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Herb and Panko Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing


These past couple of frigid Pittsburgh days have left me desiring something a little bit more tropical. Okay, maybe not tropical but definitely something fresh and bright to help me thaw out a bit. We’ve had quite an impressive stint of sweet recipes, which have undoubtedly kept us warm this winter. But now I feel that it’s time to revisit the savory side of cooking. Our next beer-centric recipe needs to pack a massive punch of flavor, highlight a delicious Pittsburgh brew, and have a light, freshness to wake me up from what seems to be an eternal winter slumber of stews and soups.

We’ve been toying around with the idea of making a beer salad dressing for quite some time now. And now that I’ve committed myself to brightening things up around here, I need to pull out the big guns. Hop Farm Brewing Co. was the first brewery to come to mind for this flavorful dish. Their flagship IPA is beyond delicious. It’s packed full of fresh piney, citrusy hops and finishes with a beautiful earthiness. And the name Hop Farm alone screams fresh, leafy things. So basically, this beer/salad combo is meant to be. The only question is: why hasn’t this happened sooner?

I love working with fresh produce, especially herbs. The rich coloring, the aroma, the crunch, all of it inspires me to get creative in the kitchen. And it reminds me of those hot summer days when we could pick fresh herbs from our patio garden.

Herb and Panko Goat Cheese Rounds with Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing Herb

So I decided to include all of my favorite salad items in this new dish. Crisp herbs for freshness, goat cheese for a creamy tanginess, and lemon for a bright, citrusy note. Hop Farm’s Flagship IPA is the perfect ingredient to tie it all together.

We present to you….

Panko Crusted Herb Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad with a Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing. The crunchy, peppery arugula is perfectly complemented by the smooth, bright, lemony IPA dressing. The tangy baked goat cheese rounds are crunchy on the outside, and oozy gooey herb-tastic on the inside. Each part of the salad is delicious on its own, but when eaten together in one harmonious bite, it’s a complete show stopper. This is like high-end restaurant material right here. And it’s beyond easy to make. Here’s how…

Herb and Panko Goat Cheese Rounds with Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing Dressing

Dressing Ingredients (makes about 1 cup)

  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBSP Hop Farm IPA
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping tsp of sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  • Purée lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, oil, beer, mustard, and sugar in a blender until smooth
  • season with freshly ground salt and pepper

Herb Baked Goat Cheese Rounds

Herb and Panko Goat Cheese Rounds with Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing Rounds

Ingredients for Rounds and Salad

  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 8 TBSP fresh herbs, chopped (we used basil, parsley, rosemary, and sage)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Arugula or mixed baby greens
  • Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F
  2. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray
  3. Place goat cheese in freezer for 10 minutes
  4. Slice goat cheese into 8 (1 oz) rounds
  5. Roll rounds into circles and then flatten with hand
  6. Place chopped herbs, egg wash and Panko bread crumbs into small, separate bowls
  7. Press goat cheese round into fresh herbs
  8. Gently dip round into egg wash
  9. Then coat with Panko bread crumbs
  10. Place on aluminum covered baking sheet. Continue process with remaining 7 goat cheese rounds
  11. Season with freshly ground pepper
  12. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted in the middle

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Salad Assembly

  1. Toss the salad with the Hop Farm IPA Salad Dressing (a little goes a long way)
  2. Place two warm goat cheese rounds on top of each salad and indulge immediately*
  3. Enjoy the feeling of being a master chef in your own kitchen

 Cheers N’at    Devon and Tim

*The salad dressing is best when consumed fresh. The flavors intensify greatly when left over night in the fridge, especially the onion note.

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Naturi Coffee & Chicory Chocolate Cake


A celebration isn’t quite a celebration, unless there’s cake involved. And boy is it time for Pittsburgh to celebrate! Local CMU Graduate Students Jen, Anes, and Aditya joined forces to start Naturi, an Organic Food Company. The cofounders made it their personal mission to revolutionize the food industry, starting right here in the ‘burgh. They have committed themselves to exclusively using the best, most nourishing ingredients in their yogurt. By adding exotic ingredients like Saigon Cinnamon and Indonesian Vanilla, they are able to make delicious Organic Greek Yogurt with less sugar, more protein, and richer flavors than the national brands.

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The Ritz-Carlton is for Foodies, Craft Beer Fans, and Lovers


A few weeks back, Tim and I skipped town to celebrate our 5th year wedding anniversary. We bid farewell to the Pittsburgh snow and said hello to warm, Florida sand.

For the past couple of years, Tim has been summoned to participate in an annual orthopedic conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples. Work conference…in Florida? Um…sign me up! Anyway, he has enjoyed his time spent there so much that he decided that I too need to experience such a little slice of heaven. So we traded in all of our Marriott points for two glorious nights at the Ritz.

Whiskey Extracts: Vanilla, Almond, Lemon


Every New Year’s Eve, I reflect on the past year and think about the changes I want to make in the upcoming year. These yearly resolutions can be compared to babies- fun to make but very difficult to maintain. But I’m hoping that this most recent series of recipes will inspire me to stick to a few of my resolutions, like becoming more connected to my food. This means a lot more cooking from scratch, getting creative with new cooking styles, and being mindful of the ingredients…

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Beer Advent Calendar 2014


beer advent calendar day 21Day 21. Winter Shredder by Cisco Brewers in Nantucket ,MA. This Braggot style Ale (8.8% ABV) is just what you need to warm you up while you are shredding some mighty fresh gnar. This beer pours a deep amber with a thick, foamy head that is reminiscent of blustery, winter storm clouds. The aroma is enticing with hints of caramel, chocolate, and ripe apples. We tasted the toasted malts, a little bit of caramel, and the perfect amount of boozy alcohol. So, next time you are planning to shred some serious gnar, throw a couple of these bad boys in your fanny pack (yes Pittsburgh is the home of Fannypacks, especially at Kennywood) and keep yourself warm and toasted on those frigid slopes. Cheers!

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Beer Advent Calendar Tutorial


Advent calendars are great for counting down the days until Christmas. Growing up, we had little chocolates to open each day. As adults, we wanted to recreate that same daily excitement-but those chocolates do not tickle our tinsel as much as they used to.  Therefore, we decided to count down the days with one of the most exciting things in the world- Beer! We created a  Holiday Beer Advent calendar using Christmas beers.  Let’s Eat, Drink, and be Merry People! Here’s what you’ll need to make this beautiful Beer Advent Calendar that you can use for years to come.

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Peanut Butter Cup Porter Molten Lava Cake


We enjoyed watching the movie “Chef” the other night. Long story short, it’s about a chef who loses his upscale restaurant job and then starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative swagger. In one of the more epic scenes, a food critic claims that he would much rather have the chef…

“sit on his face on a warm day after a brisk walk in the park than have to take another bite of his uninspired chocolate lava cake”…

il pizzaiolo


Federico Fellini once said, “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” I say add beer to the list and the statement is foolproof. And when it comes to pasta, I’m sticking with ItalYINZ all the way. To be honest, I never met an Italian pasta dish that I didn’t like. So we asked our foodie friends and family to suggest their favorite Italian restaurants. il Pizzaiolo kept coming up over and over again. So we took the hint and looked into it. Wow am I grateful we did. After further investigation, it just so happens that this particular Italian restaurant has one of the most extensive stock of authentic Italian beer in Pittsburgh. SOLD. We were there faster than Sauerkraut Sal in a Pirates pierogi race…

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Voodoo Blood Worms


Add a little wickedness to your Halloween bash with our creepy Beer Jell-O Blood Worms. They’re stark red, slimy, and devilishly boozy. You’ll be sure to terrorize your guests with these little suckers.

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