Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cookbook Review: Allagash: The Cookbook

By Amanda Brashears
Capital Cooking Contributor

If you're looking for a great gift for friends and family who enjoy cooking, drinking beer, or someone who loves both, you cannot go wrong with the newly released Allagash: The Cookbook.

The Portland, Maine based brewery has teamed up with James Simpkins to create a delightful cookbook filled with recipes to complement the unique variety of beers Allagash brews. 

Each chapter is divided by Allagash beers: White, Dubbel, Tripel, Four, Curieux, Interlude, Black, Victoria, Hugh Malone, and Coolship, with several recipes that bring out the essence of each brew.

The Spicy Bacon-Chili Meatloaf paired with Interlude was a knock-out. This is my favorite Allagash brew, and enjoying a spicy, cheese-filled meatloaf alongside is the perfect end to any day.

Chicken Sausage Pizza paired with Confluence Ale brought out the floral note of the beer thanks to the basil. If you love beer and pizza, this will take it to a new level.

Maine Scallops with Caramlized Onions and Bourbon Butter paired with Curieux was one of the recipes that convinced the Allagash team that James was the man for the job.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Kale and Sweet Mustard Sauce paired with Curieux is my favorite so far. The smoky pork with a sweet and tangy sauce really brought out the bourbon flavor in the beer.

Cornbread Madelienes paired with Allagash White is a nice, light combination. I can also confirm these delicate treats go well with a variety of Allagash beers, and are a hit at holiday gatherings.

For those with a sweet tooth there are desserts for every beer, so you can experience the full range of flavors that Allagash brews into all their varieties of beer. Filled with wonderful photos by Brian Smestad and a quick background on each recipe from author James Simpkins, not only will your loved ones enjoy the cookbook, but you may end up getting one for yourself too.  

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