This recipe is short of brilliant. Promise me.
At first, I had no intention of cooking with beer tonight. But a series of “unplanned” events resulted in a culinary creation unlike anything I have ever heard of or seen of before!
The recipe was inspired by my cravings for salmon. Lucky for me, I found some “wild caught” Alaskan salmon on sale. Consequently, peaches were also on mega sale and I picked up a bunch to have around as snacks.
My pairing choices depended on the method in which I cooked the salmon. I heavily favored grilling it, until the skies completely opened up and unleashed a furious thunderstorm upon Tampa. And so I was forced to take the operation in house. I found some brown basmati rice and decided that it would suffice as a side dish.
But then the wheels started turning. I looked at the ingredients for the rice: rice + water. “Hmmm,” I said to myself, “Self. What if we used beer instead of water?” Many people substitute stock or broth for cooking water … so why not beer?
I looked in the fridge to see what I had. And there it was – Dogfish Head Festina Peche. She smiled coyly at me and I swear the Dogfish winked at me.
And the idea was born.
I decided that I was going to boil the rice in Festina Peche beer. But that was not enough. So then I thought … what else could I add? Mmmm sauteed peaches! But what else? My mother used to make an amazing peach and blueberry cobbler. And as luck would have it, I also had dried blueberries on hand. Throw in some toasted almonds for texture … and the recipe was ready for experimentation.
The Wench’s Peachy Summer Ale Rice
(featuring Dogfish Head Festina Peche)
1 c. brown basmati rice
3 bottles of Dogfish Head Festina Peche Ale
2 firm peaches (not too ripe)
1/4 c. dried blueberries
1/4 c. toasted almonds (sliced are easiest but any type will work)
1 clove of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Brown sugar to taste
Cinnamon – optional
1. The first step is always the same. Open up one bottle of beer, pour into a glass, take a big sip & take in life. Ahhhh life is always better through looking through a beer glass!
2. Add cup of rice + 2 bottles of beer to a 3 quart pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer for 45 minutes (or as long as the standard recipe on the box recommends).
3. Prep additional ingredients: Toast the almonds until golden brown. DO NOT BURN. Dice the peaches and mince the garlic. Heat a small saute pan on the stove. Add olive oil. Briefly saute garlic on medium heat. Then add the peaches and the blueberries. Saute for 30 seconds to one minute – just enough to heat the peaches and the blueberries. Remove from heat immediately. If the rice is NOT ready, remove the mixture from the pan so it does not cook any further.
4. Mix the toasted almonds and Festine Peche rice with the peach and blueberry mix. Taste. Then add brown sugar till desired sweetness is reached. (Festina Peche does have a moderately hoppy bite. I like this bite and prefer not to kill it with too much sugar. This is why I encourage everyone to taste the rice mixture PRIOR to sweetening it.) If you are adventurous, add a pinch of cinnamon and even a few cracks of black pepper.
5. Serve with your choice of protein and beer. In my opinion, this is an excellent side dish to a simple piece of salmon. Naturally, my beer of choice is Dogfish Head Festina Peche.