December 11, 2016

Patriots Buffet Table – Cincinnati

by Patriots Daily Kitchen Staff

Kicking off the season against Ocho Cinco and Ocho Uno. Luckily that duo is at their most potent on their various reality shows. Despite the protests of the Boston Globe Action Squad NFL Coverage Team this game will be played under NFL rules and not under the reality TV show rules incorporated under the Jersey Shore Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2010. Sorry Bert!

In honor of Cincy’s wide receiver pair, we’re sticking with pairs on this edition of the Buffet Table.

What to eat?

Cincinnati also joins odd elements together off the field, for example they like to put chili on their spaghetti. Of course they also like following a horrible team run by a horrible owner. So we trust their culinary skills as much as their team following skills.

Instead we’re going with Ol’ Friend Corner Blitz’ chicken wings and grilled vegetables.

These are both cooked in large foil trays on the grill.

Corner Blitz Wings

5-7 lbs of wings
MARINADE
1 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 cup brown sugar
fresh garlic or garlic powder(1-2 tbsp or more)
1-2 tsp Ginger
1/2 cup water
1/2 to 3/4 cup corn syrup(Dark or Light)

At least 15 minutes before cooking, blend marinade ingredients and pour 3/4 of the mix over wings in a large foil tray.
Cover with foil.

After the 15 minutes are up cook on a fairly hot grill 400-450+ for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the wings look like they’re almost ready, around 20-30 minutes.

Pour off the marinade in tray. And put the reserved 1/4 of marinade left on wings for the last 10-15 minutes. At this point cook uncovered and stir often.

Corner Blitz Roasted Veggies
These are cooked in a free form manner, an example is given below.
But feel free to use different vegetables.

5+ Zucchinis
5+ Summer squash
Peppers
Onions
and/or whatever else you want to use

Cut all into bite size and put in foil tray.

Add to the tray
A mixture of Italian dressing and spaghetti sauce.
1/2 to 1 stick butter, cut up
Pepper, garlic, salt whatever additional spices you like
1/2 to 1stick butter cut up
spices(Pepper, Garlic, whatever you like)
And then a tablespoon or 2 of an A1, Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce. Anything you like and have handy.

Just cover and cook on the grill at the same time and same temp as the wings. Uncover after 30-45,stir so it doesn’t burn, but you do want the vegetables to have a little char on them. Once most of the liquid is gone, they are done.

Both recipes can be easily doubled or tripled depending on crowd size.

What to drink?

Cincinnati is a city founded by immigrants from Germany. The city holds one of the largest Octoberfest celebrations in the country, complete with wiener dog races. I’d much rather watch dachshunds running around than the Bengals.
Details for ‘Oktoberfest Zinzinatti’ can be found here.

Christian Moerlein is a traditional German brewery from Cincinnati, however they do not distribute to New England. Founded in 1853, they have not operated continuously or always brewed their beer themselves.

That is set to change with the opening of the Christian Moerlein Lager House next summer. It will be located on the site of the old Riverfront Park baseball stadium, cleverly renamed Riverfront Park. An easy walk from both the Great American BallPark, and the “Name the stadium after my dad instead of earning naming rights dollars because the more successful owners have to give us money anyways” Stadium, home of the Bengals.

Their flagship is the Christian Moerlein Lager House Original Golden Helles. A clean, crisp golden lager beer brewed in the style of Munchener Helles.

Helles is one of the three main light German lager styles. Along with Dortmunder Export and German style Pils. Light in this case refers to the color of the beer, not it’s alcohol content or flavor. They are not light beers in the sense of a Coors Light.

Helles means ‘bright’, a reference to the color and clarity of this style. It can also be translated as ‘pale’ or ‘light’. These are Bavarian (South German) beers, brewed in response to the Pilsners coming out of Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic) in the 1800s.

Dortmunder is similar in color to Helles, and was also developed as a response to Pilsner. Dortmunders and Helles share many of the same ingredients and brewing processes. Both are based on pilsner malt. Both are lagered, that is stored at a cool temperature in order to mature and fully ferment.

The similarities between Dortmunders and Helles make the differences interesting. As they differ far more than their shared appearance, history and ingredients would lead you to expect.

Where Helles come from Bavaria, Dortmunders come from their namesake Dortmund. Dortmund was (and is) an inland port city in the North of Germany. Long disused brain cells are telling me something about a Hanseatic League and it wasn’t actually Germany, but this isn’t Euro History 101.

Being a trading center, breweries in Dortmund brewed a lot of beer for export. Export beers across the world have usually been made stronger in order to travel well.  Originally there were weaker versions of Dortmunder made for
the home market, and the proper name of the stronger style would be Dortmunder Export. Eventually the weaker versions were dropped, and with it the ‘Export’ part of the name. You’ll still see these labelled “Dortmunder Export” from time to time, but I believe just plain “Dortmunder” to be more common.

Over time the strength of some Dortmunders dropped as well, where they may now be brewed to the same strength
as a Helles.

Alcoholic strength when different, is a pretty easy to understand difference, but there is another big difference hidden inside these beers. The water in Dortmund is much harder than that in Bavaria, it is high in sulfates and calcium.

This hardness reacts with the hops used in beer. The same amount of hops in a sulfate rich beer will seem to be more bitter, and some will perceive a “sharper” bitterness. The beer will also seem dryer.

OK this isn’t Organic Chemistry 101 either. Suffice it to say a good brewer in an area with hard water will take advantage of that water by brewing hoppy beers. A brewer in an area with soft water will probably make softer, maltier beers. A modern brewer will just reduce the water to zero mineral content and then build exactly what they want. But no one knew what that meant in the 1800s, so they worked with what they had.

If Dortmunder Export is starting to sound familiar, it’s probably because it is like a German version of an India Pale Ale. A strong, hoppy beer brewed with hard water for export.

As for German style Pilsner, we’re working in pairs here and the pair is Helles-Dortmunder. Pilsner has been covered before and may be covered again in the future.

Helles examples:

Thomas Hooker Munich Style Golden Lager from Connecticut is a 4.6% faithful example of the style.

This style is popular among Pennsylvania breweries due to the German influence in that state.

Victory Lager at 4.8% is excellent as all Victory beers are.

Stoudts’ Gold at 4.7% is hoppier than most, with the hopping closer to a pilsner than a Helles.

New Hampshire is lucky to now have one of the best brewers in New England, Paul Davis brewing at his own shop Prodigal Brewing in Effingham, NH. Their Effingham burger brau is a Helles. They have just launched and are draft only for now. I haven’t had this beer yet, but having had Paul Davis’ beers in the past I have no doubt it’s a world class example.

There are examples imported from Germany as well. The large breweries all send one over. Sadly the age checks on American brewery websites have spread to Germany. So you may have to verify you’re over 16 years old to get these to work.

Weiheinstephan Original is bigger than the American examples listed above at 5.1% ABV.

Spaten Munchener Hell is called Spaten Premium Lager in the US, and it is easier to find than their hidden English language website. It’s 5.2% ABV and it’s more fun to call it Munchener Hell than Premium Lager.

Paulaner Original Munchener Hell is right in line with the other two at 5.0% ABV. If a cartoon waitress starts yelling at you in German I got this link wrong.

Dortmunder examples:

Two Brothers Dog Days out of Illinois is one of the best American made examples. It is a summer seasonal but
should still be on shelves now.

It is a shame that Cleveland’s Great Lakes beers are unavailable in New England, You can get them in New York state.
Their Dortmunder Gold is a great award winning Dortmunder Export. It is one of the most faithful examples in the world, as many have been reduced in alcohol content and bitterness over time. If you are ever in a state that has Great Lakes beer, bring some back with you. I’ve only had three of their beers, but all were excellent.

The City Steam brewpub in Hartford, CT does make a Dortmunder. Their City Steam Blond Export. Being a brewpub, this particular beer may not be on at any given time, and you have to go there to get it.

There are imports available from Germany. Given that this beer style is native to one city, and the general trend of businesses to merge over time. It isn’t surprising that there are only a few companies producing multiple brands.

In this case, there is the Dortmunder Actien Brauerei, or DAB for short. A division of the Radeberger Gruppe. They do have a website, but it’s in German and is heavily flash enabled.

These beers also tend to be shipped in green bottles, so look for closed cases. Also pay attention to date stamps as imports are rarely as fresh as American beers. German Dortmunders have also fallen in strength over time and are no longer as authentic as those made in America. Yes, a Dortmunder made at an American craft brewery is probably more authentic than one brewed in Dortmund by a conglomerate.

The eponymous DAB Export at about 5.5% is joined by DAB Original slightly smaller at 5%. They also make Hansa Export to about the same specifications as DAB Original.

The other main producer is Dortmunder Union Brauerei a division of the Radeberger Gruppe. Yes, the 2 main Dortmunder breweries from Dortmund are part of the same company. DUB produces Dortmunder Kronen Export.

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