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  1. Thursday, April 16

    Mark and Barb’s Beer Brats

    Last weekend when we were driving through Southern Utah seeing the beautiful sights, the kids and I stayed at my Uncle Mark and Auntie Barb’s house in St. George. We had been driving all day long and, when we arrived at their house, they had a big pan of beer brats on the stove. It was so nice to have dinner waiting, especially a dinner as delicious as this one!

    recipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynard

    Barbara explained how she and Mark cook their brats and I made them myself just two days later! This is definitely my new favorite way to cook brats. And it’s super easy, with just three ingredients!

    recipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynardrecipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynard

    There are few notes throughout the recipe with hints and tips. I figured it’s better to just put all that info right into the recipe instead of here in the blog post. Enjoy!!!

    recipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynard

    Mark and Barb's Beer Brats
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Mark and Barbara are my aunt and uncle and they make the best beer brats ever.
    Author:
    Serves: 6
    Ingredients
    • 6 Brats (Barbara used Johnsonville; I went shopping at Sprouts this week and bought the brats at their meat counter, which were GIANT, so I only cooked 4. I actually preferred the Johnsonville brats.)
    • 2 onions, cut in half then sliced into ½" - ¾" slices
    • 24 ounces beer, or enough to cover the brats and onions in the pan (Barbara used Miller High Life; I tried the recipe with Negra Modelo. Both beers were delicious - the Miller has a lighter flavor, the Negra yields a darker, stronger, richer flavor...I don't have a favorite, they're both fabulous!)
    Instructions
    1. Place the sliced onions and the brats in a high-sided skillet. Pour beer over the brats and onions until they are covered.
    2. Heat over medium-high heat to bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes, until the brats are cooked through (internal temperature 170º F). Make sure brats are simmering, not boiling, but you don't want the heat too low so that they're not cooking.
    3. Remove the brats from the pan and set aside on a plate.
    4. Cook onions until beer is almost completely cooked off, leaving you with saucy onions.
    5. Add brats back to the pan, raise heat to medium and keep them on the heat until they are hot again.
    6. Serve brats smothered in the onions on buns of your choice with mustard of your choice.
    Notes
    Barbara mentioned sometimes they'll make these ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them. When it's time to eat them, if frozen be sure to defrost, then heat the brats up on the grill and heat the onions in the microwave or on the stove.

     


  2. Thursday, December 4

    Drunken Mushrooms + A Mexican Food Tour of the Mission with Rick Bayless

    This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. All opinions are 100% my own and I can’t wait to share this post with you!

    I am super excited for today’s post because it is filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful, including a recipe for drunken mushrooms that are pretty much perfection.

    recipe for drunken mushrooms inspired by rick bayless by @janemaynard

    Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to San Francisco for a Mexican food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless. You guys, Rick Bayless. We were walking around the streets of San Francisco with RICK BAYLESS. It was beyond cool and here’s the proof!

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto courtesy of Negra Modelo and Vanessa Bahmani

    Our first stop on the Negra Modelo Mexican food walking tour was a tortilleria. The tortillas were unreal, like no tortilla I’ve ever tasted. Rick Bayless talked about how most tortillas today are made from maseca, not from scratch using masa, but that tortillas made with masa are infinitely better. He’s totally right and, consequently, I have begun a hunt here in San Diego to find a tortilleria just like the one we visited in San Francisco (wish me luck!). Rick Bayless also told us that Chicago is the top producer of tortillas in the world. That’s right, the world, even above Mexico City, and that the abundance of great tortillas is one of the reasons he opened Frontera Grill in Chicago.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The second stop on the tour was a Mexican butcher. It was beyond fascinating and we learned that the way Mexican butchers cut up meat is totally different than American butchers. We also learned the history of carne asada in the United States. That’s a whole blog post of its own, we’ll have to chat over coffee so I can share that story with you.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The last stop on the walking food tour was La Reyna Mexican bakery. We had the chance to sample all kinds of sweet goodness and it was endearing to have the grandson of the original owner tell us all about the bakery.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    Once the tour was done we attended an after party, complete with Negra Modelo, wonderful Mexican food and more fascinating information from Rick Bayless. I swear we could have sat there and listened to him talk for 6 hours straight and have been enraptured the entire time. Here are a few of the Rick Bayless gems I walked away with:

    • Rick Bayless never uses jalapenos because they are completely unpredictable when it comes to the level of heat. He relies most heavily on poblanos in his cooking.
    • Rick Bayless doesn’t understand green bell peppers and I am, and always have been, in complete agreement!
    • If you want to start cooking with dried chiles, ancho and guajillo are good to start with and go well together.
    • We also learned about the confusion that is ancho and pasilla chiles…but it would take me a whole post to tell you about it. We can talk about that over coffee as well, the same day we talk carne asada. 😉
    • Rick Bayless uses Negra Modelo beer in his restaurant, including in ice cream! He likes that Negra Modelo is a medium-bodied beer with slow-roasted caramel malts, which yields a soft sweetness that works well in cooking. Which leads us to today’s recipe…

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto with Rick Bayless courtesy of Irvin Lin from Eat the Love

    During the party I had the chance to chat with Rick along with my friends Anita and Annelies. While we were talking I asked him what his favorite thing to cook with Negra Modelo is. He answered by saying that if a chef ever tells you that they have a favorite food, that they are probably not a very good chef because true chefs love all food and flavors. 🙂 Despite his lack of a favorite, he did tell us how to make really wonderful mushrooms.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynarddrunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    So, here is my recipe for Drunken Mushrooms, as inspired by Rick Bayless. These mushrooms really are fantastic, with layers of flavor that are subtle and all play beautifully with one another. Rick said he uses these mushooms in queso flameado, which I am sure is amazing. But I am also confident that these mushrooms would be delicious topped on burgers, chicken, steak and pizza. In fact, I made pizza with olive oil, bacon and drunken mushrooms for dinner last night and it was scrumptious.

    drunken mushrooms recipe from @janemaynarddrunken mushroom bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    Drunken Mushrooms
     
    This recipe was inspired by tips shared with me by Rick Bayless.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bacon drippings from a 10-ounce package of bacon
    • 8 ounces white or baby bell mushrooms, sliced
    • ¼ cup Negra Modelo beer
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
    Instructions
    1. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are about half-way cooked.
    2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the beer, cooking and stirring until mushrooms are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to tasted (a few pinches of kosher salt and a shake of pepper should do it).
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the epazote or cilantro.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    Big thank you to Negra Modelo and to Rick Bayless for spending an afternoon with us! It is a day I will not soon forget! Be sure to visit the Negra Modelo site for even more Rick Bayless recipes!


  3. Wednesday, March 26

    Boozy Beef Stew

    Apparently it’s still snowing in some places. CRAZY. It’s even chilly and drizzly here in San Diego (don’t worry, I am not complaining), so I think we’re all probably in the mood for some cozy food.

    boozy beef stew from @janemaynard

    My sister-in-law Cora made beef stew for the family this past summer and it was sublime. I make a pretty good beef stew, but hers was definitely better. I finally got around to bugging her for the recipe and, as usual, she obliged. She’s good like that.

    boozy beef stew from @janemaynard

    Cora sort of follows Ree’s seef stew with beer and paprika recipe but changes a few things up. I followed her lead and ended up with this most delicious stew. The sauce is so rich in flavor, the meat so tender, the veggies cooked to perfection.

    boozy beef stew from @janemaynard

    Yes, it’s called Boozy Beef Stew. Because there are two bottles of beer in the pot and how can you not name it Boozy Beef Stew with all that beer involved? Never fear, it doesn’t taste like a bottle of beer with a few chunks of meat thrown in. It just tastes good. So good.

    boozy beef stew from @janemaynard

    Also, this recipe gives me an excuse to use one of my most favorite items in the kitchen – a bottle opener we got from Nate’s great-grandma Rose’s home when she moved into assisted living at age 99. We don’t drink around here, so this cute little bottle opener doesn’t get much action. But when I do take it out, it always makes me happy.

    rose's bottle opener from @janemaynard

    I modified the recipe just a bit so it is quite literally a one-pot dinner. I hate washing dishes. A lot. You’ll be able to cook it all in one pot, no extra dishes required! (Well, you will have to use a knife and cutting board, but that doesn’t count, right?)

    boozy beef stew from @janemaynardboozy beef stew from @janemaynard

    Now, go booze up your beef.

    (>> Find out more…)