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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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Interview with Leslie Mansfield, author, RECIPES FROM THE MICROBREWERIES OF AMERICA (celestial arts, $14.95)

Leslie Mansfield, a pastry chef trained in France, and Tom Dalldorf, publisher of the Celebrator Beer News, teamed up last year to find the best recipes from craft breweries across the US.

And what a treat it is: from grilled tuna rubbed with red pepper harissa paste, to stout-glazed salmon, to pub grub such as the Brutal Bitter Reuben Sandwich, Mansfield's book covers a wide spectrum of food and beer possibilities.

"The first time I tasted Anchor Steam ale in the 1980s, I was so amazed," recalls Mansfield. "It made me realize how much more depth there could be to the taste of a beer."

In addition to her culinary background, Leslie is married to an accomplished homebrewer and professional winemaker. Her husband, Richard Mansfield, brought his triple decoction homebrewing system with him to Napa, all the way from Portland, OR. Both he and Leslie enjoy his homebrewed beer, plus sampling the classic California craft brews.

Leslie consulted with Tom Dalldorf about breweries in North America to find recipes friendly to the flavors of beer. "Tom gave invaluable help in targeting breweries in California. Ken Mee of the Silverado Brewery is a great cook and wonderful to work with - and of course the grandaddy of California craft brewing, Fritz Maytag, is also a real fan of food, beer, and cooking."

Mansfield says her "absolute favorite recipes are the lamb shanks braised in stout, the black pepper gnocchi with wild mushrooms, also the stout black forest cheesecake. Plus, the potato salad from Mount St. Helena Co. has turned out to be my new favorite recipe for that salad."

My only wish was to learn more about the contributing chefs and breweries in the prefaces to the recipes. In some cases, the only way to discern where a recipe originated is by consulting the list of ingredients, as the brand names of contributing breweries are listed when beer is called for as an ingredient.

The book publisher chose not to organize recipes by category or meal type (appetizers, soups, etc.), but clusters recipes after a brief profile of the contributing brewery. Nor is there a recipe index. So, be prepared to browse through each page, which really is a mouth-watering task!

Warm yourself with a batch of Fiery Pale Ale Prawns, courtesy of the Alaskan Brewing Company and Leslie Mansfield:

2/3 cup Alaskan Brewing Company pale ale
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 and one-half pounds fresh prawns or medium shrimp, shelled with tails on

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the honey, cornstarch, garlic and cayenne until smooth. Add the prawns and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 6 hours to marinate, stirring several times. Prepare a hot grill. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes, then drain. Thread the prawns onto skewers (about 5-6 per skewer). Place the prawns over the hot grill (a fish grill basket works well too), and turn once. Cooks in about 4-6 minutes total, about 2-3 minutes per side.


www.beercook.com, Copyright © 2009-2002, by Lucy Saunders. All rights reserved. Note copyright of authors and recipe contributors in bylines and prefaces. Fee required for reprints in any commercial media.

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