Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Once, though not at midnight, nowhere near midnight,
Perhaps while reading, certainly while napping and
My chamber door is almost never closed…
I bared my soul and to my everlasting surprise
There, hidden deep inside, at the core, was a
Crypt Keeper Stout waiting to be poured.
Cool, not cold and impenetrably midnight dark, smooth and sweet with hints of coffee and roasted barley. Gently carbonated with a velvet texture where a sip will fill your mouth with sweet softness. Curiously, were you to reverse the metaphor and put velvet into your mouth it would unlikely bring memories of Crypt Keeper Stout to mind.
As I pondered late one dreary morning on this delight of nature and chemistry, I wondered what would happen if I replaced some of the Weyermann Carafa II malt with chocolate grain and added 4.5 oz of chocolate nibs which were soaked for 48 hours in vodka to the secondary fermenter.
Time will tell. Time will tell.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Let’s put it right out front. Fran and I are not huge fans of fish. Living in South Florida the occasional fish dinner is inevitable and recently we have weakened to the level where we make a point of having fish for dinner once per week, and, believe it or not, actually order it out when we dine at a restaurant. In an effort to unfishy the fish I like to season it with a blackening spice and often grill it on the BBQ. Tonight, however , was blackened pan seared Chilean Sea Bass on a bed of romaine lettuce covered with a carmelized pineapple and mango salsa. All gone!
Put a couple tablespoons of EVO in a medium sized frying pan. Add brown sugar and melt together. Once the sugar is almost melted (be very careful, its easy to burn when
it’s just EVO and sugar and you might have to start over… start over… crap!) add the drained pineapple and stir a lot. When warm, add diced fresh mango, a glass of red wine, and simmer until just bubbling then transfer to a small saucepan and set on a warm burner. Technically, there should have been onion added to the brown sugar EVO mixture to produce caramelized onion, but a) we didn’t have any onion and b) we don’t like onion much, so I opted for caramelized pineapple.
Liberally coat both sides the fish with your spice of choice, transfer to the now empty, but still medium hot fry pan, adding a little EVO. Tent the fish with some aluminum foil, cook for 4 min on the first side (thank you Daniel for your expert advice) then flip as the flesh turns white. Add a tablespoon, or so, of water with a couple of minutes left and re-tent immediately. When you think it is done, cook for an extra 30-45 seconds. (I do not like rawish fish. It is almost as bad as rawish chicken.)
Here are the ingredients. (Note I didn’t use any measuring devices. Measurements are all approximate)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onion (if you have one and like onion)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 mango, diced
- 1/2 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 (4 ounce) fish steaks (Mine was Sea Bass, about an inch thick)
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup blackening seasoning