Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Maudite New Year's Eve

I saw an add in Vue or See Magazine, probably both, about a month ago for a New Year's Eve dinner at Sugarbowl that would include four Brooklyn Brewery inspired dishes and the accompanying beer for $50 per person. In true Marianne and Charles fashion, we procrastinated and didn't manage to get a reservation before spots filled up. So instead I decided to make our own beer inspired meal (although it would definitely not be four courses).

Unibroue always has great recipes on their site, and with a few bottles of Maudite in the fridge, and a pack of short ribs in the freezer, we were good to go for 'Maudite Spare Ribs with maple syrup'. As directed, I boiled the ribs with a bottle of Maudite and water the night before, throwing them in a container with the marinade over night. The big obstacle was the grilling. Our balcony door is generally frozen shut for most of the winter, so before I was able to get to the grill I ended up crouching next to the sliding door for a few minutes with my hair dryer melting the ice away (sadly no pictures of this glorious finish to 2010).

In the mean time the suggested side of sweet potatoes were seasoned with salt, paprika, curry powder, pepper and some olive oil, and popped in the oven, while Charles worked away at a salad.

We were pretty happy with the outcome of the meal. Next time a little more beer during the pre-marinade cooking stage is in order, but other than that, we'll definitely be making this again. I also wanted to make the 'Caramel Pudding Cake with Don de Dieu' for dessert, but with no bottle of the brew to be found, I decided to pick up a Paris-Brest from Duchess instead while there with my Dad during the day. A couple days later I did find a bottle of Don de Dieu, so the cake is planned for Friday.

After dinner we went to a New Years Eve concert at McDougall Church put on by the Food Bank and the church itself. I expected it to be packed when we arrived a little late, but there were seats throughout and eventually we made our way to the second floor where we bumped into more than a few 'Folkies'. The concert itself was great, with Bill Bourne finishing and causing dancers and singers to suddenly emerge. In the midst of everything I also got my face painted (done by a ten year old, it's supposed to be a firework... I loved the neon, though it was difficult to wash off). Finishing things with a 10:30 rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne', we wandered off to Churchill Square to check things out.

Admission to the concert was a Food Bank donation

I have to say we were disappointed with the state of things in the Square. With a lengthy changeover on stage, most of the activities shut down and no vendors selling hot drinks, we found most people in a lengthy snaking line at the Second Cup across the street or hanging around waiting for the possibility of more music. Unsure what to do with an hour before the fireworks, we simply decided to grab the bus home and miss the crowds. With people seemingly willing to head downtown for New Year's celebrations, it's unfortunate a bit more of a show can't take place, maybe combining some of the festivals utilizing the space during the summer would be a possible option. At any rate, we arrived home, rang in 2011 with a string of international fireworks via internet and put on a little 30 Rock.

So happy 2011 to you and yours. Here's to lots of great food (and drink).


Maki said...

Happy New Year to the two of you!

We're Maudite fans at our house too, though our fave is Fin du Monde and we have a Chambly in the fridge now.

Sorry that the fireworks downtown didn't work out. I would have done the same and gone home.

A Canadian Foodie said...

What a lovely, personal, and memorable evening! Home cooking is always the best and Vanja would LOVE a beer paired menu. I have never even heard of this beer (No surprise - don't drink beer, BUT, I do listen...)
Anyway - wonderful idea to go to the concert. It sounded lovely. And, here's hoping someone from the city planning event is listening to your feedback about the events on the square NYE. So sad it wasn't well planned, really. What a disappointment. You would have found me heading home, too.
I knew you'd do something special!

Marianne said...

Maki - Yay for Unibroue! I'm always there for Chambly - yum.

Valerie - Thanks! I'm with Vanja. I've been dreaming of a beer paired menu for awhile, and the Unibroue line (which Maudite comes from) is perfect for pairing/cooking.

It's just so disappointing given all the great festivals and events we have in the City, and I don't understand why New Year's Eve downtown can't be something great.

Hope you guys had a great New Year's Eve! Happy New Year!

Darrell said...

All the best to you & Charles in 2011!

Really enjoy the Maudite, the spare ribs sound great! My cooking with beer recently was an Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie-marinated pork loin chop in a pipian mole sauce.Yes I admit I cheated on the sauce. Tienda Latina has Dona Maria Mole sauce & the pipian variety has ground pumpkin & sesame seeds as well as ground peanuts. Great meal with rice-ok, small-grain pasta...think sunflower seeds-& veggies.

I discovered another superb Quebec beer at Keg'n'Cork(99th & about 34th ave). A wheat ale called Dominus Vobiscum Blanche from Microbrasserie Charlevoix...lemon nicely rounded off with chamomile-excellent change from the darker beers I'd been drinking.


Marianne said...

I love the Pumpkin Pie ale - great idea. I'd cheat on the mole sauce too. I still haven't been to Tienda Latina yet, but I'll definitely make a point of it - that mole sounds fantastic!

Thanks, Darrell. That one is on the list, as is the Keg 'n' Cork itself. I've been into some lighter beers lately, mostly of the Unibroue variety for some reason. Although Sugarbowl has an Aztec chocolate stout right now that isn't as chocolatey as I'd like (the Brooklyn Brewery chocolate is my favourite), but it has a nice cayenne kick I can't resist.

Happy New Year!