Beery Delights

Beery Delights

Movie Night is a very popular activity in any household.I was feeling very nostalgic the other day, reminiscing about my childhood and the snacks we used to enjoy while spending time with my family during a movie. Whether it was a movie at home or going to the cinema, the highlight was always the treats involved. From popcorn covered in melted butter to sweets and chocolates we all had our favourites. My father was heavily involved in these memories. He spoiled us with bowls of mixes, different crisp flavours and nuts, popcorn with chocolate, ice cream bowls over flowing with sweet treats. Needless to say this sparked some research into some “adult snacks” cooked with beer!

So after browsing through endless amounts of recipes I decided on three different treats to make. All recipes I chose came from The Beeroness Website. I’ve been a huge fan of hers for quite some time. Wayne bought me one of her cookbooks “The Craft Beer Cookbook”. I’ve had much fun recreating some of the recipes in it. I think Wayne enjoys being my guinea pig.

The first recipe is Beer & Sriracha candied nuts. During movie night there’s always a bag of cashew nuts devoured in Snob HQ so I decided to make them interesting. For this recipe I chose four types of nut; cashew, Brazil, hazelnut and pecans. After recently reviewing Brewdogs Neon Overlord on our podcast, which you can listen to here, I chose this for its spicy but sweet flavours.  We’re both big fans of spicy foods so these were a no brainer. They took little time and hardly any effort required but the outcome was irresistible. Once you start snacking on these its very difficult to stop. Next time I attempt these I’ll up the sriracha levels. The only change I made was sprinkling salt all over them before they went into the oven and again half way through. I’m also lucky I saved a portion for my father. They were such a hit I’ve already received orders for Christmas.

Every weekend chicken wings are on our menu either as Friday night dinner, Saturday afternoon snack or post Sunday evening podcast recording. Wayne was king of cooking them, until I intervened. We usually use franks hot sauce but I chose grilled beer & brown sugar wings. The beer I chose was a little closer to home, an Irish porter called Dark Arts Porter by Trouble Brewing. This is one of our favourites. I’ve often used it in a batch of brownies. I marinated the wings in the beer brine for approximately five hours before cooking. Instead of grilling them I baked them at 200 degrees for fourty minutes, basting them every ten and turning them half way through. The were deliciously sticky, juicy and very tasty. Give them a try!

What movie night is complete without nachos? There’s nothing more satisfying than scooping up cheese dip or salsa and stuffing your face. So you guessed it, I made a dip! I love strong flavours so chose mature Gouda and Mature red cheddar cheese to make foolproof beer cheese sauce. To compliment the strong cheese flavours I used Francis big bangin IPA. It was recently released by Mc Gargles in cans and Simon of Simonsays beer blog and their beer specialist gave us some to try.  I couldn’t resist using it in this recipe. The sauce was so good I could’ve drank it all. Next time I cook cauliflower I’ll whip up a batch of this to pour all over it.

I hope you try these super easy recipesyourself, hell if i can cook them anyone can. Oh just in case you are wondering the movies we watched were Independence Day: Resurgence & The Huntsman: Winters War.
**Neon Overlord was supplied to us by fourcorners & Francis Big Bangin IPA was given to us also**

Trouble Brewing Dark Arts Porter was purchased in our local O’Briens branch.



I know I’m a little late to the Bunsen party, but I just have to tell you all about it. It was a Friday after payday and I didn’t bring my usual healthy, home prepared salad. Neither did Wayne. So on our commute to work we decided to meet for lunch (working south side has its advantages). We arranged to meet at 12 to beat the lunch time rush. With being spoiled for really amazing eateries around Grafton St we chose Bunsen on South Anne Street.

These guys are very well known for their burgers. I’m actually really surprised we haven’t been to one of their restaurants before. I knew they were situated on Wexford St, opposite Against The Grain and in Temple Bar but never knew there was a third location.

So lunch time arrived and we walked the short distance from my workplace. With seating available outside and upstairs we chose a seat inside and decided what to eat. I love the simplicity of the menu being a business card and noticed they even cater for gluten free/paleo.

The beer snob in me glanced at the alcoholic beverages available. Nice to see some great offerings from some Irish craft beer breweries as well as a selection of wine. My choice would have been the IPA from Wicklow Wolf.  Wishing I wasn’t working I ordered a strawberry milkshake while Wayne went for the chocolate flavoured one. These were amazing.

Next out came our food. My choice was the cheeseburger cooked medium well with all the toppings while Wayne  chose the double cheesburger cooked medium. We ordered shoestring fries to share. After the obigatory picture taking we tucked in. There wasn’t a word uttered between us. The burgers are indeed delicious. Served on a gorgeous soft bun, the patty itself was so juicy.  We devoured them.

There was a really lovely atmosphere and the staff, although very busy, were so friendly. The place filled up quite quickly and I was thrilled we decided to beat the lunch time rush. After paying our bill and rolling ourselves out I noticed a small queue for seats forming.  I also realised some customers were collecting phone orders. Working so close to this place is going to be dangerous to my waistline.

Beer & Food Pairing Night at Bru Brewery

When I saw this event advertised a few weeks ago I just knew I had to go. As part of the Boyne Valley Food Series, this night was a great opportunity for local food producers to showcase their products in a unique way. Many actually used the Brú beers in their treats for customers to try.

On the night itself it was a dreary wet evening, but that awful weather didn’t dampen the spirits of Paddy & Dáire, the owners of Brú Brewery. They were in flying form greeting everybody and pouring their delicious beers. On tap was their amazing Stout Dubh & their IPA Rí. Later in the evening, much to my delight, their red ale Rua was flowing beautifully. Neil from Boyne Valley Cider brought along bottles too.

As a very last minute decision, I baked up two different batches of chocolate brownies to take along with me. I had no intention of standing at a stall to hand them out to the unsuspecting crowd. But brewer Dave had other ideas. The first batch had to be the double chocolate porter brownies (thanks to the book Sláinte for the recipe) that I make for nearly every event I attend. I used Brú’s stout Dubh, mint & dark chocolate in this batch. For the second lot, again I used Dubh, a slightly different recipe. This batch didn’t have milk or eggs. But they were covered in chocolate frosting. Both of which seemed to go down quite well.

While I was busy at my wee table, Wayne was off sampling the wares of the producers. Straight away he hit up Copper & Spices for their simple yet tasty chicken curry with rice. I was lucky he brought me a bowl, this flew out real quick! I enjoyed it with a nice cold glass of Brú Rí while Wayne enjoyed the Dubh.

Newgrange gold, who are based in Slane, were there with their beautiful Irish seed oils. They actually used some of the hops used by Brú to create their oh so tasty Citra Hop Rapeseed oil & a once off mayonnaise. Another interesting oil was the smokey rapeseed oil. Both of which I’m delighted to admit were only gorgeous. Especially when I dipped some of the homemade brown bread using spent grains baked by lilyphils foods. I did notice bowls of salad, for the more health conscious of us, and people using the oils as dressing. For this I went with another glass of Rí.

Next up for me,was the highlight of my night. Sausages infused with Brú Rua and black pudding made with Dubh, from The Whole Hoggs. Also from Slane, they rear a breed of pig called the irish grazer and specialize in traditional pork products such as salami. But for the event the created these products that were spectacular. Cooked expertly on the BBQ by Pam, mother to Dáire. Pam was only too delighted to tell me my brownies were worth every Syn.

While nibbling away on our BBQ treats, I noticed a stand of marinades. These were cleverly put together by the man behind Inistioge food, based in Kilkenny. They make marinades & dry rubs using craft beers! Instantly had my attention. For the event they brought a beef marinade made with Brú Dubh. We were given a sample pack to bring home. But he had some to try and suggested putting it on top of the sausages & black pudding. Any excuse for seconds, i was off. It was gorgeous, really tasty and took it to a whole new level. Thought it would’ve been greedy to go for thirds. At this point I discovered Brú Rua was pouring. Perfect with the sausages we thought.

Last but not least was dessert. I was thrilled to see it was What’s For Pudding supplying it. They are only around the corner in Kilmessan. I met them for the first time at an event last year and fell in love with their sticky toffee pudding. So it was only fitting I ended my night with a sampling of this. They also make a chocolate pudding which is yummy with fresh cream, which they had on hand. But then out of the corner of my eye sat a sampling of their lemon blueberry pudding. Oh dear god, this was fabulous and is now my favourite. What’s for pudding is available locally so it’ll be easy to stock up!

Throughout the duration of the event there was a local singer entertaining us with some great tunes. For an entry of €15 in, it was great value for a great evening. Well done to all concerned and check out the Boyne Valley Food Series website, and twitter feed for info on their upcoming events.

Chocolate Brownies with Solas Irish Stout

I decided as part of my new year resolution to “drink more beers”, I should start cooking with them too. So to start off I chose an Irish stout. Now this is a style of beer I really only started to enjoy late into last year. I was never really a stout/porter fan. And as far as cooking goes, its not something I enjoy. Mostly because I’m not really that confident with flavours and different cooking techniques. I especically dont like being watched in the kitchen. If left to my own devices sometimes magic happens. Luckily for me though Wayne is the chef in this household, and an excellent one at that. 

The dish I made was of course double chocolate porter brownies. I first started baking these after I was gifted the book Sláinte, The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider. This recipe is so easy to follow and so much fun to bake. I’ve since made them a dozen times, using a different stout or porter.

So this time I’ve decided to bake them using Solas Irish Stout, which is available in Tesco. Brewed by Rye River Brewing Company which are based in Kildare, not too far away from me. Also the brewers of Mc Gargles and the new craft beer range of lager, stout and red ale stocked in Aldi.

On pouring a nice head develops, which I found to disappear a few minutes later. The smell is malty with a mild taste of chocolate and coffee that leaves a lovely bitter finish. For me I enjoyed it as it was light to drink, not thick and heavy like others. At 4.5 % it made me wanting more, but into the brownie mix it went.

I found this a really nice stout to bake with and enjoyed sampling the end result, some lovely gooey double chocolate brownies made with an Irish stout. If I’ve inspired you to try these yourself, let me know how it goes. I enjoy baking them so much and even bring some to events I attend. So watch out for me, always a Tupperware of brownies in my bag.

Cooking with Cider – Dan Kelly’s Brined Pork Fillet, with Fennel, Apple, Onion and Creamy Mash

Anyone who knows me well, will know my immense dislike for cooking but my love of eating good food. I have a short list of dishes I can cook well, but I’m not great at trying new things. I leave that to Wayne! To my surprise I actually found a recipe I was dying to try. I was even so excited about finishing up my working week on a Saturday night to come home and prepare this delicious meal for myself and Wayne. Even he couldn’t believe his luck! 

So what’s the recipe I hear you ask? How about Cider-Brined pork fillet with apples, onions and fennel, found in Sláinte The complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider. A wonderfully written book by Caroline Hennessy & Kirsten Jensen. This book has become an invaluable source of information to me. 

So my choice of cider for this dish was of course that of Dan Kellys. I sat the pork fillet in the brine, using a bottle of the cider and salt, the night before and put it in the fridge. 

The next day I was counting down the hours to get home. Bounding in the door like an excited child, I began to prepare everything else. By searing off the pork, to chopping up the onion, fennel and apple. After a quick sauté I placed the veg in a casserole dish and placed the pork on top then into the oven to roast for approximately 25 minutes. 

 Once cooked through, I let the pork rest while I mashed up the potatoes I steamed. Using milk and butter to make a lovely creamy mash. After carving the pork and I served up. Thank God it was only for myself & Wayne as my nerves in  the kitchen were gone! I’m not a very confident cook at all. So I’m delighted to say this was  made so easy thanks to Sláinte.

Now that I’ve done the trial run on this dish and seeing how much Wayne enjoyed it, I’ll be more than happy to cook it again for family and friends. It was so tasty, the pork itself was so juicy and the flavours were amazing. 

We washed it down with a bottle of Dan Kelly’s Fiona’s Fancy 2011 Vintage Cider, it was the perfect matched cider. Now i’ve seen how easy it is to cook using cider as an ingredient I can’t wait to try more of the recipes in Sláinte.