Today marks the end of a week and a half long celebration of beer in Los Angeles, surely evidence that although California has long been wine country, beer culture is growing rapidly.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I was asked (for the first time in my history as owner of Small Pleasures Catering) to design a menu for a party where only kegs of beer would be served. Okay, I have to disclose that yes, I am an oenophile, but much of the rest of the world is made up of beer lovers, so who am I to argue. Beer is not only the world’s #2 consumed beverage after tea- and the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage, but it’s also the perfect complement to many of the spicy ethnic cuisines (like Mexican, Chinese and Korean- foods traditionally difficult to pair with wine), that we love here in Los Angeles.
And of course, it’s no doubt the favored beverage to serve at football season parties, so here we are, just in time.
So what are some perfect foods to serve at your beer party. Start with Queso Fundido with Roasted Chiles, a sort of Mexican version of fondue (with freshly fried tortillas strips to scoop it up). Consider offering Mini Blackened Sliders with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions, Spicy Chinese Chicken Salad in Chinese take out cartons with chopsticks for easy service, and those Korean Tacos that we Angelenos are crazy for, is a no brainer.
So drink up- and here’s a great recipe for Queso Fundido to get you started.
3 roasted poblano peppers
2 roasted jalapeños
1 cup diced onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cream
1/4 cup water
8 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
8 ounces Jack cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and freshly ground
Fresh tortilla chips
1. Cut the roasted chiles into strips.
2. Saute the onions and garlic in the butter, until soft.
3. Add the cream and water. Bring to a simmer, then whisk in the two cheeses.
4. Serve in a fondue dish or warmed bowl. Sprinkle with ground cumin seeds.
Serve with fresh tortillas chips.
Gisele Perez, aka the L.A. Food Examiner, is also the L.A. Party Planning Examiner, and the owner of Small Pleasures Catering in Los Angeles. Her contact info is Gisele@smallpleasurescatering.com