BY VANESSA HEINE
Today, we bring you some delicious recipes and fantastic photography courtesy of Vanessa Heine and her blog The Beer Cook. Vanessa is a craft beer fanatic, photographer, chef and graduate student in Boca Raton, FL. This crosspost is comprised of her six most popular posts of 2012. Click on each entry header to get the full recipe, and head over to her blog to learn more.
Starting out the countdown at number six is my crispy salmon with a Blanche de Chambly sauce, served with a strawberry and cucumber salad. It was a recreation of a recipe I made in 2010 with Allagash White. The addition of crispy skin made this dish even more irresistible.
Number five was one of my most recent posts so it got those page views fast! I used one of my favorite Pumpkin beers, Pumking, and brown butter to make a mouth watering sauce for my sweet potato gnocchi. After making the gnocchi from scratch, I seared them and added crispy sage for some extra flavor and texture.
This dish from Valentine’s day is the oldest one on the list. I used Lindemans Framboise and raspberries to make a delicious topping for my beautiful lamb chops. Roasted potatoes with thyme made for a great side. Something about that red color makes this dish look so pretty and romantic. Maybe I’ll make it again this February
These goat cheese and apple tartlets were my third most viewed of 2012. I cooked the apples in Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace and they tasted incredible.
But this post wasn’t just about the tartlets. It was about one of the coolest blog related experiences I’ve ever had. In July I went on the “By The Glass Show” to talk about my blog and bring some food to go along with a beer tasting. The most exciting part was that on this particular episode Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, called in to the show for an interview. It was a really great experience and I was so happy that everyone loved my food. I have to say, I was pretty nervous.
Coming in at number two are my honey and amber ale chicken thighs made with Bell’s Amber Ale. These chicken thighs were crispy, juicy, and full of flavor. And really easy to make.
Number one was actually a big surprise for me. I made it for a get together and did not really intend to make it into a blog post. I snapped a few pictures before leaving and decided to share. I guess you can’t go wrong with a classic like this. It was also on foodgawker so that definitely helped!
I made this pumpkin soup using that awesome pumpkin beer from Southern Tier again. The combination of fall flavors was really lovely. I think this kind of dish actually makes for a cool winner. It’s a good representation how beer can meld with ingredients in a dish to create something really interesting. The soup would not be the same if it were not for that undeniably unique beer.
P.S. If this were based on my own favorite recipes of the year I think I would have also included the kinda out there anchovy tart and the Game of Thrones inspired cottage pie. Yum. But hey what do I know!
Vanessa Heine is a craft beer fanatic, photographer, chef and graduate student from Boca Raton, FL. She runs the blog The Beer Cook. All photos are hers.