It was a long day at work today, which makes memories of this past weekend that much fonder.
On Saturday, we were invited to our friends’ Kevin and Trisha’s house for a beer vs. wine pairing party. The idea was to bring a dish that pairs well with one or the other and have some fun! Almost immediately I thought of bringing something spicy to pair with a Riesling, and then a moment of brilliance hit me – mini banh mi sliders. Oh yes I did!
Of course it’s me and I can’t just make a favorite recipe and call it good. And well, dessert needed to happen as well (just in case we didn’t have enough). I made some meyer lemon curd a few days prior so the idea of white wine cupcakes with meyer lemon curd filling and marshmallow wine frosting was born. Sounds fitting for a beer vs. wine party, no?
I started with the white wine cupcake recipe base (using half all purpose and half white whole wheat flour – they were perfectly tender, no whole wheatiness in sight. Yes, that’s a word!)
Then scooped a bit of the cupcake insides (which I saved for a little snack later ) and filled the cavities with the meyer lemon curd (don’t overfill them with the curd or they’ll be too intense).
Lastly came the frosting part. I used 1/2 of this recipe for the marshmallow frosting – it wouldn’t harden so I added extra cream of tartar until it came to the right consistency) and it really tasted like marshmallows. I was so excited I forgot to add a bit of wine to it. Oh well, still amazingly delicious! [Adam said it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made!!]
The recipe made 18 cupcakes. 18 addictively delicious cupcakes. Good thing I had some friends to share it with!!
So now on to the party. We had some super talented cooks, that’s for sure. Andrew impressed us all with his salmon tartar cornets with sweet red onion crème fraiche (recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook!!)
Unfortunately, while I was totally drooling over this, I couldn’t taste the final product given the ahem, red onions. I am certain it’s the most amazing appetizer though (I mean, common – it’s Thomas Keller’s recipe!!) so I plan on tackling it one day. How impressed are you with Andrew? He even made the little cones from scratch!
For his pairing, he chose the pale ale by the Victory brewery since he just passed his PHD exam. I liked all the pairings from this dinner so I’m going to direct you to Kevin’s post for more comprehensive beer reviews since he knows a lot more about beer than I do. All I can say is that it went down easy!
Next up – my banh mi sliders!! I used grass fed beef instead of turkey, but otherwise followed the recipe to the T. It’s really the best!! I love how the meatballs have a bit of heat, which is enhanced by the spicy mayo and sliced jalapenos and then cooled off by the pickled carrots and daikon radish. Man, I loved these little guys!!
This sweet Riesling was a really good pairing for this spicy dish.
More finger food! Mac & cheese mini cakes to be exact! I believe Melissa used the Wine & Food magazine recipe but don’t quote me on this. These little cakes were perfectly portable, cheesy and indulgent.
… and paired really well with this crisp prosecco. Seriously, best party idea ever!!
Onto some Mexican cilantro chicken with all the fixins (cheese, salsa, tortillas), paired with the Hennepin Belgian style saison.
The chicken had so much flavor and I just love the body of saisons – kind of like wheat beer but with so much more character. Yummmmm.
Our stomachs were getting quite full but there was just one more savory course. Pizza!!
and balsamic caramelized onion and goat cheese
Paired with a surprisingly light Syrah. Can’t go wrong with pizza + wine!
At this point all of us really needed an eating break so we moved to the living room for some couch (and more drinking) time.
Eventually these molten chocolate cakes (from the Flour bakery cookbook) baked and well, you can’t let perfectly molten chocolate deliciousness wait for you! Now can you? (don’t answer that!)
Paired with this aged Mikkeller Belgian strong ale (brewed with chocolate!).
My cupcakes were a bonus dessert and we all enjoyed them at our leisure.
Someone kept hoping to sneak a bite but we were a bit quicker
What do you prefer – beer or wine? What’s the coolest “theme party” you’ve ever been to? I’m totally stealing this idea and plan on hosting one of my own this summer!