While browns, porters, and stouts are different entities, they do share a similarity: they all contain varying degrees of roasted black malts. From the subtle roasty, nutty browns to the robust yet crisp stouts, these beers will make you feel like royalty and lead you to go searching your wardrobe for purple velvet and bling. All are wonderful with rich desserts and strong cheeses.
Glassware: English Tulip Pint
Pairing Thoughts …
English brown ales are perfect matches for smoked fish, while hoppier American browns are ready for stronger, even gamier dishes. Both love burgers and sausages, though, and are a nice choice for stronger cheeses such as sharp cheddar. Because porters are both rich and surprisingly light and crisp, they are fantastic with buttered scallops. Imperial porters and oatmeal stouts are perfect for heartier foods—think meatloaf with gravy, shepherd’s pie, or stew—while imperial, cream, or sweet stouts are made for chocolate. All of these ales are lovely choices with blue cheese and rich desserts.
Chocolate Calzone (from Vino’s Brewpub, Little Rock, Arkansas)
A hazelnut brown ale complements the chocolate perfectly, or try an imperial or cream stout.
• 1 ball pizza dough (use your favorite pizza or pastry dough recipe … premade dough is fine, too!)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons shredded coconut
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• Garnish: chocolate syrup, chopped pecans, powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Press down and form into a circle. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 16-inch circle, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and press it into dough. Cut circle in half.
3. Mix sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut and ricotta cheese. Place half of mixture on each dough piece. Fold dough over filling. Cut edges of dough so that they are even.
4. Seal edges well with the tines of a fork. Fold approximately 3/8-inch of the edge back over itself. Seal again with the fork, to be sure it’s sealed well (or you’ll have a real mess).
5. Place on lightly greased baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes.
6. Place on plate, and drizzle chocolate syrup in zigzag pattern over calzone. Top with chopped pecans and powdered sugar.