Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! Er, your eyes, rather. And a few moments of your time. Anthony Bourdain is sponsoring a writing contest, which I felt quite compelled …
I’ve been writing and working up a storm this week, and sadly haven’t had time to share pics and recipes of the bread I baked for my buddy Dean’s birthday. He’d been harassing me for bread for years, and I finally caved in. (You’d think a guy with a license plate frame that says “I’d Rather Be Baking Bread” wouldn’t take so damn long to throw a loaf or two in the oven for a friend!)
His questions to me online were:
Suffice it to say that I needed to get my ass in the kitchen. I decided to bake two different breads, not sure exactly what he wanted and not wanting to ruin the surprise, since I told him that I didn’t have time to make any bread, even though I’d already made the starters a few hours before he’d asked. (I know. Slick, right?)
Although I’ve long been a fan of roasting beets (not to mention pickling them), after disposing of the beet greens several times, I thought it quite wasteful and set out to make a side dish with them. I soon found that I almost enjoyed the beet tops more than the beets themselves, and I’ve never tossed them out since.
While the beetroots are certainly a healthy choice, packing quite a dose of folate, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and fiber, the beet greens are an excellent source of iron, and provide a good serving of vitamins A, B, C, and K.
The deep violet-red betalain pigments from the beetroot and the beet stems have been shown to have high antioxidant properties and are being heavily researched in the prevention of cancers. The beet greens are a rich source of green chlorophyll which has been shown as an effective in the prevention and treatment of liver, skin, and colon cancer.
Besides all that, they’re damn delicious, and as such, it only makes sense to eat them. Plus, they’re easy to prepare and you’re not paying extra for them, so STFU and cook them already. Oh, right, you probably want a recipe…
I believe it was the great Archimedes that famously postulated Beer + Tiramisu = Beeramisu, thenceforth enlightening the masses to the goodness of desserts made with beer. Some historians contend with this belief, arguing that beeramisu was nothing short of divine creation, citing an obscure heretical version of the Bible which reads, “And on the seventh day, He rested… and ate some wicked awesome beeramisu.”
The fact is — the exact origins of beeramisu are unknown and shrouded in mystery. OK, so it probably didn’t derive from some mathematical theorem or antediluvian Biblical verse, but it certainly is no original creation of mine. It was Paul Barbano’s The Bartenders Beer Cookbook that originally turned me onto the idea years ago. Armed with this inspiration, I’ve ventured to make my own on many occasions, tweaking the recipe ever so slightly and testing out different craft beers to find my favorite version.
About two months ago, I was asked to host a beer and dessert pairing for the first-ever LA Beer Week. I was happy to oblige, and I immediately set out to concoct the best damn beeramisu recipe I possibly could. Having experimented with porters and bocks in the past, I wanted to try an even darker beer, perhaps one brewed with coffee beans for extra depth. There it was. The little light bulb in my brain had a flicker of rare genius — AleSmith Speedway Stout. Rich with flavors of roasted chocolate and coffee, it proved an excellent complement to the espresso and cocoa powder called for in my adapted recipe.
As an added bonus, you’ll have a good few glasses of beer to wash it down with. Why not have your cake and drink it too?