Happy Hour for Dad's Day

This Father's Day why not host an at home happy hour with some fabulous food and drinks. We got our inspiration from a new book we have in store Beer Bites by Christian DeBenedetti and Andrea Slonecker. They have 65 beer and recipe pairings to choose from. Our favorites are a Fruit Beer Float, Duck Carnitas Nachos and Chorizo Pate.

How to's for each one below!

Fruit Beer Float

(serves 1)

  • 3/4 cup American Wild Ale with Fruit (See below for recommendations)
  • 1 Giant Scoop Good-Quality Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Raspberries for Garnish

Pour the ale into a stemmed tulip glass. Carefully slip in the scoop of ice cream. It’s important to add the ice cream to the beer, rather than vice versa, to ensure that it will float and not stick to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with two or three raspberries, if desired. Serve immediately with a spoon and straw.

Recommended brews: Bier Royale (The Commons Brewery) / Kriek (Cascade Barrel House) / Rainier Kriek (Double Mountain) / Festina Pêche (Dogfish Head) / Atrial Rubicite (Jester King)

Duck Carnitas Tacos

(serves 8-12)

  • 1 dried New Mexico chile
  • 3 lb duck legs, rinsed
  • 2 pieces fresh orange peel, each about ¾ in wide and 2 in long
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1½ tsp kosher or sea salt
  • One 12-oz bottle Vienna Lager
  • 1 lb thick corn tortilla chips
  • One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ lb shredded Mexican-style four-cheese blend
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups/60 g loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 thinly sliced radishes
  • salsa, Mexican crema or sour cream, and lime wedges for serving

1. Heat a small, heavy, dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chile and toast, turning occasionally, until puffy and deep brownish-red but not black, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and halve the chile, discard the seeds, and chop finely. Set aside.

2. Nestle the duck legs in a heavy pot just large enough to fit them snugly in a single, slightly overlapping layer. Add the toasted chile, orange peel, garlic, and salt. Pour in the lager, then add enough water to barely cover (it’s okay if a few points protrude). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Simmer gently until the meat is tender enough to shred with a fork, about 1½ hours. Transfer the duck legs to a cutting board using tongs.

3. Discard the orange peels from the braising liquid. Raise the heat to high and boil until the liquid is almost completely evaporated and about all that’s left is the duck fat, about 10 minutes. (First the bubbles will become large and foamy, and then the foam will begin to subside.)

4. Meanwhile, shred the meat into bite-size chunks and finely chop the skin. Discard any excess fat and the bones.

5. Return the duck meat and skin to the pot and fry over medium heat until the meat is browned and crisp on the outside but still moist and tender inside, about 20 minutes. Stir often, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. Drain the meat in a colander (or lift it from the fat with a slotted spoon). (The carnitas can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered in the fat. When you are ready to assemble the nachos, reheat the meat in a small saucepan, and then drain off the fat.)

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread about half of the tortilla chips in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Top with about half each of the duck, the beans, and the cheese. Repeat to create a second layer. Scatter the jalapeños on top.

7. Bake the nachos until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown in spots, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the green onions, then the cilantro, and then the radishes. Serve immediately with the salsa, crema, and lime wedges on the side.

Our recommended brews: Samuel Adams Boston Lager (Boston Beer Company) / Negra Modelo (Grupo Modelo) / Eliot Ness (Great Lakes) /Lincoln Park Lager (Goose Island) / Special Amber (Sprecher)

Choizo Pate

(serves 6-8)

  • 6oz Spanish cured chorizo, casings removed and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp sweet or hot paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small loaf country style bread cut into 1/2in slices
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • celery sticks for serving
  • pickled piparra or banana peppers for serving

1. Combine the chorizo, butter, vinegar, paprika, thyle, salt, and black pepper in a food processor and process to a relatively smooth puree, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Pacl the pate into a wide-mouth glass jam jar, preferably one with a hinged lid, cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld, at least one hour. (The pate will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to one week.)

3. Remove the pate from the refrigerator about one hour before serving to bring it to room temperature. Preheat a grill pan or a gas grill to high, Drizzle the bread slices lightly with olive oil and arrange them in the grill pan or grill rack, working in batches as needed, and toast untill nicely charred, with grill marks, 1-2 min per side.

4. Serve the pate spread on the grilled bread and spooned into celery sticks, topped with pickled peppers. 

Our recommended brews: Sculpin IPA (Ballast Point) / Blind Pig IPA (Russian River) / Two Hearted Ale (Bell's) / Beer Lunch (Maine Beer Company) / Nugget Nectar (Troeg's)

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