Tag Archives: Brooklyn Brewing

Team Zesty Bean Dog Takes FIRST PLACE Judges Pick in The Food Experiments Taco Experiment in Austin Texas!!!

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Wow! I’m still so freaking excited that Evan and I won first place in the professional judges panel! I’m even more excited to announce that my two best friends (Liz and Kyle of Sous Me Alchemy) placed first in the public vote AND they will be going to Brooklyn to compete in December (we may have to pack it up and be your food groupies Liz and Kyle)! We both competed last year in 2011- ZestyBeanDog winning 3rd in Judges Pick. Ever since that day I knew I wanted to win first place!!! Our friends the Holy Smokers took 2nd Judges and 2nd Public this year, last year they were the Public champions and went to Brooklyn! Way to go everyone!

ZestyBeanDog made taco that was the “buzz of the afternoon” according to the judges. We made a Pecan smoked duck taco, topped with a duck egg and Brooklyn Lager aioli, a Yuzu Serrano quick pickle slaw, and corn tortilla crispies fried in duck fat all on the bed of a warm homemade flour tortilla (made at 5am that morning). We used all local ingredients from Austin TX. We were even told that our taco was a “smokey, ducky, juicy, crispy BLT of a taco which made the judges swoon”.

The days leading up to the big event recap:

  • Friday, we started preparing things and collecting our last min needs like charcoal and wood chips, etc.
  • Saturday I made a final shopping round to the Cedar Park Farmer’s Market, prepped even more evan deboned the ducks, I popped a pork shoulder in the oven (because we all have to eat too and that was the dish we made last year). Yes I know that may be crazy to cook two major dishes at once but it was worth it and the pork shoulder cooks itself basically! ;) Smoked 4 ducks over the evening. Made the duck egg aioli and duck fat crispies! Even made a duck liver pate with all of the innards from the duck (thanks for that Lori)! Then sweet sweet SLEEP! (with a time change)….
  • Sunday 5am = tortilla making time (it took me 5 tries to get these little things down over the course of 2 months). Slice 4 ducks, chop slaw, make yuzu sauce, and pack it all up! I know I must be forgetting something oh yes my camera (Lori and Dave go get it). Set up table and food, crack open first Brooklyn Lager… and prepare for the calm before the storm! Over 300 people came, the event sold out and reached capacity! There was even a CELEBRITY there Matt Lillard, from Scream, Scooby Doo, Ect… apparently he’s now producing his first movie: Fat Kid Rules the World and he tried our smoked duck tacos AND said it was amazing, he tried to come back for seconds… but we were out, I hope he voted for ZBD! Keep in mind this is event is going on all at the same time as SXSW, Austin’s Biggest event each year!
  • When we got home we celebrated by opening a Brooklyn Black Ops (we won 3 last year at this event) and I made a pizza from scratch, sometime you just have to have pizza! Then we crashed hard! Competitive cooking takes it out of you! I’m still tired!

I put a lot of thought and effort into the vision of this dish as soon as I got that email from The Food Experiments telling me that Taco time was nearing! After several experimentations (some being slight failures and almost even changing our dish) we decided we had to do smoked whole ducks. My husband Evan was my biggest critic and that helped us win no doubt about it (even though I wanted to stab him with a fork a couple of times…). We work great as a team and when I want to give up or take an easy way out, he won’t let me no matter how much I fight it! Thanks for that E! Also thanks for rolling out of bed first thing in the morning and deboning 4 whole ducks :) I’d also like to thank our friends and family that came to support us and watch it all go down, we really couldn’t have done it without you and of course the Brooklyn Brewery Food Experiments team led by Theo Peck- you are all amazing!

We totally took this competition on at full force and it it paid off, big time. I couldn’t be more happy with our placing in this event, to me judges first place is what I wanted all a long, the top pick by well known food critics in Austin. They know food, they know what makes it balanced and successful, and they know how to talk about it! I truly feel ecstatic that they chose our dish because they thought it was the best of them all- and to me that’s worth more than any trip or prize. The judges panel consisted of Addie Broyles from the Austin-Statesman, Claudia Alarcon of The Chronicle and Zagat, Virginia Wood, Food Editor of The Austin Chronicle, and local Austin Food Blogger Stella Floyd of Stella Cooks . Thanks to all of them for their hard work!

We did win some pretty sweet prizes though from the oh so gracious sponsors: A 12″ Anolon Skillet, a 4.5 Quart Le Creuset French Oven, a WHOLE brisket from Franklin BBQ (the BEST BBQ in Austin), a Wusthof knife, the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, a Microplane, T-Shirts, some SWEET Chameleon Cold Brew, and BRAGGING RIGHTS!!!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Marx Foods for expediting me some Yuzu at a great price! Thanks guys!

We made it in the media:

Culture MAP

Food Experiments

MSNBC

Brooklyn Brewery

Austin American Statesman

AustinFoodBlogs.net

To All My Fellow Bloggers…. Thank YOU for giving me inspiration and supporting me through reading and commenting on my blog you are what fuels my fire! Sorry for neglecting my blog over the past month and not being as active as I’d like on your incredible blogs! Cheers and MUCH LOVE!

ZestyBeanDog Has Been Deep In The Test Kitchen…

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Sorry I haven’t been around much, I’ve been experimenting as you may already know. This is my second year to be involved in The Food Experiments Culinary Battle. I cannot wait for my husband and I to compete against Austin’s best amateur chefs!  This stuff isn’t easy but it sure is FUN. Last year I was not on top of my game at all, this year I’m more than ready- so look out! :)

Last weekend we went to the Houston Experiment because my friends Lori and Dave were competing. It was a great time and we tried so many great dishes and some not so great dishes ;) They made an awesome beer braised pork belly on a bed of drunken slaw. They didn’t place this time but I’m sure next year they will bring the heat  x100! The winner of the Houston Experiment were actually our table neighbors at the Austin Pork Experiment on 2011: Magic Hops / Pork & Grits Under the Influence. They had a great dish, and the public thought so as well! They will be coming to Austin to root on the Taco Experimenters as well as going to Brooklyn to compete! My friends Lori and Dave and my parents will also be coming up from Houston to support the ZBD, among many others in Austin! Much love to them!

Evan and I have been experimenting for the last month and half and I must say we are quite happy with our taco! It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser-no doubt! Tomorrow we will meet at the Gingerman for our “Meet and Greet” (aka sizing the competition up) with the other chefs. The grand prize is a trip to Brooklyn to compete with all of the other winners from around the world.

I wonder what’s in that smoker… You will find none of our secrets here so stop looking! ;)

If you live in Austin/or are going to SXSW this is the place to be on Sunday buy tickets in advance. You pick the winner, enjoy 25 sweet sweet samples of topnotch food and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. See you there! Now back to the kitchen (and work).

Brooklyn Black Ops Russian Imperial Stout Cheesecake

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This cheese cake is sinfully good without the Brooklyn Black Ops Chocolate Sauce, when the two meet it’s ridiculously… dangerously good. Be sure to have some friends around when it’s done or you may just end up eating the whole cheesecake!

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I know some of you may be thinking why would she waste a rare delicious beer on cheesecake… okay well it was only 4 oz and I live in Texas it’s already 98 degrees outside- I wanted a pint of Black Ops and I also wanted to try a sauce with it… solution was a win win- I had my pint and made this cheesecake in 98 degree weather. Would you expect anything less from a Food Experiments Pork Experiment 3rd place winner, I think not :)

Ingredients

-15-20 graham crackers, crushed
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
-1 1/2 cups white sugar
-3/4 cup milk
-4 eggs
-1 cup sour cream
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-4 oz Brooklyn Black Ops, (good luck finding it, I won this at The Food Experiments : Pork Experiment for third place…3 bottles…) in that case use a stout that you love. Drink the rest of the beer with the cheesecake or dinner.
-1 C. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, get some good ones!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour-cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking.
5. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and then add the stout and blend until fully mixed. Let cool down for about 20 min.
5. Pour the stout chocolate sauce on top and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Enjoy, Cheers!

Forgive Me I’ve Been Experimenting… With Pork

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Sorry the blog has come to a screeching halt for the past two weeks, there’s a PERFECTLY good explanation I promise.  I’ve been endlessly experimenting with foods for my “Pork Experiment” dish in the evenings instead of blogging!

It’s been fun and I’m just tweaking little details here and there to get ready for the big day, SUNDAY.

What I’ve got in the fridge:

  • 15lbs of pork shoulder from a local farm in Bastrop TX, Bershire Pork!
  • Homemade pickles, that are increasing with flavor as we speak.
  • Homemade mustard that’s almost done.
  • Some delicious baby swiss…
  • Some other secrets that I cannot divulge at this time!

About the Event:

Cookoff pros Nick Suarez and Theo Peck are excited to present Austin’s first ever Pork Experiment, an amateur cookoff involving Austin’s finest home chefs. Dishes will range from savory to sweet and will feature our favorite ingredient – Pork. Sharpen your knifes, this is a call to all home chefs looking to be named Austin’s next cookoff king or queen.

Winners will not only achieve culinary glory, but will be flown to Brooklyn, NY to compete in the National cookoff title, the super-bowl of cookoffs held at Brooklyn Brewery.

Prizes:

• A free Trip to Brooklyn!

Franklin’s BBQ – 10 Person “Pork Party” – The winner would receive a party for 10 people to include…
• 1 whole pork butt to be eaten at Franklins.
• Also includes pork vinegar sauce, slaw and potato salad, bread and a reserved table for you to “shred” the pork.
*Also include 1 draft beer per person 21 or older.

• Foreign and Domestic $100 gift certificate

• CASH CASH CASH

• Chameleon Cold Brew – Great Product and Cash Bounty

• Foodie Cards – Discount dining card with $30 credit on them

• Le Creuset Cookware

• Crif Dogs one of a kind skateboard

• Brooklyn Slate Beverage Coasters

Come out and support Evan and I, we will be working as a team and would love to see you there!  GET TIX HERE