Hopped Up Eugene

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To say that there is great beer in the good state of Oregon is easy. To say that about another state, as an Oregonian, is a little harder. However, I have good friends spread across the country and they have endeavored to “open my eyes” as it were, by trading beers with me. Packages have been received and shipped. It has been a great summer in that regard. Sad to say, the dog days of summer are nearly over, but we can still enjoy the fruits of our labor and with a little summer pasta paired with Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA (Frederick, Maryland)

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photo: www.flyingdogbrewery.com

What is a Belgian IPA? A combination of Belgian yeast and American Hops. Sweet fruit and a hopped finish. Not all will find it appealing, but I certainly do. Raging Bitch is a perfect balance of the two, a lighter IPA, not so heavy on the tongue as a local IPA. Refreshing scents of dried orange, mango and yeast. A lovely light amber color with a nice head that left a nice lacing in my Spiegelau glass. A sip reveals a mild sweetness and malt that finishes mildly bitter on the back of the tongue.

Flying Dog’s website suggests pairing this beer with tangy fruit and cheese or cajun spice, and I can see why they suggest this, strong flavors pair with a strong beer. I chose tomatoes from my garden diced up in a lemon pepper pasta with burrata mozzarella on top.This recipe is probably my family’s most favorite, it helps that it only takes the time to boil noodles to get it on the table.

photo 2
www.hophunting.com

[gn_box title=”Ingredients (for a family of 3-4)” color=”#253″]

2 packages of Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta

2 packages Trader Joe’s Burrata Mozzarella

1 container of cherry tomatoes (or from your garden as mine were)

2-3 cloves garlic

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

In a large pot filled with water, add 3/4 tsp salt and a glug of olive oil. The water should taste like the sea. This is absolutely necessary, otherwise your pasta will have no flavor, even though it is lemon pepper. Enhance it, bring that flavor out with salt. The olive oil keeps pasta from sticking. Bring to a boil and add pasta. (Tip: put burrata containers on counter top an hour before you start boiling the water to bring it up to room temperature).

While pasta is boiling slice up your garlic and mash it a bit with the flat of your knife. Put it in a large bowl and add about 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup or more of balsamic, 1/4 tsp salt and a crank of pepper. Slice your tomatoes in half and add them – mix everything around and let them sit. I kind of mash the tomatoes a bit on the side of the bowl.

Add pasta once cooked al dente and toss well. Fill three or four bowls with pasta. Place a whole, or half, ball of burrata on top of the pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Add a pinch of salt. Sit down to enjoy.
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photo 3
www.hophunting.com

How did the two work together? They paired beautifully. My husband and I shared the bottle and wished we had more. Sips of a slightly sweet and bitter beer to balance out the flavors of the sun ripened tangy tomatoes and perfectly cooked lemon pasta. Finished with a silky smooth bite of heavenly burrata.

The beer trade is alive and strong. I enjoy receiving just as much as I love shipping. To be able to share some of Oregon’s bounty of craft beer with my friends across the states, and have the ability to talk about what they are sipping on is fantastic. If you find yourself in need of some Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA, contact Lacey on her website www.hophunting.com for a trade.

As a purveyor of fine foods and excellent beers, I seek out both in my travels. From scoping out breweries in tiny little Utah towns, to charming cheese shops in Paris, I find morsels of goodness in all parts of the world. However, the Pacific Northwest will always be my home, and I love nothing more than spending an hour here and there sampling what this amazing corner of the earth has to offer.

My husband and I like to say we have a mini farm, and are wannabe urban farmers. Two cats, two dogs, four chickens, a seven year old girl, a stack of rain boots and a garden plot or four. If I could, I’d have an enormous green house, a cow and pig, so that I can really get down to literally making my food for dinner. Until then, we do what we can. We also like to think we are raising our kid right. On Star Wars, rock music and a huge appreciation for good quality food.

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