Worthwhile French Beers: Le P’tit Klintz

9 08 2010

Despite the long interval since my last Worthwhile French Beer post, I seem to have found the most similar possible beer to write about this time. 

Le P'tit Klintz - Alsatian honey beer

As you can see, this one is also organic, also from Brasserie Uberach, and also has “Klintz” in the name.  But if La Klintz blonde is the mama bear, and Le Klintz brune is the papa bear, then this little honeyed number is the baby bear of the family.

The bottle had been sitting in our fridge for quite a while, and a noticeable layer of sediment had accrued at the bottom.  When Nick opened the beer, it foamed vigorously and for some time, even though it was cold and relatively undisturbed.  Strange.

It poured out cloudy and yellow – definitely an unfiltered beer – and the bubbles kept coming, forming a thin, patchy white head.  My nose sensed an herbal quality, woodsy and rosemary-like, perhaps even pine-y.  Aromas of fresh bread wafted up as well.

On the palate, the continued effervescence gave it a very light feeling, and the bright citrus notes make this a very drinkable beer.  As I got deeper into the glass I noticed some hints of spice coming through, particularly coriander and clove, while Nick observed a presence of banana esters.

Overall, Le P’tit Klintz is a refreshing beer, one I wouldn’t hesitate to drink again.  It makes me happy to know that breweries like Uberach exist in France, making an effort to produce quality, organic beer in a country whose first love will always be wine.

More Worthwhile French Beers:
Ninkasi IPA
Kohler Rehm
Thomas Beckett Bière de Noël
La Mandubienne Blonde
Page 24
3 Monts
Britt
Étoile du Nord
Les 3 Brasseurs
Félibrée
Moulins d’Ascq
Hellemus

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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A Panier Improv That Worked

5 02 2009

I was very excited last week when we got two HUGE parsnips in our CSA panier

Tasty winter produce

I had never once tasted a parsnip before I spent Christmas in England a few years back, but it was love at first bite.  Roasted crisp with carrots and potatoes, I loved their crunchy caramelized outsides and subtly sweet, tender insides.  I am such a fan of roasted parsnips that I have rarely strayed from the straightforward recipe I first fell in love with.

But the panier encourages experimentation.  Ever since we started getting it, we’ve been long on apples.  It’s a different kind every week, from sweet goldens to the tart, perfectly-sized-to-fit-in-your-palm snacking apples we got yesterday.  But still, that’s a lot of apples.  I’m trying to come up with new ways to use them, so when I got out the parsnips and noticed the giant (we’re talking softball-sized) apples reposing next to them, I thought, why not?

And a new favorite Winter side dish was born.

Roast Parsnips and Apples

 

This is a delicious, simple side dish that is fantastic with roast chicken.  For something a little more substantial, you could make it into a gratin by crumbling some blue cheese on top after the parsnip is tender, and baking until the cheese has melted a bit.  A little bacon in there would definitely not suck.

 

2 very large parsnips (or about 4-5 medium or 6-8 small)

1 large apple

Leaves picked from one stem of rosemary

Coarse sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F.
  2. Peel the parsnips and cut into bite-size pieces.  Dice the apple, but don’t worry about peeling it.
  3. Spread the parsnips evenly on a baking sheet or in a small roasting pan.  Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. 
  4. Roast for 20 minutes, then add the apple and stir.  Continue roasting another 20-25 minutes, until the parsnip is tender and beginning to brown at the edges.  Serve hot.

 

Serves 2 hungry people as a side dish.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.





Endive Right In

23 01 2009

So Nick and I have finally managed to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, for you non-hippies out there) in Paris! I’d been trying, unsuccessfully, for most of the fall, but it seems to have become very popular and the company/co-op that runs it had to stop taking new subscribers until they got more farms involved.  I checked their website daily and as soon as it became available, I signed up.  Now I stop by an office about a block from my apartment on Wednesday afternoons and pick up a large paper bag filled with organic fruits and vegetables.  It’s awesome.  The first one may have been the best because I had no idea what to expect, but I had planned on making a pizza with whatever was inside – excitement!

Fresh organic endives from the Loire valley

Turns out I got endives (and potatoes, onions, apples, and Brussels sprouts).  Now, I really like endives grilled.  They make an excellent warm salad, and if you have access to a grill, I highly recommend halving some endives lengthwise, drizzling them with olive oil, and slapping them cut-side down on a hot grill for a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with bacon vinaigrette.  I do not have access to a grill.  We often get endives at work to cook for the plat du jour.  They are boiled to within an inch of their life and left to drain on a rack over the sink.  Let me tell you, that mound of steaming, limp, grayish-green vegetables is wholly unappetizing.  Then they are combined with a cheesy sauce and served with some kind of roast meat, usually pork.  It’s not terrible, but I know endives can be so much better.

Endive pizza - before

Determined to forge ahead with my pizza plan, I hoped that oven-roasting would affect the endives in a way at least similar to grilling.  I rolled out my dough, scattered caramelized onions (what else?) over it, and then arranged halved endives, cut-side up, on top.  I sprinkled on some olive oil and popped it in the oven for 15 minutes.  As I had hoped, the endives had begun to caramelize by that time, so I topped them with a generous layer of Abondance (it just seemed appropriate) and returned the pizza to the oven to finish baking.

Endive pizza - after

The result?  Simple, delicious, and great with a glass of wine.  The best part?  Since the endives were already on the pizza, I didn’t even have to make a side salad!  I had another success later in the week, when I broiled the rest of the endives and served them (on Nick’s suggestion) napped with a creamy béchamel sauce.  Turns out I don’t need a grill to make endives taste good after all.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.





Worthwhile French Beers: Moulins D’Ascq

15 12 2008

Looks like this French beer quest has some momentum!  It turns out that once you start looking for something, you really do see more of it.  Since I’m feeling optimistic, I’m covering two beers from the same brewery: the Blonde and the Ambrée from Moulins d’Ascq.  According to their website, the company was started in 1999 by Mathieu Lepoutre.  He decided to make organic beer because he believes it is the best way to preserve the natural flavor of the ingredients, as well as being better for the environment.  The beer-lover and tree-hugger in me are equally thrilled.

Moulins d'Ascq Ambrée

The Ambrée poured out cloudy, with a medium amber color.  It was quite effervescent, with a thin, quickly dissipating head.  Nick said it was fairly typical of unfiltered amber beer, with a nice balance of malt and hops.  Like the Félibrée, another organic beer, the Moulins d’Ascq Ambrée had a certain unrefined, farmhouse aspect to it, though I would be less likely to use the term “flawed” when describing it.

Moulins d'Ascq Blonde

The Blonde was cloudy as well (not surprising, considering all of Moulins d’Ascq’s beers are unpasteurized and unfiltered) with a thick head composed of large bubbles.  The golden-colored liquid has a grassy hop aroma which comes through on the palate as well.  Sweet, citrus-y yeast flavors balance out the hops for a very smooth quaff.

Moulins d’Ascq also produces Blanche, Triple, and Bière de Noël.  I will be on the lookout for those, especially the latter – ’tis the season!

Originally published on Croque-Camille.





Worthwhile French Beers: Félibrée

30 10 2008

For my second post in the (hopefully) ongoing French beer series, I will be spotlighting an organic beer called Félibrée.

Félibrée

Brewed in the Dordogne region using organic hop flowers, this beer is produced in small batches that apparently have a tendency to vary.  The one I tasted had a light bitterness set off by a hint of acidity on the finish.  It is unfiltered and unpasteurized, which adds to the handmade feel of the beer.

Nick commented that it tasted a bit like a homebrew he once made.  I concurred.  Félibrée definitely has that homemade quality.  It is by no means a perfect beer, but somehow that adds to its charm.  If I wanted a sterilized, predictable macrobrew, I’d have a Kronenbourg.  Like anything, when you start mass-producing beer, you lose a certain amount of character in favor of putting out a consistent product.  The slight flaws in the Félibrée (a little too sour, a little funky smelling) render it endearing and charismatic in a way that a technically perfect beer can never be.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.








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