My office closed a little early for the long holiday weekend so it afforded me a perfect opportunity to get a jump on New Beer Friday with New Belgium’s Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale.
I’ve always been partial to Fall and Winter offerings but as a seasonal brew, this one pretty much nails Summer right on the head.
Heavy Melon pours a orange/honey color with almost three full fingers of frothy white head and significant lacing on the glass. The fruit aroma is fragrant from the moment the bottle is cracked and opens up further as it is poured into the glass.
Contrary to the name, this is a light and airy brew with plenty of carbonation. The first pull gives the flavor of melon and while I can taste the namesake watermelon, I also get a little more honeydew than I was expecting. The melon mellows out a little until the back-end where there’s a combination of wheat and lime that really comes through to balance out the sweetness.
It’s pretty obvious that this brew was made for people who don’t really like beer, but that’s okay; I found it enjoyable all the same. In fact, this particular beverage will likely follow me to a few Memorial Day Weekend events I have on tap.
And speaking of Memorial Day, don’t forget to pause for a second to remember why we’ve got that long weekend. Beer is freedom and while you’re enjoying yours, remember to thank those whose sacrifices bought and paid for that freedom.
Tried New Belgium’s Heavy Melon? Leave a message in the comments section!
And remember… the food abides…
With some remaining Abita Louisiana Spiced Ale left over from New Beer Friday I wanted to steer dinner towards something spicy that it would pair well with and I’ve been thinking of Jambalaya for a while now.
This Jambalaya is extremely simple. You just put everything in the pot and let it do its thing. And since I don’t eat red meat, the Andouille Chicken Sausage is a perfect substitute if you can find it. I have tried this in the past with uncooked chicken added at the beginning but I didn’t like the result because you had to cook it longer which dried everything out. Cooked chicken added at the end with the shrimp seems to work better and its still plenty of time for the flavors to meld.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of water
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium cloves of garlic minced
1/2 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 Andouille Chicken Sausage sliced on the bias
1 cooked, chicken breast sliced into short strips.
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined.
Add oil, water, stock, sausage, parsley, bay leaf, cayenne pepper and rice into a large non-stick saucepan and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is cooked and absorbs most of the liquid. Stir in shrimp and chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Take off heat and let stand with the cover still on for another 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with a little more cayenne pepper and some salt or a little bit of hot sauce (I’m a fan of Frank’s Red Hot).
It’s that easy folks. This is a very low maintenance recipe so it’s perfect if you’re entertaining. Next time I may try my hand at some seafood gumbo but this worked rather well with the beer, so I’d consider it a successful pairing.
Have a favorite Jambalaya or Cajun recipe? Leave a message in the comments section!
And remember… the food abides…