Brewing up a meal, and then someBeer will be on the menu...

TIDBITS

April 10, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff Writer

Brewing up a meal, and then some

Beer will be on the menu as well as in the glass when Candy Schermerhorn, author of the the "Great American Beer Cookbook," comes to Sisson's, South Baltimore's restaurant-microbrewery, on April 18. Ms. Schermerhorn will be available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to sign copies of her book. Then, at 7 p.m., chef Bill Aydlett will prepare a dinner using dishes from the book, as well as his own recipes for cooking with beer. Each course will be accompanied by a beer that complements the flavors of the food; beers from a number of local microbreweries will be included. Hugh Sisson, proprietor and brew-master, says Ms. Schermerhorn is "probably the best beer-and-food matcher I've ever encountered."

Price of the dinner is $45 per person, and includes tax and gratuity. Five dollars of the price will benefit the Mid-Atlantic Association Small Brewers. Reservations are necessary, as seating is limited. Call (410) 539-2093. Sisson's is located at 36 E. Cross St.

To whet your appetite, here's a sample recipe from the "Great American Beer Cookbook" (Brewers Publications, Boulder, Col., 1993, $24.95; recipe reprinted with permission).

Stout and whiskey truffles

Makes 3 dozen

1/3 cup stout

3 tablespoons heavy cream

4 tablespoons sweet butter

1/2 to 2/3 cup powdered sugar (to sweeten very dark chocolate)

8 ounces good-quality extra-dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 tablespoons good-quality whiskey or Bailey's Irish Cream

1/2 cup pecans, toasted at 350 degrees for 12 minutes and chopped (see note)

1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

Heat stout, heavy cream, butter and powdered sugar until bubbles form around the edges.

Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring constantly until completely melted and smooth.

Stir in the whiskey or Irish cream liqueur and nuts.

Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 4 hours. Use a melon baller or a small HTC scoop to form the mixture into rough ball shapes.

Roll in Dutch-process cocoa powder. Keep cool or refrigerate.

Note: Watch nuts to make sure they don't burn. Copies of the cookbook can be ordered from the publisher. Call (303) 447-0816.

There's something endearing and enduring about cooking shows on television. Everything looks easy, and the chefs are relentlessly cheerful and encouraging. Of course you can do it. And the information is valuable, too. So cooking show fans will be pleased to know that the Learning Channel is introducing three new cooking-entertaining shows. Two made their debuts this spring: "Yvonne's Cookbook," with Los Angeles entertainment consultant and party planner Yvonne E. White; and "Biba's Italian Kitchen," with Italian-born chef and restaurateur Biba Caggiano. And, starting in July, there will be "Caprial's Cafe," with Pacific Northwest chef Caprial Pence.

"Yvonne's Cookbook" will cover such topics as cake decorating, quick-and-easy meal preparation, and holding a wedding at home. Guests will also share culinary secrets: Nancy Silverton of L.A.'s La Brea Bakery will demonstrate how to bake bread, and actor Blair Underwood will offer creative ways with leftovers. Ms. Caggiano will prepare dishes from her cookbooks, with an emphasis on fresh, traditional ingredients. Ms. Pence will offer a guided tour from ingredient selection to cooking to presentation to finding the perfect wine to match a meal.

The Learning Channel is a service of Discovery Networks, which also operates the Discovery Channel. Consult your local cable-TV schedule for show times.

What's up, Doc? Well, try "Bottoms up," with the new Looney Tunes drinking glasses from Welch's brand jam and jelly. Glasses from the original series, in 1974, have become collector's items, Welch's says. The new reunion series will feature 12 cartoon characters, including Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, Tweety, Road Runner and Daffy Duck. The glasses will contain 10 ounces of Welch's grape jelly, grape jam or strawberry spread. Jams and jellies offer a low-fat snack alternative; a 1-tablespoon serving of Welch's jelly has 50 calories, no fat and no cholesterol, and 13 grams of carbohydrates. The glasses will be available throughout 1994, wherever Welch's is sold. Suggested retail price is 99 cents to $1.29.

*The second annual National Capital Barbecue Battle is seeking contestants for this year's event, to take place June 25-26 at Washington Harbour Park in Georgetown. More than $10,000 will be awarded in cash and prizes. Entry areas are pork ribs, pork shoulder, whole hog, chicken, beef, and sausage. There will also be a barbecue-sauce judging. For more information, call (703) 319-0101.

*Most people know garlic is good for you, but how does it work? A study at Penn State conducted on rats concludes that garlic "markedly stifles" production of the fatty acids triglyceride and cholesterol in the animals' livers. Excess fatty acids in the blood lead to clogged arteries, a major risk for heart disease. Reports on a human study will be out this summer.

*There's still time to sign up for a class sponsored by the Art Lovers' League and Innovative Gourmet on "Grande Finales" Wednesday evening. Chef Barry Fleischman offers a cooking demonstration on dazzling desserts. The class lasts from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the catering firm's kitchen at 11 D & E Gwynn's Mill Court in Owings Mills. For reservations, call the Art Lovers' League at (410) 486-9552.

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