Happy Saturday! How did yours shape up?
Mine is going well. Since I don’t feel pressured to get up and go to spin class at 9 am now that Nectarine no longer teaches, Saturday, for the first time in almost 7 years means sleeping in. That’s what I did today. I whipped up some muffins (stay tuned!) and headed out for errands, and then died a little in yoga sculpt.
World Market. I simultaneously love and hate it. Love it because they have everything I want in life in one store. Hate it because I went in for beer and came out $70 poorer. Whoops. And I got caught in the rain on the walk home. But I did get some cool decorative keys. Like I said, everything I want in life.
I love World Market particularly for its alcohol selection because I can buy beer in smaller quantities. I don’t drink when I’m home alone, but every now and again I need a few bottles of beer for something special, and if I buy a 6 pack, that six pack will be sitting in my fridge until someone else drinks it. Sometimes, months. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m pretty sure I have some MGD in there that’s at least a year old. Maybe time to purge.
Anyway, today was such a lone beer occasion. Beer bread. Sounds good, right?
Yup. I thought so. I found the recipe for Alaskan Beer Bread when perusing recipes and I happened up this one by Alaskan Brewing Company. According to them, Alaska has a long history of brewing. From the early explorers through the Gold Rush, Alaskans are a big fan of locally made craft brews.
Guess what– so is Chicago! Craft beer it seems has exploded around here lately. Despite this…I didn’t use a local craft and I did change up the recipe a bit, mostly because I 1) ran out of self-rising flour and 2) could not find the aforementioned Alaskan beer. No matter, what I used a Sam Adams Fat Jack DOUBLE PUMPKIN because…duh, it’s pumpkin season. Also, according to the original recipe: this is a great bread to have on a cold evening after a long day of walking through the bogs and beaver swamps after the moose.
I didn’t do either of those things. My life is boring.
Anyway, my adjustments worked splendidly (the third time time) and the beer was the perfect accompaniment for some spicy smoked salmon chowder. I say third time because the first time I made this for Blueberry and we ate it so fast I didn’t take pictures. The second time I tried to be adventurous with my gluten free flour mix and it was an absolute fail So, don’t do that. The third time, which you see here, was another success with normal gluten-full bread flour.
You may have heard that Alaska is pretty famous for salmon and Alaska’s cold water seafood is the centerpiece of Alaskan cuisine. According to Alaska Wild Berry Products, Alaskan salmon is one of the most important foods here and is often served as smoked salmon, cured salmon, salmon jerky, and even sweetened Indian salmon candy. I love smoked salmon and surely didn’t need an excuse to eat it.
I adapted a few recipes and mine is dairy free. You can swap out the cashew milk that I’ve used below for evaporated milk or half-and-half. As you wish.
My whole apartment smells like fall goodness. Wanna come over?
- 3 cups bread flour
- 4 ½ tsp baking powder (yes, this is a lot, but you need it)
- 1 ½ tsp table salt
- 3 TB brown sugar
- 12 ounces Amber Beer
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large, gallon size Ziploc bag. Add the beer and mix up until all the ingredients are moistened. Put the dough in the loaf pan, and even out the batter.
- Bake 40-50 minutes until the bread is slightly golden and cooked all the way.
- I tried using my gluten-free flour mix for this this first time and it DID NOT WORK. FAIL.
- You can add dried fruit and nuts for variety.
- 2 TB olive oil or butter
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 2 cups fish or vegetable stock*
- 2 cups cashew milk
- 1 cup cut corn, canned or frozen
- 1 russet potato, diced
- 1 tsp chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tsp, heaping, smoked paprika (or more, to taste)
- 4 ounces Alaskan smoked salmon, chunked
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- In a stockpot or saucepan, saute the onion, carrot and celery until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth or milk and bring to a boil. Add half of the corn and the chipotle pepper.
- Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the chowder until almost smooth. A few chunks are fine, but I wanted mine to be on the smooth side.
- Add the diced potato and simmer until that is soft, about 15 minutes.
- Just prior to serving, add the remaining corn and salmon and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.
- I used homemade vegetable stock. Seafood is preferred, but I worried that chicken stock would overpower the salmon essence, particularly if you use good, homemade stock.
- Careful with the chipotle pepper. Don't want to add too much!
- For a dairy-full version, use 2% milk.