go.  We sliced up a stale baguette and soaked the slices in a creamy custard base. The bread goes into a buttered pan which we top with spiced apples.  Another layer of bread goes on top then we sprinkle with cinnamon.   The aforementioned maple beer that we were drinking was the autumn seasonal, Big Leaf Maple from San Francisco's Anchor Brewing.   For the tunes, we spun the good time instrumental vibes of "First Dig" from Romania's Wooldozer.

Stuffed Maple Apple Pie French Toast - Two breakfast entries in a month is kind of unheard of around these parts but these boozy, sweet concoctions have turned out great.  The first thing we need to do is slice a slightly stale baguette into 3/4" rounds.  In a large bowl we're going to whisk together 8 eggs, 3 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and a 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and salt.

Place the bread in the bowl and press down to soak thoroughly.

As the custard is soaking in we can move on to the apples.   In another bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, a 1/4 cup of maple beer and a pinch of salt.

Peel and thinly slice 5 granny smith apples and toss with the sugar and butter mixture.

To construct, butter a square baking dish and place a layer of the bread on the bottom.  Scatter the apple mixture on top of the bread then place another layer of the soaked bread on top.   Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Place the dish in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes until set and golden brown on top.

Brush the baked fresh toast with a combination of maple syrup and melted butter then dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.   This dish wound up being not only apple pie and french toast like, but also very much like a bread pudding making it equally at home in the dessert category as the breakfast category.

Anchor Brewing Big Leaf Maple - The legendary Anchor brewing has really expanded their line in recent years.  This red autumn ale is a limited seasonal release made for the cool crisp weather.  The beer pours a light amber color with almost no head.  It's cloudy but still gem-like.  The aroma is sweet, reminiscent of a Newcastle brown ale, maybe a tad sweeter.   The first few sips reveal a very sweet ale, not necessarily maple-y, but definitely sweet.  There is an acidic bitterness that offsets things a bit.  This is not a beer that we'd be able to sit around and drink but paired up with the french toast it was the perfect beverage.  The beer offset the sweetness of the dish while still managing to pick up all of the maple goodness the beer had to offer.

Wooldozer "First Dig" -  Coming to our stereo all the way from Romania is this debut EP "First Dig" from Wooldozer.    The band delivers four perfectly crafted, melodic instrumentals that served as the perfect soundtrack for the evening.   The opener "April Sixteen" is a jazzy, progressive rock number.  Think a cooler, more hard rocking Steely Dan.   "Black Desert Moses" is a slower yet darker tune.  The arrangement is heavy but still melodic and at times a little atmospheric.   The tune also features some pretty cool flowing and jammy guitar work.   A combination of the first two songs "Good Cop, Fat Cop" starts pretty heavy before settling into a more chill eerie arrangement about halfway through then finishing off with a groove-laden jam complete with some electrifying guitar.  The EP closes with "No Snow For The Northern Man", a 7+ minute tune that takes the listener on a sonic journey.  The tune is arranged not unlike some Sabbath classics, which feature several songs in one.  This song begins with a slow, trance-like blues that is made to chill to but then morphs into this riff-heavy groove that will have your head banging immediately.  The tune goes back and forth between these two spectrums the entire time resulting in a killer track to end a great little EP.