Tiki’s New Belgium Beer Dinner
After our first Tiki’s beer dinner in January was such a success we were looking for an excuse to do it again. Back in January we featured six of Kona Brewing Company’s best brews with pairings like New England style clam bake with Lemongrass Luau and spumoni fritta with Pipeline Porter. After such a fun and flavorful event it was just a matter of time before we came up with some more inspired food and beer parings. We didn’t have to wait long as New Belgium Brewing Company’s arrival in Hawaii last month gave us a whole new selection of beers to try. Our New Belgium Beer Dinner last month (March 26) was an amazing success with some mouthwatering pairings.
My Beer and Food Pairing Manifesto
I believe anything you eat with beer should not be subtle. Beer is something you can quaff. It’s a hearty drink with bold flavors and any food pairings need to stand up to that. When planning for a beer dinner I am thinking salty, spicy, smoky, crispy, rich and creamy. The same kinds of flavor you find with popular beer foods like nachos and cheese and Buffalo wings. That’s why they’re so popular. My food pairings are packed with flavor that is intensified by the qualities of each beer selection.
Into the Evening
We got the party started with an amuse-bouche tarte flambé duck confit with melted leeks and Gouda cheese. Our resident mixologist Joey Gottesman had cooked up a Citradelic Tangerine IPA cocktail to ease everyone into the evening. For those people that joined us for the Hahn Family Wines’ dinner, you’ll remember what a great job Joey did with the chardonnay cocktail. We sampled more of the same magic for his Citradelic cocktail.
For the first course we featured the Citradelic Tangerine IPA. While not exceptionally citrusy, it has a crisp aroma and a light flavor. We’ve all had beer with citrus even if it’s just a Corona with a lime or Blue Moon with orange. This beer pairs like dry white wine and that’s enough reason for me to eat Kama!
If you’ve never tried Hamachi Kama, the cut that includes the area just behind the gills of a yellowtail, you definitely should. This is the juiciest and most flavorful cut on the whole fish. It can be hard to find simply because there are only two small cuts on each fish and because it’s so good. I grilled it hibachi style and served it along with a spicy sprout salad.
Bake dat Buggah
We had some big beautiful Pacific oysters coming in that I stuffed with a dynamite mixture of spicy sausage, mayo and shiitake mushrooms. I’d used Kualoa Ranch raised oysters before for oyster shooters but those are a little smaller and to pack more filling into these baked oysters I needed something big. This dish brings the heat so I decided to dub them C4 oysters for their explosive flavor. Just one taste and people were saying “Eh brah. Buggah brok da mout”.
We paired the stuffed oysters with the Ranger IPA. You can taste plenty of a hop in the Ranger and it has a distinctly bitter finish. The mayo and heat went together with the bitter nicely.
IPA You Want More
Rampant Imperial is another offering in the Imperial Pale Ale style from New Belgium Brewing. The bitterness in IPAs naturally amplifies the flavor of many meats so I paired this one with a quartet of stuffed chicken wing, corned beef cheek, foie gras and my version of beer soup.
By volume, the Rampant Imperial IPA makes up maybe 15% of the soup. The rest is white and yellow cheddar, jack and Parmesan cheese, chicken stock, cream, thyme, bell peppers, mirepoix veggies and bacon. After sautéing the vegetables we used beer to deglaze the pan and also to finish the soup. The beer really complemented this thick creamy soup.
Duck, Duck, Ice Cream?
I have believed most of my life, ice cream & beer don’t mix. Through experiment and experience I have stumbled on an interesting discovery: they can.
The thing is what goes better with beer; bacon, cheese, fried chicken, duck or ice cream? I’ve already done the maple & bacon ice cream. Not bad. Fried chicken and cheese ice cream? I don’t think so. Duck it is.
We saved the best for last: New Belgium Brewing Company’s flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale. People’s preconceptions (mine included) were definitely challenged with the pairing of some delicious char siu duck ice cream with brown butter coconut maple syrup and the caramel tones of the Fat Tire, and it was an ultimately delicious and sinful way to finish the meal.
Props for the Peeps
This dinner was conceived with my friends, Dave Brown, Roy Chung & Will Lee over some exceptional scotch, and input was given by all. We’re always looking for an excuse to celebrate good friends, food and beer. Check us out at our next pairing dinner, coming soon!