Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Strange-Brew Diaries 2.1: Beacon IPA Smoked Turkey Crostinis

The Lowdown:

Lighthouse Brewing Company, 2012
Recently I have gained access to a smoker. Since then, I've become a chain smoker. I can't get enough of it. Seriously, I am willing to smoke anything at any time. This particular recipe was an experiment to see what happens when you brine a meat with beer instead of water (a hoppy beer at that). The outcome was pleasant. I'm not too sure if the subtleties of the beer can be detected, but never the less I enjoyed it. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will use less ingredients and focus solely on the beer brine.

It has been a goal of mine to start using beer in my recipes more often. They can provide interesting flavours that you can't get from any other source. This isn't saying that my palette is so refined that I need these hard to find flavours in my food just to survive. It's more of an opportunity to remake recipes, or re-try recipes that lacked a certain edge the first time around. Turn them more "me," essentially. I am, after all, a huge fan of Victoria's local brews, and love supporting them anyway I can. Primarily, this includes sitting with a couple of friends in a pub pretending that we deserve a beer after a hard day's work. 

This recipe focuses on a local IPA crafted by Lighthouse Breweries. A description of their brewery can be found here. Lighthouse prepares, locally and sustainably, two of my go-to mug fillers -- the Beacon IPA and Race Rocks Amber Ale. So what better place to start my second episode of Strange-Brew Diaries than with Beacon IPA. 

Curiosity killed the cat, not creativity. With that in mind, I shall begin to explore the realm of Strange Brew Diaries: Lighthouse. Of course, if you can't get this product, any IPA should work. Let me rephrase that, any real IPA should work. If you're thinking Alexander Keith's IPA please stop reading this immediately and go sit in a corner... alone.

The initial algebraic equation behind this experiment was India Pale Ale + Indian Spices + Smoke = Something. Yes, that was as far as I got. I'm not much of a mathematician. I'm also not much of a practitioner of patience. Essentially, I'm a trigger happy pseudo-cook. This was a poorly thought of recipe brought upon by my addiction to smoking. However, I loved it, and I can ensure you that I will be doing this again.

So go grab an IPA and ponder about the possibilities of acquiring your own smoking habit.

The Playlist:

1 lb Turkey breast, boneless & skinless
2 cups IPA
1/2 tsp Graham marsala
2 tbsp Sea salt
1/2 cup Organic cane sugar
1/2 inch Ginger, thinly sliced

1/4 cup Basil, chopped
1/4 cup Cream cheese (or substitute goat cheese)
Course black pepper, to taste

1/2 English long cucumber, thinly sliced
1 Baguette

The Skinny:

  1. Combine the turkey breast, IPA (I chose Lighthouse Beacon IPA), graham marsala, sea salt, sugar, and ginger in a container large enough to fully submerge the turkey breast into. Brine for 12-18 hours (if thinly sliced) or 2 days if whole breast.
  2. In a smoker smoke the turkey breast for 3 hours using the wood chips of your preference. Remove and allow to cool. If the smoke flavour is too over-powering I suggest allowing the turkey to soak in water for 30 minutes. In my experience, this allows the flavours to mellow out.
  3. Heat the oven to 350* and cook the turkey throughout. I sliced mine thinly so that this process only took 10 minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl: combined the basil, pepper, and cheese. 
  5. Spread cheese onto baguettes and add the cucumber slices and the smoked turkey.
  6. You can figure out what to do next on your own... you're adults.

Featured in: Food Renegade, Chef in Training, Premeditated Leftovers, 33 Shades of Green,

Stay Rad - h

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