Smoked Brisket Taco Plate - Obviously, the first thing you're going to want to make sure you have on hand is some leftover brisket, once that gets reheated we can put a nice pile to start off our plate.
The salsa is super quick. In a blender combine a can of Ro-Tel, diced green chiles, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 4 chile de arbol, 1/2 yellow onion and a splash of white vinegar.
Next we slice red peppers into rings the broil them until blistered.
The last step is charring the corn tortillas over an open flame until soft and blackened in spots. Now we can finish building the plate. Fold three tortillas on the plate, then top the brisket with shredded pepperjack cheese. Next up ladle the salsa into a cup and place the charred peppers next to the brisket.
The only thing left to do is to construct the DIY tacos. We absolutely loved the barbacoa similarities the brisket possesses, while still bringing the BBQ smokiness to the table. The cumin heavy salsa and sweet peppers just added additional levels to the whole incredible experience.
Solemn Oath Scare-Ball - Thinking we were relegated to only have offerings from this standout suburban Chicago brewery on drafts at our local watering holes, you can imagine our delight when we started seeing 22 oz. bombers of their delicious brew showing up on store shelves. Our first bottle we cracked open was Scare-Ball, that came adorned with a label that could double as heavy metal album art. An imperial pilsner lager that true to its name pours a pale yellow with foamy top and a lot of effervescence. The aroma as well stays pretty true to a classic European pilsner, yeasty and lemony but with a hoppy nose that hints at things to come. After the first sip, it becomes pretty apparent that this is not your ordinary crisp and light lager. It hits a bitter hoppy note almost immediately followed by a malty sweetness lending itself to a more viscous mouthfeel than your average pilsner. Upping the ante even more is the booziness of the beer, putting the "imperial" in the Imperial Pilsner. The beer clocks in at close to 9.5% ABV which means; drink these pilsners like you would a regular pilsner and you're pretty much guaranteed a night you will not remember. It's a great (albeit deceptively strong) beer and a totally unique style that fit the bill nicely when it came to pairing up the tacos.
Kyng "Burn the Serum" - The sophomore release from this incredible California power trio rivals their debut "Trampled Sun" meaning no sophomore slump here. In fact, "Burn the Serum" starts off with the blistering title track that picks up where the debut leaves off. Heavy and melodic, it follows the same formula as "Falling Down", the best track off the debut. Sharing some similarities with The Sword and Red Fang, the song slams. The band doesn't let up either, "Lost One" is a heavy number with really melodic vocals. "Electric Halo" starts off with a dark Dio-era Sabbath riff but then mellows out to a catchy medium-paced track. The band tunes down and sludges out a little with "Faraway" save for the summery 90s alternative vocals. "The Ode" sounds like classic Pepper-era CoC, featuring an absolutely killer riff while "In the Land of Pigs" is nice slice of Mastodon-style prog-metal. "Big Ugly Me" is a huge number with arena worthy vocals behind a wall of guitars is the trademark of the song until a cool, dark little shuffle shows up in the bridge. The album closes with the chill and acoustic "Paper Heart Rose" having more in common with Blind Melon than anyone else. The band again shows their versatility on an album that has a little bit of everything with the common thread of being really catchy and melodic hard rock.