New Year’s Eve Smörgåsbord

It’s been quite some time since we’ve busted out “The Big Board”.

  1. Baguette
  2. Bourbon Chicken Liver Mousse
  3. Calabrese Salaminis
  4. Cultured Butter with Sea Salt
  5. Fromage D’Affinois
  6. Garlic Cured Green Olives
  7. Marcona Almonds
  8. Pickled Haricot Vert
  9. Octopus in Galician Sauce
  10. Seppler Berg Tilster
  11. Smoked Duck Breast
  12. Sweet Pepper Pickled Baby Corn
  13. Tomme Haut Barry
  14. Whole Seed Mustard

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Since I have trouble staying up late, I had two beers that were made with coffee. Cascara from The Ale Apothecary is a beer brewed with using the fruit that is husk the coffee bean. With dessert, I had the Big Bad Baptista from Epic which is a whiskey barrel aged stout with Mexican coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla and cinnamon.


Five Spice Duck with Dry-Fried Green Beans

The orginal idea was to test run this Dry-Fried Green Beans recipe and just add some Fried Pig’s Ears. But when I got to the butcher, she was out of Pig’s Ears. So, I bought a duck breast instead… I used this recipe for the duck – minus the carrots.

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I wanted to do a side by side comparison of two beers that were inspired by the Belgian classic Orval: Upright ‘s Scrap Iron and Wolves & People‘s Cellar Society – WP1

Corned Beef, Braised Cabbage with Slab Bacon, Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes with Dill Horseradish Cream

Once again, St. Patrick’s Day has passed,and I did the usual Corned Beef and Braised Cabbage with Slab Bacon. But instead of the Roasted Fingerlings that I usually do, I decided to do the Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes. I left out the Rosemary and made a Dill Horseradish Sauce to go with the meal.

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I went with my last bottle of Curieux – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Belgian Tripel – from Allagash.

Garbure Gersoise

So I did end up cooking this weekend… I made a big pot of Garbure Gersoise to have for dinners during the week. Since confit duck legs are only sold in pairs – and the recipe calls for three – I decided to add some andouille which added a little heat. I also used jowl bacon instead of regular bacon since I’ve been eyeballing it in the meat case the last few weeks…

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I pulled a bottle of Heart’s Beat – a beer fermented in oak casks full of dark cherries- from Upright Brewing out of the cellar.


It’s that time of year again… My sister came up from California for our annual bike ride. As usual, I put out “The Big Board”.  We had the usual suspects: CrucoloD’Affinois, St. Agur, bourbon chicken liver mousse from Chop, Saucisson Sec salami from Olympic Provisions, some smoked duck, plus some homemade pickled purple cauliflower and green beans and a baguette.

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As usual, we had a few beers… Wit’s Ransom – a Gin barrel aged wheat beer – from Claim 52, Temptation – chardonnay barrel aged blonde ale – from Russian River, Ampersand Volume 3 Chapter 1 – a golden sour botanical ale aged in Gin barrels – a collaboration from Crooked Stave and the recently shuttered The Hop & Vine, and for dessert, Noa Pecan Mud Cake – a chocolate pecan stout – from Omnipollo.

Prime Rib, Wild Mushroom Gravy, Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables

My father and my sister and her husband decided to come up for Christmas this year. I put on quite the spread…

For the hors-d’œuvres, there was Bourbon chicken liver mousse and venison pâté from Chop, some cheeses and olives from Pastaworks, smoked duck, some bread and French Breakfast radishes from Zupan’s, and some homemade pickled beets.

The main course was Prime Rib with Horseradish Sauce, Wild Mushroom Gravy, Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, and the Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables that I made last year.

The plan was to cook the Prime Rib in the Big Easy Oil-less Fryer, but after two hours – it was only at 60° F. So, I quickly switched over to the grill – where it immediately caught on fire. I was able to savage it with a roasting rack and a pan but it put everything else in a holding patter – which resulted in overcooking all of the vegetables.  Also, we had planned to have Yorkshire Pudding as well, but realized that it wasn’t going to be possible to do since there were already so many things coming in and out of the oven.

Then for dessert, I had picked up an assortment of pastries as well as some sea salt and caramel macrons from Pix Patisserie and Zupan’s. My sister had made a Pecan Pie we didn’t even get to…

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This year, I went all out on the bourbon barrel beers: 2015 BeerMongers Anniversary Ale from The Ale Apothecary – aged in 21-year old Elijah Craig barrels, 2011 Pappy’s Dark from Block 15 – aged in 20-year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels, 2011 Bourbonic Plague from Cascade – aged in bourbon and wine barrels for 18 months before aging on dates and spices for up to an additional 12 months, 2013 Bourbon Little Brother from The Commons – aged in fresh Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for 6 months, 2015 Petit Lee from De Garde – a sour red ale, aged in oak bourbon and wine barrels, and 2015 Barrel-Aged Orange Giant from Ecliptic – aged sixteen months in 12-year-old bourbon barrels.


My sister drove up from California, and instead of going out I decided to do up “The Big Board”. I had three cheeses – Crucolo, D’Affinois and St. Agur – plus bourbon chicken liver mousse from Chop, some smoked duck, garlic cured olives, some homemade pickled carrots and beets and a baguette.

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The beer list for this evening was a bit extensive… Gose from pFriem, Petit Azacca from De Garde, Colorado Wild Sage Mountain Saison (made with wild white sage) from Crooked Stave and Peach Panache (a saison aged with white peaches in a vermouth barrel) from Heathen. With dessert, we had a Rum Barrel Cavatica Stout from Fort George and London Balling (a bourbon barrel aged barelywine) from Against the Grain.