Colorado brewers, chefs offer recipes to cook with beer
IF YOU GO
Friday, Dec. 2; 5–8 p.m.; Next Page Books & Nosh, Frisco Mall, 409 Main St., Frisco
Author Amber Wermerskirchen and illustrator Mindy Renger will be at the Dec. 2 signing with their brand new children’s book, “Happy Endings.” For this book, the author wrote a poem for her best friend — the illustrator — when she was pregnant. The poem was written about all the adventures the best friends had with one another and was filled with life lessons and advice for her unborn baby. When the baby arrived, they decided to share their story and create a children’s book. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC).
Jeffrey Bergeron will also be at the Friday signing with his book, “Biff America: Mind, Body Soul – The Backcountry Years,” a collection of his essays for Backcountry Magazine. It is the writer’s second volume of his beloved columns, which are also featured most Sundays in the Summit Daily News.
Local photographer John Fielder will be at Next Page on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m.
For some people, eating is only for nourishment. For others, food is a way of life. For author Christina Marie, food is about building relationships with the people behind the food and those eating it. That’s why her first book, “Cooking with Beer in Colorado,” is more than just recipes. Stories and photos about the chefs behind the dish, and the brewers behind the beer, accompany the 75 recipes in the book.
“I had a beer with them and said, ‘Alright, tell me your life story,’” Marie said. “I try and highlight the essence of their personality and who they are and how the got where they are. … I try to bring it to life so a reader can look at a recipe, and know the person behind it.”
The Fort Collins author will be at Next Page Books and Nosh on Friday, Dec. 2 from 5–8 p.m., along with Jeffrey Bergeron and his book, “Biff America: Mind, Body Soul — The Backcountry Years,” and author Amber Wermerskirchen and local teacher and illustrator Mindy Regner with their children’s book, “Happy Endings.”
THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK
In 2010, Marie created a summer business called Chefs on the Go, which gives children the opportunity to learn from local chefs. Her passion for the culinary arts grew from this concept, and she began working on a doctorate in culinary tourism, which focused on collaborating with chefs and brewers to optimize the culinary experience for tourism. The focus of her dissertation was all about the people in the culinary field.
“Breweries are such a big part of that, and that’s kind of what led me to the book,” Marie said. “I thought it would be fun to unite those talents and unite the talents of the chefs and also the brewers and build relationships through it and bring them together, to meet each other, to build community that way, and I just realized they have the best stories. … They have incredible stories that need to be told.”
Marie is now a professor at Colorado State University teaching in the Department of Recreation and Tourism. It took her a year and a half to put together “Cooking with Beer in Colorado,” and she worked with 50 different chefs and brewers from the Fort Collins area — which she calls the Napa Valley of that industry — to create the recipes. Each recipe includes a different beer in the ingredients, as well as a pairing suggestion.
“That’s one of my favorite parts of cooking with beer,” she said. “There’s only a few styles of wine you can throw into recipes, but with beer, there are so many styles of beer. I try not to limit that. If you’re brave enough and adventurous enough you can take any kind of flavor concept and throw it into a recipe. I try not to define it by style, but embrace each style for what it has and what it’s worth.”
Published a year ago, Marie is pondering the idea of another book with the same concept, using chefs and brewers from the High Country.
The recipes range in styles of beer and type of food, like the Black Bottle Deep Dish Grandma Pizza from chef Garrett Marlin at Uncles Pizzeria with brewer Sean Nook from Black Bottle Brewery. Or the Riverside Passion Beeramisu by chef Andrew Tuin from Bisetti’s Italian Restaurant with brewer Nick Chase from Pateros Creek Brewing Company. The chefs, brewers and Marie worked together to test each recipe in the kitchen.
“I tried all the recipes, I think I gained 10 pounds in the process,” she laughed.
When it comes to the actual cooking, just like eating, Marie said it’s all about the experience — and having a few sips in the process.
“Have fun and drink the beer you are cooking with, because that’s literally half the fun,” she said. “Enjoy it, embrace it and drink it while you are cooking.”
This recipe is by chef BJ Hocke of Spoons — Soup, Salad And Sandwiches and brewer Jeff Doyle of Odell Brewing Company. Marie will have samples of this soup at the book signing.
GREEN CHILE CHEDDAR SOUP WITH 90 SHILLING ALE
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
4-6 servings (10 ounce)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
½ cup sweet onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons chili seasoning
2 teaspoons cumin
1 bottle Odell 90 Shilling Ale
2 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup mild green chiles
¼ cup hot green chiles
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup corn starch
4 tablespoons water
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a 4-quart pot and sauté onions and celery until onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and sauté for one to two minutes. Add chili seasoning and cumin. Cook for one minute. Measure ¼ cup of beer, pour into pot, and scrape the bottom of the pot with wooden spoon. Add vegetable stock and green chiles, bringing the soup to a simmer. Pour in heavy cream. Keeping soup at a very low simmer, slowly add cheddar cheese, stirring the entire time. Add remainder of beer and allow soup to slowly simmer for 5-10 minutes, continuing to periodically stir. Mix together water and corn starch to form a slurry. Slowly add to soup, stirring constantly to reach desired thickness. Salt and pepper to taste.
Chef’s note: Be sure to keep the soup at a simmer. Boiling will allow the soup to lose liquid, curdle the cheese, or possibly burn. Yes, you can burn soup!
Brewer’s note: Odell 5 Barrel is my go-to beer. It’s a well-balanced English style pale ale but fits the style with a dry finish, which cuts the richness of a cheddar-based soup.
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