Autumn Maple is a beautiful thing. Chock full of yams and the perennial potpourri of pumpkin pie spices, it’s pretty much a natural choice to have alongside a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But that’s just a little too predictable for you, isn’t it? You want to dig a little deeper because you’re a gourmand. You’re clever... and I like that about you.
Funny enough, when I gave Saison Rue a shout out in a piece I did on beer pairing last year, I got an email shortly thereafter from The Bruery’s Director of Marketing, Benjamin Weiss, exclaiming, “You put a Bruery beer in a Thanksgiving article… and it wasn't Autumn Maple?! You are crazy!!!”
So, what else could you pair with Autumn Maple? I thought you’d never ask. Here are a few of my favorite things to match it up with:
- Brie with fig jam and almonds. Take a wedge—or a whole wheel—of Brie or Camembert and split it in half horizontally. (A long bread knife works well for this, and you want the cheese to be cold.) Smear a thin layer of fig jam over the bottom half. Top with chopped marcona almonds. (Bonus points for adding a little bit of caramelized onion, too.) Replace the top half over the dainty bottom, press down slightly, and let guests smear it on crostini or crackers. Or just grab a spoon when nobody’s looking… and commence shoveling into your face. Nobody’s judging you here.
- Roasted Brussels sprouts. Halve them, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan and cook at 375°F for about 30 minutes. Add copious amounts of minced garlic, return to the oven, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Risotto al funghi. Gotta love the hearty, earthy romance that ‘shrooms bring to the classic Italian comfort food. Want in on a little secret? That whole stir forever on the stovetop thing? Fugghedaboudit. Baked risotto is the way to go. Super easy and still nice and creamy. Here’s a favorite recipe of mine.
- Pork loin or pork chops rubbed with mustard, minced garlic and rosemary, and roasted with sliced apples and red onion. I don’t eat meat anymore, but it would be selfish of me not to share this porcine delight with you. Whatever you do, don’t overcook it. Medium-rare to medium is where you wanna be. And please seek out pigs that weren’t confined to cages and abused their whole lives.
- Dessert? Of course. The spice mix lends itself well to go up against your favorite coffee cake, apple strudel, and just about anything with white chocolate in it.
- Brunch? Now you’re talking. Not only would it be stellar with French toast/waffles/pancakes, you can also mix some of it into the batter for some seriously excellent results. Stuffed French toast with apples or pears and a touch of mascarpone or crème fraîche would be ridiculous. Not much of sweets person? Fry up some latkes and go to town! L’chaim!
|Randy Clemens is a freelance food & drink writer based in Los Angeles. He’s the co-author of The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. as well as the author of The Sriracha Cookbook and The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook. He also writes about beer for Los Angeles magazine, West Coaster, and Edible Westside. If you’re bored, you can follow his musings on Twitter: @RandyClemensEsq.|
(photos borrowed from TasteSpotting.com, TheKitchn.com, AmandasApron.com, RachelCooks.com)