Category Archives: Gastronomy

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Review: Green’s Gluten Free Beers

Green's Beers

Beer tasting is back. Yesterday I found Green’s Beers in stock at the local BevMo. They had three of their varieties: Quest Tripel Blonde, Discovery Amber, and Endeavour Dubbel Dark. At around $5.50 per 500ml bottle, this is not cheap stuff. But as a deprived enthusiast of the craft ale, this is worth the experiment.

Why this is huge: I used to design my after-hours business travel around looking up whatever highly-rated microbreweries and brewpubs might be in the neighborhood, sample the local taps, and write little reviews of each of ’em. I loved tasting ales across the country – it was a simple and fun hobby, and gave me something to do while having to spend time away from home.

Then I started getting sick with celiac, and when the doctor told me I had to avoid wheat, barley, and rye for life, the only thing that went through my mind was “barley… barley… holy crap!! That means no beer!!!!”

Thankfully I seem to live in a time where gluten-free ale is an emerging market.

Quest Tripel Blonde

Monday: I miss IPA the most. Tripel Blonde sounded most like the description I was looking for, so trying this one first was irresistible. The beer pours clear but then seems to cloud up a bit, with lots of carbonation, and definitley has a light blonde color to it. The aroma was slightly floral, but not too sweet. Taste is great, with plenty of mouthfeel and a nice crisp taste. Definitely a good beer. I could drink this any day. I could use a bit more hops, but I said this about just about every beer I ever tried. OK this pint of beer is listed as being 8.5% ABV, so I might have an interesting time finishing up that ActionScript project I was working on this evening.

Discovery Amber

Tuesday: This beer pours in a nice rich amber color as advertised. There is a distinct hoppy aroma and the character is very ale-like. The beer really tastes damn good actually – lots of mouthfeel similar to the Quest, but I’d venture to say this one tastes even closer to some of the pale ales and amber ales I was used to in the past. If you had to give me my choice between this and the Quest, I’d probably pick this one. In fact, this is the first beer I’ve had since going gluten-free where I felt like there were absolutely no compromises. ABV is 6%.

At this point my recommendation to Green’s is: Open up a North American plant and start distributing these like mad. The Discovery Amber would stand up against any barley-based craft ale.

Endeavor Dubbel Dark

Let me just preface this section by saying that all of the American gluten-free brews I have tried thus far do not come even close to the three beers I have just tried from Green’s. Redbridge is my favorite of the American set, and it is not bad, but these three Green’s varieties are really outstanding.

Now, the dubbel dark was everything I’d expect from a dark beer. Had a similar flavor and character to many of the dark brews I’ve tried when I toured Germany and Austria way back when. Had a dark, malty, almost nutty flavor. Delicious. I transitioned away from dark beer in favor of pale ale over the decade before my celiac diagnosis, but this beer could easily get me back into it. This reminds me of why I liked dark beer in the first place. Note: This is nowhere near a stout, nor should the name ‘dark’ imply stout. It is strictly in the double bock variety and a damn good specimen.

My advice to Green’s is: Having cheap access to Greens would be a reason for me to move to the UK. But I’m sure you guys don’t want that. I would tarniish the place and lower property values. Instead, open up manufacturing in North America, get the price down to something reasonable, and distribute these without reservation. This is the first beer label I’ve tried that really gets it right. Redbridge is great, and way cheaper, but Green’s has the quality part of the bargain hands down.

Zadin

Zadin is a cute little Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco, and dining at here has been my favorite gluten-free dining experience to date. Almost everything on the menu is either gluten-free or can be modified, and they state so clearly on the menu. GF Redbridge beer is on the list too, so obviously these guys have gone way out of their way to accommodate celiacs.

We started with the greens salad and the salt/pepper calamari. The greens salad had these roasted walnuts which were sweet and crunchy – very tasty. The calamari was awesome, with a lemon-y dipping sauce.

Next we ordered some pho. The pho wasn’t bad – quite tasty in fact. Only complaint was the beef slices were not all that plentiful.

We finished off with the shaken beef – this was an outsanding dish with very tender beef slices paired with fried yams. Crazy good stuff.

When we got there around 7 PM on a Saturday evening, I was surprised to find it nearly empty. But the place filled up in no time and the clientelle seemed to be enjoying themselves muchly.

Vote for Food Allergies

Martha Stewart is hosting a competition within her company to help staff members contribute to generating new strategic directions. She is down to seven finalists, one of which (Alexis) is proposing a publication dedicated to food allergies. Here’s her abstract:

To publish a special magazine that offers delicious allergy-friendly recipes, making life for people with food allergies and sensitivities easier and more delicious. Millions of people, including myself, can’t eat nuts, dairy, wheat or gluten, and I’d like to empower people to make great recipes even if they can’t use all the standard ingredients.

Vote for Alexis’ proposal and get Martha Stewart on the bandwagon! 1 in 133 Americans can’t be wrong…

Gluten-Free Bao Wan Recipe

Bao wan are these killer little dumplings that I love to have whenver we go to Taiwan. I haven’t had these since the celiac diagnosis, but Yingwen and one of our friends came up with this recipe and they are delicious. Here is the recipe.

bao wan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 12 oz. potato startch
  • 1 lb. chopped, minced, or ground chicken or pork
  • gluten-free soy sauce (black bean soy sauce or wheat-free tamari both work fine)
  • 1 cup rice wine
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 to 6 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 cup Shittake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • white pepper to taste
  • chili sauce to taste
  • cooking oil

Equipment:

  • large pot (for boiling)
  • wok
  • large steamer
  • mixing bowl
  • 12 small bowls approximately 3″ to 4″ in diameter (small rice bowls work great)

Skin: Combine rice flour and water and bring to boil. Let cool until the mixture appears sticky. Mix in potato starch and set aside.

Filling: Combine meat, rice wine, sugar, garlic, bamboo, mushrooms, soy sauce, and rice wine in a mixing bowl and stir fry. Set aside.

Use cooking oil to grease the inside of the rice bowls. Using the rice bowls, wrap the filling inside the skins so that no filling is sticking out. Each bowl should be filled to the top.

bao wan in the steamer

Place the bowls in the steamer and steam them for 28 minutes. Let cool, cover with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Bao wan should then be fairly firm to touch.

Reheat them in a microwave or steamer, cover with chili sauce, white pepper, and cilantro to taste, and enjoy!

Mandarin version:

米粉1杯加7杯水,攪拌一起煮,煮到成糨糊狀,等冷卻( 我都拿到後院涼較快)
米粉冷卻後,加入片栗粉(potato starch, not sweet potato starch) 12 oz, 一起攪拌
現在肉圓皮有了.可以炒內餡
內餡材料有;
雞胸切丁塊,罐頭筍. 香菇, 加醬油,酒, 蒜頭,白胡椒。不用炒熟(因要蒸29-30 分)
準備12小碗,碗要油抹過, 先層皮,中間內餡加入,在層皮
蒸29-30 分
之後加甜辣醬,好吃.

這個食譜對我這種料理白癡來說,實在太easy 了