This may be my favorite pairing so far and it will probably stay as one of my favorites for a good while. Why? It was a purely spontaneous pairing.
This is what happened. I spent the morning as I do on Saturdays watching Premiere League soccer and cleaning my house. I met Eightball for lunch at my favorite place in Shelby for beer (today the newly tapped Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale) and food, Pleasant City. Then I went over to my local beer store, Dragonfly Wine Market, tasted few of my favorite North Carolina beers (Lonerider: Sweet Josie and Shotgun Betty; Mother Earth Brewing Endless River; and Highland Brewing Oatmeal Porter) and purchased more beer then I should have but not as much as a I wanted.
I arrived back home and almost drove to the grocery store (which would have been my third trip in two days) when I decided to look at what I had laying around. For whatever reason, the milk, eggs, and frozen vegetables jumped out at me. A frittata would be a great light dinner with a lot of flavor. So I went through my recipe books and found a recipe for a pasta frittata. I didn’t have pasta, so I just substituted the vegetables and added some Parmesan cheese to make it all come together and in 30 minutes I had nice light and feathery tasting frittata.
As soon as I decided on the frittata, I knew exactly what I was going to pair it with. Taking advice from the ur-text of beer and food pairing, The Brewmaster’s Table, witbier was the obvious choice of what is currently in my fridge. Luckily, my only witbier at the moment was the Allagash White.
First off, as it should, Allagash White pours a little cloudy and has a nice quickly disappearing head. On the nose, you get a little bit of cloves from the yeast and the orange peel and coriander among others from the added spices. On the front of the taste, you get the bright orange peel/citrusy taste with the cloves, coriander, and other spices coming along behind. On the finish there is a touch of wheat that makes you want another sip.
The White’s orange peel and coriander flavors matched perfectly with the brunchy nature of dinner. Even with its substantive and full flavor it is light enough to not over power the eggs, milk, and Parmesan mixture. The frittata is a great last second way to use up extra food. You can use any filler you want: pasta, mixed vegetables, spinach, ham, sausage, etc. In this case I used frozen mixed vegetables to make a quick simple meal. I also love to use left over pasta or almost caramelized onions. With the frittata you can make it taste however you want by changing the filler ingredients and the cheese used to bind it together.
This meal would have been better with fresh vegetables, but I was in a hurry and wanted to do something simple. Isn’t this is how most people deal with wanting to cook something at the after a long day at work or at the last minute to help make a real meal: What’s in my fridge and pantry that will let me make something that tastes good and is relatively easy? The next time I’ll get vegetables and chop them and add different flavors and textures to make this better, but because of the situation and how I was feeling at the time this was almost perfect.
This was the essence of what I really want to do. Find simple, maybe not easy, foods that anyone can make and then try to match them with beer? In this case I choose a light brunch/breakfast type food for dinner. To match with that I wanted to first find something that was light and had a profile that was reminiscent of orange juice. Witbiers are the perfect beer for that situation.
Now, this may be the first of two food and beer posts this weekend. Eightball and I are probably going to watch Daytona tomorrow. What beer goes best with driving around in circles for 500 miles?