Have a craft beer lover? Wondering what you could get them for Valentine’s Day to show your understanding of their passion? Put together a beer pairing dinner, and you have a recipe for a great gift and wonderful evening with your love.
Figs with Ricotta, Pistachio and Honey – This light appetizer looks like you spent hours on it, when really the total prep and cooking time is just 12 minutes! The combination of sweet and salty with a bit of a crunch will provide a great way to get your tastebuds started.
- Suggested beer pairing: Troeg’s Pale Ale. This beer features floral and citrus hops, making it great to pair with figs, and since its flavors aren’t overwhelming you will still get all the great flavors from your appetizer.
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Mushrooms – Another recipe in the category of things that only look difficult, this recipe will take about 30 minutes. Plus, every man that I polled wanted something with bacon! These will do great as a precursor for beef entree.
- Suggested peer pairing: Sam Adam’s Boston Lager. This is a pretty run-of-the-m ill lager, however the roasted malts in it will help to bring out the earthiness of the mushrooms.
Artichokes with Roasted Pepper Dip – The best part about using something like this as an appetizer is that your honey can start digging in as soon as they get home. Let them snack a little while they unwind while you finish up your main course concoctions. Just add pita chips!
- Suggested Beer Pairing: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA. This beer features a peppery flavor that pairs naturally with a red pepper dip! This also has an earthy flavor with hints of pine, rye, and hops.
Eastern Shore Crab Imperial – The very first suggestion I received was for seafood. If you were going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, you would probably be going somewhere with really good seafood or steak, because these are the special occasion meals. Making Crab Imperial puts a little bit of a twist on the traditional seafood and it’s unexpected. Although it may seem like an appetizer, this meal is so decadent that it easily becomes the main course.
- Suggested beer pairing: Victory Prima Pils Pilsner. Pilsners pair well with seafood because they’re light and crisp. Plus, the herbal hops in this particular pilsner will bring life to the herbs and spices already featured in the recipe.
Scallop Burger Sliders with Cilantro-Lime Mayo – The words ‘cilantro-lime mayo’ alone make this sound ridiculously good. Going with something like this will still stick with the idea of seafood but presented in a whole new manner. This recipe will require you to chill the patties for awhile, which make it great for multiple-course meals. Prepare this first, then work on the rest while you wait.
- Suggested beer pairing: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. Don’t be scared and run from those three little letters that mean “hoppy” to most people. I tried this beer recently and found this IPA to be mild and very easy to drink. Those sliders are going to be flavorful and the cilantro will add a little zest, so a nice mild beer such as this will complete the party in your mouth.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers – Another suggestion from the guys I polled was stuffed peppers. To me, stuffed peppers is something I enjoy in the summer on the grill, so maybe they’re all sick of the winter? Either way, these vegetarian stuffed peppers are a quick and easy way to get a ton of veggies in your meal and enjoy the flavors of comfort food
- Suggested beer pairing: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. This beer is a smooth, medium bodied stout that hosts flavors such as oats, bread and roasted malts. These flavors will complement the coucous in the peppers and allow for the tang of the peppers and feta to shine through.
A Chocolate Beer Float – After all that cooking, you deserve an easy-to-make dessert. Grab a chocolate stout, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maybe a cherry for good measure. I love these on any occasion, but I think this will make a great finish to your Valentine’s Day.
- Suggested beer: Southern Tier Choklat. If this beer was a person, we would already be married. This is a heavier ABV beer at 11%, but this is Valentine’s Day! Endulge and enjoy the company of one another. It features a rich, smooth, intense chocolate flavor (can you tell I’m in love) and is heavier than the other beers suggested.
Chocolate Sorbet with Raspberries – Like I said, keep dessert easy after all the effort you put into the meal. Scoop some sorbet into a bowl and add some raspberries for something different. You know what, share the bowl, and put a little whipped cream on top.
- Suggested Beer Pairing: Lindeman’s Framboise. This is “beer” is a little bit different than the beers featured thus far. Framboise is technically a lambic. Before hops were used to season beers, fruits and vegetables were used instead creating a more fruity and tart flavor than the traditional bitter hops we’re used to. I love this beer because it tastes like raspberry tart. When featured with your chocolate sorbet and raspberries this beer will be the perfect ending to a great meal.
Mocha Truffle Cake Recipe – So after all that cooking, you still want more? Try out this rich coffee and chocolate combination for real happy ending. Finish the presentation with a little hot fudge or even a scoop of ice cream and segue into movie night on the couch.
- Suggested beer pairing: Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter. This thick-bodied porter tastes like an iced coffee with a tiny hint of vanilla. The chocolate flavor in your cake will be amplified by the roasted malts, the mocha tastes will skyrocket and you get the added spritz of vanilla to complete the picture.
Take the recipes, mix and match to your liking, and enjoy a wonderful low-stress evening at home.
Special thanks to www.SaraBozich.com for allowing us to cross-post this!