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3 B: A Boozy Bath For Your Greens

December 22, 2009

Last night some friends and I had plans to visit another friend’s newly purchased townhouse.  As usual, dinner was on the agenda; I take full advantage of any and all opportunities to eat.  However, as it is Christmas week and the main focus of the evening was touring Luz’s new digs, not displaying our culinary prowess, we decided to keep it simple.  We ordered up some pizza, made some herbed potato wedges, had a salad, and broke into a tray of holiday goodies Luz had received as a gift.  I was on salad duty and, while I was relieved at the simplicity of my task, I was disappointed at my inability to incorporate beer into it.  So far, my friends have suffered my hoppy cooking endeavors with a smile but somehow I thought they wouldn’t take as kindly to me pouring porter all over our greens.

But just as I was about to pack up my lettuce and tomatoes and commit to a beer free evening, I had a brainwave.  Salad dressing!  I could create a beer salad dressing!  And that is just what I did:

3 B Dressing (Buttermilk, Beer, and Bacon)
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream
4 Tbsp. beer of choice (I used Sam Adams’ Holiday Porter, left over from the winter pack Vanessa was kind enough to leave at my house)
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano
2-3 strips bacon, fried and crumbled very fine
Splash of your favorite hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in a cruet and mix well.  Chill before serving.

The dressing had a very smooth, beer flavor, with the familiar tang of ranch.  The bacon added just a hint of smokiness and texture.  When I make this again, I might add a touch of smoked paprika to emphasize the bacony qualities.  The dressing was a bit thin; maybe adding a little cornstarch would thicken it up without affecting the flavor?  I will definitely be giving that a shot next time too.  Still, I’d say this was a success.  And while the dressing was nice on the salad, it was actually even better to dip the pizza into!  Remember, pizza just isn’t pizza without a frosty beer to wash it down, so put all these elements together and you have yourself the perfect, quick and easy, weeknight meal.  Enjoy!

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