Regret Turned Recipe
I currently been running through a plethora of pumpkin ales , sifting through the warm flavors to see what would make an excellent recipe in the upcoming months. Amongst wading through the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors, I took a break and shifted focus to another seasonal favorite. I am talking about the Oktoberfest seasonal beer.
Recently I visited California Adventure and when one visits the neighbor to the happiest place on earth the first stop is the Karl Strauss beer truck. While waiting in line, I had to come to a decision: Oktoberfest or Aurora Hoppyalis? I decided to go with a last minute decision, and went with Aurora Hoppyalis, and instantly regretted it. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy the session IPA. In fact, I enjoy it more overall. However, in the moment, my body, mind, and spirit really needed warm flavors over crisp refreshing hoppy flavors. Regrets were made.
I decided to turn this into a positive. Later in the week, I went to my local bottle shop, and got my Oktoberfest fix. Since it was readily available to me, it was apparent in my mind that this needed to be apart of a recipe. However, I wanted to create flavors that represented the season: warm in color and flavor, very savory, and a reminder of something from the past. I wanted this feeling in my recipe. Which isn’t too hard. Soups, seasonal veggies like squashes, and stews will provide this experience.
Braise It Like the Czechs
One of my favorite autumn meals is butternut squash. Relatively simple to make and hearty in flavor, this warm meal would make a great beer recipe. This isn’t a new concept. Looking at the Czech Republic and other Eastern European cultures, we see meals like goulash and pork knuckle braised in beer for hours. Beer is no enemy of the braised lifestyle.
Typically butternut squash soup would require more chicken stock or water than what we will provide in this recipe to make room for the beer. The process will be simple: cook squash, blend it, and cook it some more. You can play around with this. Try it in a crock pot and cook in all day. Play around with the braising.
Butternut Bread Soup
This recipe is warm and hearty like regular butternut squash. But with an interesting flavor. You get an abundance of bread flavors. Very grainy and very malty along with the flavors of warm nostalgia. This soup is a great companion to your next hearty meal on a col autumn night.
- Preheat the oven 400º Fahrenheit. Chop the squash in half. Rub the squash halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove squash from the oven. Let cool, then remove the skin. Chop squash into cubes and place into a blender with the chicken broth. Blend until slightly lumpy.
- Pour soup into a medium stove top and heat on medium heat. Let heat for a few minutes before adding butter and Oktoberfest beer into the soup. Continue heating and stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until soup is reduce around half. Let cool and serve or store in your favorite Mason jar.