Monday, February 15, 2010

"So what sport do they play in the Super Bowl?"

Answer: Football. My great friend Miguel, born in Chile to his defense, asked me this question. But really, with great beer and great food, who cares what sport is on TV, right?

Its been over a week since the Super Bowl, and all the little boys are having football withdrawal. Poor babies. Maybe this post will make you feel better since its about beer (AND FOOD) and you can all still drink plenty of that until fall.
(thanks for this photo Miguel!)

Markus hosted a Super Bowl fiesta at his house. To most people that means nachos, chili and beer. check. check. check. But we wanted to take it to a new level so we started with a pre-game Beer Tasting of "carefully selected" brews paired with exquisite cheese, then a menu of new takes on old faves.
The first obstacle of having any party in Queens is to convince all your friends from Brooklyn to come. The second is to maintain an even boy to girl ratio, especially when your best gal has this to say about the game: "Its represents everything I despise about american culture ... over eat, get too drunk, all in the name of dudes displaying their most neanderthal tendencies. Therefore reducing humanity to its lowest common denominator, providing the prime situation for corporations to brain wash us with their propaganda! And its the day of the year that has the highest instance of domestic violence. I try not to support even the idea of this spectacle, even if its just an excuse to hang out with friends. We don't need an excuse." I slapped that on the invite and I think all the Brooklynites were intrigued.

Third obstacle: what kind of beer and what kind of cheese?

We used this guide. And Markus is very beer knowledgeable, but when there is a sea of brew in front of you, you can get pretty lost.

So, after I was romanced by the cheese guy in Whole Foods, who took me to the "special cheese" (e.g. expensive) area, and convinced me with only a few tastes to buy ALOT of superb and outlandishly priced cheese, this is how I found Markus. And the parking meter was ticking. We did good in the end and didn't get a ticket.

Our collecting provisions adventure ended Saturday night at Mexico 2000, a hole in the wall Mexican super-market under the el train in Brooklyn to get authentic corn tortillas and these awesome canned jalapenos. One of the reviews on yelp says, "I want to bang all the ladies who work at Mexico 2000 for doing outstanding work replicating Mexican food in Williamsburg."

Thanks for the recommendation Gus! (Was that your review?)

Morning of party: project red neck. Markus and Miguel carried the seat from "the van" up two gigantic flights of stairs then plopped it in the living room in front of the pair of TV sets.
We went for quantity over quality with the TVs. The picture sucked. But we watched the pre-game show alongside A Clockwork Orange.What a nice cheese/beer presentation Mr. Host put out. He used some motorcycle part as the centerpiece.

And here goes for the pairings (left to right):

1. Comte, France - an unpasteurized cow's milk gruyere paired with with Meantime London Porter, England. And the crowd goes wild! This was the favorite.

2. Montenebro Goat Cheese, Spain - a hard fresh tangy goat cheese rolled in bitter ash paired with Weihenstephaner Dunkelweisse, Germany from Brouwerij Lane.

3. Brie, France - a double cream soft cow cheese paired with Abbe Triple Karmeliet, Belgium.

4. Sheep's Milk Bleu, New York paired with Arcadia Ale's Hopmouth Double IPA

Bonus fancy beer: Thomas Hardy's Ale & French Country Ale, St. Amand, France.

Beer tasting = Success! I kind of wonder whether all the cheese would have tasted great with all the beer, because its agreed that all cheese and most beer is pretty tasty, especially after a few tastes, but it doesn't matter because everyone seemed to enjoy the pairings, whether we knew what we were doing or not, at least it seemed that way.

Wait there was a game on, too. Eh, let's talk more about food. The main courses were as follows:
1. Free pizza from Paulie Gee's! He was testing his first batch of dough before he opens and were were the lucky recipients of trial run pizza. Conveniently the new pizza place is on the same block as Brouwerij Lane. A couple of growlers and some pizza; thats a party right there. Paulie Gee, outstanding pizza! Stay tuned for the opening, everyone!
(thanks for this photo Miguel!)

2. Miguel's Guacamole. Always the best. Avocado. Onions. Garlic. Lime. Cilantro. Tomatoes.
3. Indian Style Chili. I built on this Rajma Style Red Kidney Bean Chili recipe that called for spices like cumin, turmeric and ginger, by adding some carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, pomegranate powder, cilantro, cayenne and in the end, my gal Melissa brought it all together by adding some beer to the pot. Perfect!

4. Coconut Corn Bread. I found this recipe. And Melissa, the best baker I know, helped me with this one, too. (AKA, I ran around the partying drinking beer and chatting while she took over the kitchen and made the corn bread.) It was typical Jen/Melissa baking together. Me: messing everything up. Melissa: yelling at me, then saving the dish. Some more yelling. Some hugs. And "I Love You's" all around. We really need a "Crazy Italian Bitches" Cooking Show.

4. Markus' Special Half Time Nachos Tradicionales. He even has a story to go along with them. A Mexican restaurant owner was about to close when some hungry patrons came in and all he had were some corn tortillas, jalapenos and cheese. So Markus did what he did: quartered the tortillas and fried them into chips, melted sharp cheddar on top, and topped each with one jalapeno slice. Simple. Delicious. 100% better than the mess of crap we call nachos in this country.
(thanks for this photo Miguel!)

5. Vietnamese "Cauliflower Sandwich" Salad. This salad is an ode to my favorite Vietnamese Sandwich from Num Pang. Its like the sandwich only in salad form. Cauliflower roasted in olive, salt and pepper. Shredded Carrots and Cucumbers. Fresh Cilantro. Homemade (Vegan) Roasted Garlic Chipotle Mayo. Divinity in salad form.

6. Melissa Love's Chocolate Stout Cake. I died and went to heaven when I ate this cake. Then I was revived, ate more and basically over two days finished the entire cake by myself and am surprised I am not dead. It was just perfect. Moist, great rich flavor and the crumbly chocolate topping gave it a wonderful texture. And its just oh so pretty, too.

So we thought the party was going to be Markus, Miguel and myself. But we had an unexpectedly awesome turnout and a really fun time eating, beering and oh yeah, watching the Saints come through in the clutch! Great friends visit friends in Queens! And even bring beer!


Rocco Galatioto said...

Well, well well..Although I will in no way attack the person who detests the Super Bowl, I am at liberty to respond; trying my best in not being offensive. I love the part about brain washing. I may be brain washed by those evil corporations that are so nasty and greedy but she certainly is brain washed by the many pseudo intellectual professors that took advantage of her naivete to fill her brain with all those pathetic ideas. Remember that without those greedy corporations we would be working for the state and would all be starving for the state. But, she still has the right to express her ideas thank God to the capitalistic system that produces not only the wealth and freedom, but the idle time for all these bourgeois musings. I really can never explain what foot ball means to me, I love it and will never apologize for it nor will I ever apologize for America.

Markus said...

Yeah, brie and Belgish ale are pretty good but come the 4th quarter I am perfectly content with a can of bud and a face full of nachos.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!.........and mexico!

Fun party

Pizzalicious Lauren said...

I'm so jealous of those PG pies!