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

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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Grilled Spanish Chicken, Chorizo, Manchego and Tomato Skewers with SpicyRomesco/Quaff On Brewing Yellow Dwarf/SUPERCHIEF "Trophy Room"

Another day, another perusal of the freezer for crap to use up.  Tonight we set our sights on a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and two links of encased chorizo sausage, then immediately thought tapas!  Both get grilled up then cut into bite size pieces along with chunks of grilled manchego cheese and grilled grape tomatoes before they all get skewered up together (<-----that sounds funny!).  The grilled goodness gets served up with a chunky homemade spicy romesco sauce bursting with garlic and hot peppers.  We went with a little lighter ale to pair with these, back to Quaff On Brewing and trying their Yellow Dwarf wheat ale.  We kept the beer light, but the tunes heavy by way of the latest SUPERCHIEF release "Trophy Room".

Grilled Spanish Chicken, Chorizo, Manchego and Tomato Skewers with Spicy Romesco -  There's a little marinating time needed for the chicken thighs.  All we're doing to these is olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.  Let these go overnight.

The other "do ahead" item we can make is the spicy romesco.   Since we're blenderless at the moment we're going a little, um, manual with the prep.  In a large bowl add 1 jar of roasted red peppers, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 rehydrated dried red peppers, 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  With the back of a fork start mashing a bit until you realize that does absolutely diddly, then pour the contents onto a cutting board and chop, and chop….and chop until 1.) your forearm falls off or 2.) the sauce looks like the bottom picture.

Time to grill.  We take the marinated chicken thighs and the two links of chorizo out to the grill that is about at a medium heat.   All of the meat goes over direct heat and turned often until browned on all sides.

We go back to the kitchen to grab the grape tomatoes and cut a wedge of Manchego into chunks.  These go back out to the grill with us.  First we pop on the tomatoes, only for a minute or two so they get a little soft but they don't burst.  Then the cheese goes on, again just for softness trying to avoid playing the "watch the cheese melt through the grates" game if at all possible.

We can grab all of the components and start to assemble.  We chop the chicken into bite sized chunks and slice the chorizo into rings.

Using large wooden skewers we alternate chicken, sausage, cheese, tomato until it is full.  We do a few of these then platter them up on a bed of the chunky romesco.  Each bite has a little spicy, a little acidic and a little sweet making these absolutely addicting.

Quaff On Brewing Yellow Dwarf -  This is our second offering from Brown County Indiana's Quaff On Brewing. Yellow Dwarf is an American Wheat that pours a cloudy yellow pour with a ton effervescence cascading through the murkiness. A fluffy, marshmallowy head rests atop. The aroma is straight up citrusy hops, smelling like a killer pale ale. The flavor is on the bitter side but also super fresh and crisp finding a happy place between a kolsch and a hoppy wheat. There is some apricot sweetness offset with some tart lemon notes.   We liked how the light and tart ale paired up with the tapas skewers making for a light weeknight meal.

SUPERCHIEF "Trophy Room" -  Iowa's SUPERCHIEF is back at again with their good time party antics on their latest release "Trophy Room".  Think Clutch mixed with Black Oak Arkansas.  The bar is stocked with heavy riffs, dirty grooves and whiskey drenched vocals and it ain't closing anytime soon. The opener is "Kings 2.23" and it's effing huge! The intro slams in heavy down tuned fashion then slows down even more but still retains its heaviness. "The Wolf Comes Out to Greet You" possesses a good amount of FHJ, complete with some killer blues harp playing and bluesy grooves. The title track is a straight ahead heavy rocker that is also super catchy.  "Blood of Kvasir" is a doomy tune that sludges along at a slow but heavy pace.  Picking up the pace in a swampy, southern rock fashion is "After the Profits".   On "Space Modesty" the bullwhip riff and groove take over right from the start resulting in a doomy yet catchy number.  The album closes with "The Huntress" which features a ridiculously killer riff and has a little of Generous Maria's "Boot Licker" to it but slowed down a bit.  If you're looking for a perfect album to crank up while having some beers, this is it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vegetarian Flautas/Noble Order Furst/"Electric Ladyland (Redux)"

Obviously having a site that touts almost 60 burgers on it, it's clear that vegetarians we are not.  HOWEVER,  that doesn't mean that we don't enjoy the crap out of some vegetarian or vegan fare.  Good food is good food in our book, and that's exactly what these flautas are.  Beer boiled red quinoa, fresh shredded pepper jack, black beans, corn, fresh cilantro and diced jalapeƱos and tomatoes all go into a warm flour tortilla then tightly wrapped into a cigar shape.  The flautas go into a pan with 1/4 cup of warmed olive oil as we pan fry on all sides until golden brown and crisp.   A side of habanero salsa is the last piece to this delicious puzzle.    For the beer, we thought a light, citrusy wheat ale would go well so we opted for Noble Order Brewing Co.'s Furst.   We deviated from our norm with the music, not sure if we've ever had any compilations on here before, but when you get some of the best stoner rock heavyweights in the business performing Hendrix on one album like they do on "Electric Ladyland (Redux)" you tend to take some liberties.

Vegetarian Flautas - If you've got 20 minutes, these ridiculously addicting, restaurant quality flautas can be yours.  It all starts with the quinoa.  We're using 1/2 cup of red quinoa that we boil in 1 cup of beer.  This goes covered for about 12 minutes until the beer is evaporated, er, soaked into the grains.

Keep the quinoa warm and covered while we gather the rest of the filling ingredients.  Freshly shredded pepperjack, black beans, corn kernels, fresh chopped cilantro and a can of Ro-Tel.

We warm up fajita-size flour tortillas in the microwave for about 10 seconds then place a scoop of the quinoa on the upper half followed by a liberal scattering of the pepperjack.

Next up we go with the black beans, corn, Ro-tel and cilantro.

Now we roll.  It's similar to the burrito roll, we just go a little tighter with it and make it more tubular.  The flauta goes directly into a pan of hot olive oil, seam side down.

We're looking to get all four sides golden brown and slightly crisp, so we need to turn often then remove from the pan and drain.

Crispy, cheesy goodness is just seconds away, all that is left to do is serve these up with habanero salsa and a cold beer.  Ok, at the risk of being hyperbolic, we'll just go ahead and say it.  This is up there with any meat containing flauta, burrito, taquito, chimichanga, chalupa, etc… we've ever had and we can't wait to make them again.

Noble Order Furst - Venturing outside of Indy, but sticking in the state we head due east to Richmond with this four pack of their Furst tallboys.  This blood orange wheat ale pours a murky orangish brown with a thin yet dense head. The aroma is sweet with a burst of orange citrus. The flavor is crisp and slightly bitter with the light malty taste of wheat rounding out things. The blood orange aroma that was prevalent on the nose is almost non-existent in the flavor department save for a orange oil bite on the tongue that surfaces quite a while after the finish.  Not being overly powerful in the taste department, Furst definitely fit the bill as the easy drinking, light, low ABV beer that we wanted to paid up with their light dish.

"Electric Ladyland (Redux)" - Not since Small Stone Records came out with their 4-disc "Sucking the Seventies" have we been so excited about a compilation with so many A-list bands cranking out killer covers.   Here the Jimi Hendrix catalog gets opened up to the likes of SUPERCHIEF, All Them Witches, The Heavy Eyes, Mos Generator, Gozu, Mothership and a ton more.  After Elephant Tree's quick little intro of "..And the Gods Made Love", Open Hand gets the party started with "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland).  A hazy, trippy, sunny day tune that sounds even more summery on the remake. We go from hazy to heavy when SUPERCHIEF grabs a hold of "Crosstown Traffic" and makes you forget that the (Hed) PE version ever existed.  One of the most mesmerizing tunes on the album is All Them Witches' version of "Voodoo Chile".  It's almost 15 minutes of smoky, sultry, bluesy magic that gives you a contact high just by listening to it.  We couldn't wait to see what The Heavy Eyes would do with the tripped out psychedelic "Long Hot Summer Night".  No surprise, they rocked it and surpass even the original with their unique fuzzy sound.  Earthless keeps things moving along with a spot on cover on their version of "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll).   They nail the guitar tone, the vocals, even the production. One of our favorite Jimi tunes is "Gypsy Eyes" and when we saw Wo-Fat was signed up to take that one, we knew it would slam, and slam it does.  No moderate volume allowed when cranking up this one, it needs to rattle the walls.   Mos Generator's Tony Reed channels his inner Jimi in a perfect rendition of "Burning of the Midnight Lamp".   Gozu and Summoner team up for over 20 minutes of back to back jamming with "Rainy Day, Dream Away" and "1983…(A Mermaid I should Turn To Be)" respectively.   The mighty Mothership gets their groove on  with their funkified version of "Still Raining, Still Dreaming",  killing it with the guitar work and locked in rhythm section.   The curveball comes on Tunga Moln's cover of "All Along the Watchtower", sung in their native Swedish tongue and the song totally smokes.  You know an album of this caliber is going to end with a bang and Elder was up to the challenge by adding their heavy doom quotient to "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).   From the album art, to the bands, to the song selection; "Electric Ladyland (Redux)" is an instant classic and a must have in anyone's collection.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Club/Flat 12 Hinchtown/Weedeater "Goliathan"

So by this time you may be asking, "what's the deal with all of the leftovers?"  Fair question.  The move from Chicago to Indy forced a mass exodus of our frozen BBQ down I-65 from one freezer to another.  Unfortunately the new freezer is about 1/4 of the size so we need to use this stuff up in quick order.  We switch from brisket to pulled chicken tonight.  The smoky, tender chicken is tossed in wing sauce then layered with pepperjack cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato and blue cheese mayo about a mile high on triangular slices of soft warm pitas.  We paired these club sandwiches up with another light and summery offering from Flat 12 Bierworks, this time opting for their Pilsner-style Hinchtown.  For the tunes we went super heavy, super sludgy and super southern with the new Weedeater, "Goliathan".

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Club - The last couple of recipes have started the same way, with the left over BBQ warmed up on the stove in a warming sauce.  This one is no different except this time we're simmering the chicken in a beer and wing sauce.  Same drill, we'll cover the chicken and let it do its thing.

While the chicken is simmering, we can knock out the rest of the sandwich.  Which is nothing really, other then getting the ingredients together.  So with that being said, let's build this thing.  We take toasted pita slices and smear one side with a blue cheese mayo that is just equal parts of each.

Next up is a scoop of the buffalo chicken followed by a handful of freshly grated pepperjack, some bacon and a slice of tomato.

The next triangle pita goes on top and that one gets smeared with fresh avocado. Then we repeat with more chicken, pepperjack, tomato and bacon.  

The last triangle pita gets both the blue cheese mayo and avocado on the underside.  A huge skewer goes through the whole thing before we serve it up with a cold tall boy and enjoy.  This thing was a messy mound of spicy deliciousness. The skewer was no match for the several pounds of toppings that amassed on these humble pita triangles.

Flat 12 Hinchtown - From what is quickly becoming one of our Indy breweries, Flat 12 delivers another winner with their made for summer Hinchtown.   The beer pours a clear watery yellow with a minimal head and decent effervecense.   The aroma is sweet and dry like a champagne. As for the taste, it took us a few sips to really wrap our tastebuds around it. At first it reminded us of their summery Cucumber Kolsch with a fresh and crisp vegetal tone, but then there were sweet white wine notes.  The finish did possess a little of the traditional Pilsner-y bite but with little to no aftertaste that would typically follow.  Don't let the light, watery appearance fool you though, this beer is not lacking for flavor in the least as Flat 12 delivers another home run on the summer beer circuit.  A sandwich this big, filling and spicy needed a beer this light and crisp to wash it down.

Weedeater "Goliathan" - Like doing shots of Early Times or eating really fatty prime rib, listening to Weedeater is one of those things that you don't do every night, your stomach might hurt a little bit after, but you feel a hell of a lot more manly whenever you do.  The distinctive voice of bassist/singer Dave "Dixie" Collins has all of the smoothness of gargling with chainsaws and battery acid, but it works with the severely down tuned, swampy groove that is Weedeater.   Trying to do a track by track dissection of a Weedeater album is a little like detailing the sounds of different Harleys at full throttle; it's all loud and noisy but sounds bad as hell.  The album starts off with "Processional", a oxymoronic angst-ridden southern hymnal of sorts. For the majority of the rest of the album the band stays in their classic heavy as shit, slow as frozen molasses, fuzzed out stoned state.  There's a slight reprieve for the band to tap into their banjo-picking southern bluegrassy roots on "Battered & Deep Fried" before resuming with their regularly scheduled programming.  The album ends with the bluesy instrumental "Benaddiction", serving as the proverbial aspirin before passing out after a bender.  Weedeater!!  Oh yeah, the video below is a first for us.  Normally it's either a live video or the band's official video, but this fan made video off of YouTube is amazing and worth a viewing.