Craft Beer and Food

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easy Beer Jambalaya

There was a recipe listed at for “Beach Bum Beer Jambalaya”. I thought it looked interesting and tried it last night. I made a few modifications to the recipe and really thought it turned out well. I make Jambalaya quite a bit, but normally use the crockpot (must plan ahead) and wine. This recipe was just as easy, uses beer that is on tap in our kitchen and ready on short notice. I have changed the recipe slightly from the original version. To see the original go to

Last night I did not include shrimp and increased the chicken and sausage to ½ lb. each. We love Cajun food so I have started making my own mix of Cajun spices because all the commercially available ones have too much salt for my taste. You can use either. See Emeril’s recipe at Emeril's Essence.

The beer I used to cook with is our home brewed Ebb Tide Bitter and it was served with the meal. As you see in the photo, I drank my beer from a champagne flute. Trying different glasses to see how they affect the taste. More on that in my upcoming video & blog.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think. Great for a cold snowy or rainy night. Serve with a hearty bread or garlic toast.

Ebb Tide Jambalya

  • 1/3 lb chicken, diced
  • 1/3 lb Andouille Cajun or Smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1/3 lb 30 count shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half
  • Olive oil for sauté
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (use green onions and shallots for variety)
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) or 1 cup fresh tomatoes diced.
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 14 oz stock + 8 oz of Pale Ale, Brown Ale or IPA for beer jambalaya, chef gets the leftover beer) We used our latest brew the Ebb Tide Bitter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Homemade Cajun essence seasoning (no salt version)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Serve with Tabasco sauce


  1. In large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil to high and sauté shrimp seasoned with until pink, about 2-3 minutes, and set aside. Repeat separately with chicken and sausage.
  2. In olive oil, sauté onion, pepper, garlic 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and Cajun essence and cook another 3 minutes.
  4. Add rice, broth and beer. Stir and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered until rice absorbs most of the broth, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  5. When rice is just tender, stir in shrimp, chicken and sausage. Cook for additional 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove bay leaves and serve. with garlic toast and a good beer!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How it all started

About the author & the story.
I have always enjoyed an ice cold beer, especially on a hot summer day. Whether I choose a beer, a glass of wine or cocktail occasionally depends on my mood and the foods I am enjoying. My taste in beer leans toward the micro brews or European beers. While Coors was the old standby for my parents, I like to try different brews and steer clear of the US mass produced beers. Living on the Central Coast of California in wine country I tend to choose a local wine most often. For the next year I have vowed to try more beers, especially locally brewed and learn as much as I can. While guys may share a beer with us girls, the art of brewing and the fanaticism surrounding the beverage has been mostly the domain of men. I will pass along my adventures into the manly world of beer through this website.
How it all started.
It all started with the simple idea that having a kegerator in your home was “green” and one little step in decreasing the number of bottles and cans we send to the recycler.
A while back, I saw a program on the Planet Green network about a couple in Brooklyn, NY that had installed a tap above their kitchen counter. I thought it was a brilliant idea to go green for any beer lover, thus the idea of putting a kegerator in our kitchen was born, which meant we might as well gut the kitchen and start over. Needless to say, my beer loving husband took the idea and ran with it. Not only were we able to find a place to hide the keg refrigerator, we designed our new concrete countertops so the tap could be above the sink and thus no mess. Many of my girlfriends have cursed me as their husbands are now ready to remodel just to have a tap in the kitchen.
I found a used kegerator for a great price of $250 (saving about 400). The only problem with the kitchen remodel was that the access point for the kegs would be from the front porch so then we had to remodel the entrance to our home. More work – but in the long run it improved the look and feel of the house.
Now with a tap in the kitchen and cold draught beer on hand I have a renewed fondness for beer. Good beer that is! The inaugural keg was Fat Tire Amber Ale by New Belgium Brewing Co. There is nothing better than an icy glass filled with draught beer. We had been buying Fat Tire in the bottles, but I still think it tastes better from the tap.
Once we were all set up, I realized I had created a monster in my husband and not for the reasons you may be thinking. Having the kegerator has now led to home brewing. In less than a month, we have become setup with additional Cornelious kegs, large kettles for brewing, glass containers called carboys for fermenting and more. We have 2 batches brewing and eagerly await the day of tasting. While my husband is the primary consumer and brewmaster at our house, I am surprised at my interest in the process and the different types of beers and all that goes along with it. So for now I will share my adventures into the world of beer and brewing from a woman’s point of view. So far, it does appear that it is still very much a man’s world and we will see if they will let me into the club, even if it is only a temporary membership.