Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New York Strip with Gorgonzola Butter

Save yourself about $40 and give yourself a steakhouse-quality dinner at home...


2 NY Strip Steaks (or any cut you prefer)
freshly ground black pepper

1 TBS butter, room temperature
2 ounces gorgonzola cheese, room temperature
3 grinds freshly ground black pepper

For the gorgonzola butter -- mash cheese, pepper and butter together until well blended. Cover and refrigerate.

Generously coat both sides of steaks with liberal amounts of black pepper and salt. Grill or pan-fry (I sauteed mine in olive oil and butter, since there was a blizzard outside... ) steaks to preferred doneness. Place a heaping tablespoon or so of gorgonzola butter on the top of each steak. I served mine with a crisp green salad and homemade bread. The sharpness of the cheese and pepper marry so beautifully with the richness of the butter and the meat itself.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Homebrew Review: Patersbier

Right now I have two brews that are ready to go and drinkable. This Patersbier, and my English Pale Ale (review to follow at some point). When I told people I was brewing a Patersbier, most of them (even seasoned brewers) said "a WHATersbier?". This is a little-known brew, but basically is a traditional Belgian beer similar to a dubbel or tripel -- with the exception that it's a much lower gravity beer. In other words, it's a Belgian session beer.

Appearance: Beer pours a nice deep straw yellow color. Fairly clear, just a touch of haze. Nice creamy white/cream-colored head, decent retention (thanks to my Munton's carb tabs!).

Aroma: Complex combination of malt and the spicy, fruity esters which are a result of the abbey-style yeast used in this beer. No real hop aroma.

Taste: This is a classic Belgian brew, complete with phenolic and spicy character. No alcohol warming, however, as you'd find in higher-ABV beers. The sweetness of the malt mingles well with the undeniable belgian yeast. There is a bit more of a hop bite to this beer than I've found in a lot of other Belgians, but it actually is really nice here... because the body and alcohol are lighter in this than in, say, a dubbel -- the hops gives a little more structure to this beer. Finishes a bit sweet but the hops help round that out, and I find that in this beer there is not as much sour tang lasting in the aftertaste as I find with some Belgians.

Mouthfeel: Moderately light body. High carbonation, which is a nice cut to the complex yeast flavors.

Drinkability: High! Usually Belgians are sipping beers for me -- one, then done. I can easily drink a couple of pints of this. I attribute that to less alcohol and no cloying sweetness in aftertaste.

All in all, I'm thrilled with this beer. I can't wait to see how it fares at our upcoming homebrew competition; I have low expectations simply because one of our homebrew members is an expert at Belgians and his brews are phenomenal. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from the judge's notes, however, and one never knows how the competition will play out.