Do you cook with beer? I do. In fact, I try to substitute beer in as many recipes as I can.
Now, how about cooking with hops? Sure, hops are the key to the bittering and aroma notes in beer, but what about food? Does it work? Samuel Adams' answer, not surprisingly, is a resounding, yes.
Teaming up with Chef David Burke, Samuel Adams collaborated to recreate hop-centric brunch recipes using the Tettnang Tettnanger hops, the same hop featured in their spring seasonal beer, Alpine Spring.
Tettnanger hops are grown in the Tettnang region of Germany and have been cultivated there for over 100 years. They are also one of the noble hops, known for their high aroma and low bitterness. The fact Tettnanger hops are predominately used as aroma hops gives a pretty good idea to their suitability towards cooking. Speaking of which, how about some lobster? I'm hungry.
Samuel Adams Alpine Spring Lobster Benedict with Hopped "Beer-naise"
Recipe by Chef David Burke
1 bottle Samuel Adams Alpine Spring
1 cup champagne vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
4 sprigs tarragon
4 egg yolks
¼ oz. Tettnang Tettnanger hop flowers (can substitute U.S. Tettnang hops)
4 sticks melted butter
4 English muffins
4 lobsters (1lb. each) cooked and meat removed - I used tails…and just 2
2 T white vinegar
1 T lemon juice
Salt to taste
In a stainless steel pot, reduce Alpine Spring, champagne vinegar, shallot, and 3 sprigs tarragon to ¼ of original volume, add hops and chill.
This could be done one day in advance.
Once cold, add reduction to egg yolks.
Whisk yolks over double boiler until eggs become thick, add lemon juice. Slowly whisk in melted butter until all is incorporated. Strain through fine strainer. Pick last sprig of tarragon and chop. Add tarragon to sauce, cover and keep warm.
Although Chef Burke's recipe called for whole lobster, I opted for lobster tails.
They are easy to prep and easy to grill. With the tail upside down, use a pair of kitchen shears to remove the pleopods…those little "flaps" along the side of the shell.
Cut down each side of the shell.
With both sides separated, peel back the membrane and remove.
To keep the tails from curling up on the grill, pierce the flesh long ways with a skewer.
Season with salt and pepper. Grill flesh side down over direct medium heat and then flip. Total cook time is about 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to simmer with white vinegar and salt. Slowly crack eggs into water and poach to desired doneness.
Toast English muffins on the grill.
To assemble, put split muffin on plate topped with half a lobster tail and egg on each half. Cover with sauce and serve.
Wow. Decadent, rich, and delicious.
Check out more beer recipes at Samuel Adams and in the meantime, check back here. I hope to prepare another one of Chef Burke's hop-centric recipes soon.
Can't wait that long and would prefer the work of a professional? I don't blame you. Chef Burke is serving up Lobster Benedict with Hopped "Beer-naise" at his restaurants for Saturday and Sunday brunch through the month of February. Just be sure to skip the mimosa and grab an Alpine Spring. Cheers!
Note: Samuel Adams provided the hop flowers and recipe. To make your own hopped recipe, check out your local homebrew store or better yet, grow your own!