The Martha Way + Beer

28 Jul

While I adamantly loathe the era of the celebrity chef and next Food Network stars, I actually turn to Martha Stewart occasionally.  I learned this behavior from a boss of mine when I was working as a special-events intern at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.  Whenever I was stuck on decisions for little things such as napkin holders, she told me that she often went to the MS website to get an idea and then mold it to the MOCA aesthetic.

Together with my roommate in Milan, we threw many dinner parties so I turned to the site for some fresh ideas towards the end of our time in Italy.  The recipe I found and followed without elaboration was a simple summer treat that fit perfectly with our Italian life: strawberries, balsamic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper.

Spicy Strawberries:

as many strawberries as you want to eat, cut into quarters and piled high on a plate

drizzle balsamic vinegar over top without drowning the fruit

fresh ground pepper over top

*I like to serve it in the middle of the table with forks for everyone to eat off the communal plate*

This plate also lead me to drizzling balsamic on fresh orange slices for a party.  Within minutes the plate was empty.

Now then, beer.  What goes best with the tangy zip of balsamic, the sweetness of strawberries and the spice of pepper?  My thought is a nice porter, perhaps a stout:  Smuttynose Robust Porter or Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura.  You get the bitterness of roasted coffee notes with a mellow mouthfeel to play off the bite of the vinegar and fruit, everybody wins!

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