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What’s your favorite pastime? Mine would most likely be apple picking in late October with the New England fall foliage in the background. Recently my family and I went to Honey Pot Hill in Stow, MA to go apple picking. With the erratic weather in the spring throughout the country, farmers were looking at a loss of crops. Plus, consumers were ready to face higher prices for mediocre quality so I thought it would be best to go earlier this season. Somehow, most of New England dodged a bullet while the rest of the country suffered. There was an abundance of choices and all were delicious.

You know you pick more than you need after you make your cobblers and pies and still have an excess. Having the whole, “waste equals high food cost,” theory embedded in my head day-in and day-out, I couldn't just let the rest of these apples rot. So I decided to share one of my favorite autumn recipes with you. With some amazing diver scallops from the shores of Massachusetts, some peppery local arugula, flavorful smoked bacon and, thanks to Sarah’s review of Rhody Coyote Hard Cider, here is a collaboration of all my favorite things fall.

Rhody Coyote Cider Diver Scallops

For The Scallops:

5 each Diver Scallops
Salt
Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Oil

For The Sauce:

2 strips Applewood Smoked Bacon
1 Cortland Apple, Peeled, Cored and Medium Dice
2 Tbsp Shallot Minced
1 Cup Hard Cider
2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Tbsp Thyme
¼ Cup Heavy Cream

For the Parsnip Puree:

4 Medium Sized Parsnips Peeled and Cut to Medium Dice
1 Cortland Apple Peeled, Cored and Cut to Medium Dice
2 Tbsp Onion Small Dice
20 oz Vegetable Stock
4 Sprigs Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
½ Cup Apple Cider

Cider Vinaigrette:

1 Tbsp Shallot
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tbsp Apple Cider
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper

Arugula Salad:

3 Tbsp Pomegranate Seeds
Reserved Bacon
Reserved Apple
1 Bunch Baby Arugula
Salt and Pepper

Parsnip Puree:

Heat oil in pan and then add onion, apple and parsnip.  Saute for about 5 minutes or until the parsnips and apples start to color.  Add remaining items and simmer for about 30 minutes or until parsnips are soft.  Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Keep hot until ready for plating.

Cider Sauce:

Add diced bacon to a hot pan and cook until all the fat has been rendered and the bacon is crisp.  Drain out bacon fat into a bowl and let bacon dry on a paper towel.  Add 1 tbsp of bacon fat and then add apple.  Saute until tender and then let dry on a paper towel.  Saute Shallot until translucent, add hard cider and reduce by half.  Add vegetable stock thyme sprigs and heavy cream and reduce until you can dip a spoon in the sauce and it leaves a thin coating on the back of the spoon.  Strain through a china cap and keep hot until plating.

Cider Vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified.

Scallops:

Add butter and oil to a cast iron pan.  While waiting till your pan is nice and hot dry off your scallops with a paper towel and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add scallops to the pan and cook on one side for 3-4 minutes.  Once there is a nice sear and caramelization flip and then cook on the other side for another 3 minutes.

To Plate:

Add parsnip puree to the center of the dish.  Position scallops around the outter edge of the puree.  Ladle the sauce around the scallops.  Add a small amount of vinaigrette to the salad ingredients and mix.  Place the salad in the middle of the scallops.  Garnish the plate with remaining bacon, apples and pomegranate.

 

A strong flavor of spice and pumpkin with a subtle caramel finish was the deciding factor for this beer bread.  ( Yes and also the cool label and the fact that it has been bewitched and brewed with Pagan spirit.)  This is a slightly dense bread with a great crumb.  Adding cajeta compliments the beer while not much more spice is added because of the imperial ale.  Try this quick bread this season with a light spread of maple walnut butter.


Ingredients:
8 oz Pumking Imperial Ale
1 ½ Cup Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Kosher Salt
¼ Cup Melted Unsalted Butter
15oz Canned Pumpkin
2 Tbsp Cajeta
¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Ginger
⅛ tsp Nutmeg
⅛ tsp Allspice
1 Large Egg



Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all dry ingredients together and sift.
3  Mix all wet ingredients together.
4.  Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk together.
5.  Add mixture to a greased bread pan and bake for 40- 50 minutes


Enjoy!

Chef John

As the weather cools off, we look forward to some food that might warm us up. Dumplings are a great food for this: bite size yet full of flavor! Also, steaming anything will inevitably heat up your kitchen. Why don't you try making this one and let us know how it goes!

Wolaver's Wildflower Wheat Ale Steamed Dumplings

Ingredients

Soup:

1 oz olive oil
½ Vidalia onion small dice
1 12 oz Wolaver's Wildflower Wheat Ale
16 oz chicken stock (kitchen basics prefered always, unless it's your own stock)
2 oz fresh thyme
1 oz aspic
salt and pepper to taste

Dumplings:

1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup water
pinch of salt

Dumpling Filling:

½ lb ground pork
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 tbsp fresh garlic minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp scallion finely sliced on a bias
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp siracha
1 tbsp honey

Dipping Sauce:

3 oz soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 oz rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp siracha
1 tsp ginger minced

For the soup:

Sweat onions in oil for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add beer and reduce by half.  Add Chicken Stock and reduce by half again.  Add thyme then season properly with salt and pepper.  You then need to add the soup to a shallow pan or casserole dish and freeze for about 1 hour or until the soup is gelatinized.  Cut into small dices and reserve for dumplings.

Dumpling Filling:

Add all ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Keep cool until you are ready to fill dumplings.

Dumplings:

Put 90% of the flour in a large bowl. Pour about a third of the water in the flour and mix. Continue to add water until you have no more and the mixture turns into a ball.  Dust counter with the remainder flour. Place dough on floured surface, use your hands to knead the dough for 8 -10 minutes, until it becomes soft, smooth and bounces back slowly when you poke with your finger. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece and roll it into a long log.  Using pastry scraper or knife, cut dough into pieces about the size of a golf ball. Roll one of the balls between your palms to get a nice, round, smooth ball. Using a rolling pin, roll it out flat. Use 3″ cookie cutter.  Fill with 1 tablespoon of filling and 4 to 5 pieces of soup.  Pleat the dough end to end until you form a dumpling.

Dumpling Sauce:

Mix all ingredients together and keep cool till your ready to serve.

Steaming Dumplings:

To steam dumplings add 12 oz of beer to a wok.  Heat until the beer starts to simmer.  Line your steamer basket with scallions or cabbage, place dumplings on top and steam for 8- 10 minutes.  Serve dumplings from the steamer basket and has your dipping sauce nearby ready to serve.


Home-made crispy beer battered onion rings and tasty beers make a great combination for any gathering.  I used an American brown ale for this recipe, because the sweetness of the onion pairs well with the rich and roasted malts of the beer.  Accompanying this dish is a horseradish cream sauce, but all dipping sauces are welcome.  If you’d like a thicker batter on your onion ring just dredge in flour and batter a 2nd time before adding to oil.

Beer Battered Onion Rings

Onion Rings
1 Large Vidalia Onion ½ Inch Rings
1 12 oz Brekle’s Brown Ale
2 Egg Yolks
2 Egg Whites
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 TBSP Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Paprika
Oil for Frying

Horseradish Sauce
2 TBSP Horseradish
1 TBSP Dijon
8 oz Sour Cream
3 oz Brekle’s Brown Ale
1 TBSP Chopped Chives
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Cooking Instructions
1. Add all dry ingredients together
2. Add beer and egg yolks and whisk
3. Slowly whisk in dry ingredients into wet until you have a thick batter
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Whisk egg whites and then add to batter after refrigeration.
5. Prepare sauce by adding all ingredients and mix together
6.  Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a pot to about 350 degrees
7. Dip onion rings into flour then beer batter and add to the hot oil.
8. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Only Add a few at a time so your oil tempurature does not go down
9. Dry on a paper towel

Enjoy!

Chef John