Light the Grill....Crack a Beer....Crank the Tunes

Light the Grill....Crack a Beer....Crank the Tunes

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vegetarian Flautas/Noble Order Furst/"Electric Ladyland (Redux)"

Obviously having a site that touts almost 60 burgers on it, it's clear that vegetarians we are not.  HOWEVER,  that doesn't mean that we don't enjoy the crap out of some vegetarian or vegan fare.  Good food is good food in our book, and that's exactly what these flautas are.  Beer boiled red quinoa, fresh shredded pepper jack, black beans, corn, fresh cilantro and diced jalapeños and tomatoes all go into a warm flour tortilla then tightly wrapped into a cigar shape.  The flautas go into a pan with 1/4 cup of warmed olive oil as we pan fry on all sides until golden brown and crisp.   A side of habanero salsa is the last piece to this delicious puzzle.    For the beer, we thought a light, citrusy wheat ale would go well so we opted for Noble Order Brewing Co.'s Furst.   We deviated from our norm with the music, not sure if we've ever had any compilations on here before, but when you get some of the best stoner rock heavyweights in the business performing Hendrix on one album like they do on "Electric Ladyland (Redux)" you tend to take some liberties.

Vegetarian Flautas - If you've got 20 minutes, these ridiculously addicting, restaurant quality flautas can be yours.  It all starts with the quinoa.  We're using 1/2 cup of red quinoa that we boil in 1 cup of beer.  This goes covered for about 12 minutes until the beer is evaporated, er, soaked into the grains.

Keep the quinoa warm and covered while we gather the rest of the filling ingredients.  Freshly shredded pepperjack, black beans, corn kernels, fresh chopped cilantro and a can of Ro-Tel.

We warm up fajita-size flour tortillas in the microwave for about 10 seconds then place a scoop of the quinoa on the upper half followed by a liberal scattering of the pepperjack.

Next up we go with the black beans, corn, Ro-tel and cilantro.

Now we roll.  It's similar to the burrito roll, we just go a little tighter with it and make it more tubular.  The flauta goes directly into a pan of hot olive oil, seam side down.

We're looking to get all four sides golden brown and slightly crisp, so we need to turn often then remove from the pan and drain.

Crispy, cheesy goodness is just seconds away, all that is left to do is serve these up with habanero salsa and a cold beer.  Ok, at the risk of being hyperbolic, we'll just go ahead and say it.  This is up there with any meat containing flauta, burrito, taquito, chimichanga, chalupa, etc… we've ever had and we can't wait to make them again.

Noble Order Furst - Venturing outside of Indy, but sticking in the state we head due east to Richmond with this four pack of their Furst tallboys.  This blood orange wheat ale pours a murky orangish brown with a thin yet dense head. The aroma is sweet with a burst of orange citrus. The flavor is crisp and slightly bitter with the light malty taste of wheat rounding out things. The blood orange aroma that was prevalent on the nose is almost non-existent in the flavor department save for a orange oil bite on the tongue that surfaces quite a while after the finish.  Not being overly powerful in the taste department, Furst definitely fit the bill as the easy drinking, light, low ABV beer that we wanted to paid up with their light dish.

"Electric Ladyland (Redux)" - Not since Small Stone Records came out with their 4-disc "Sucking the Seventies" have we been so excited about a compilation with so many A-list bands cranking out killer covers.   Here the Jimi Hendrix catalog gets opened up to the likes of SUPERCHIEF, All Them Witches, The Heavy Eyes, Mos Generator, Gozu, Mothership and a ton more.  After Elephant Tree's quick little intro of "..And the Gods Made Love", Open Hand gets the party started with "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland).  A hazy, trippy, sunny day tune that sounds even more summery on the remake. We go from hazy to heavy when SUPERCHIEF grabs a hold of "Crosstown Traffic" and makes you forget that the (Hed) PE version ever existed.  One of the most mesmerizing tunes on the album is All Them Witches' version of "Voodoo Chile".  It's almost 15 minutes of smoky, sultry, bluesy magic that gives you a contact high just by listening to it.  We couldn't wait to see what The Heavy Eyes would do with the tripped out psychedelic "Long Hot Summer Night".  No surprise, they rocked it and surpass even the original with their unique fuzzy sound.  Earthless keeps things moving along with a spot on cover on their version of "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll).   They nail the guitar tone, the vocals, even the production. One of our favorite Jimi tunes is "Gypsy Eyes" and when we saw Wo-Fat was signed up to take that one, we knew it would slam, and slam it does.  No moderate volume allowed when cranking up this one, it needs to rattle the walls.   Mos Generator's Tony Reed channels his inner Jimi in a perfect rendition of "Burning of the Midnight Lamp".   Gozu and Summoner team up for over 20 minutes of back to back jamming with "Rainy Day, Dream Away" and "1983…(A Mermaid I should Turn To Be)" respectively.   The mighty Mothership gets their groove on  with their funkified version of "Still Raining, Still Dreaming",  killing it with the guitar work and locked in rhythm section.   The curveball comes on Tunga Moln's cover of "All Along the Watchtower", sung in their native Swedish tongue and the song totally smokes.  You know an album of this caliber is going to end with a bang and Elder was up to the challenge by adding their heavy doom quotient to "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).   From the album art, to the bands, to the song selection; "Electric Ladyland (Redux)" is an instant classic and a must have in anyone's collection.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Club/Flat 12 Hinchtown/Weedeater "Goliathan"

So by this time you may be asking, "what's the deal with all of the leftovers?"  Fair question.  The move from Chicago to Indy forced a mass exodus of our frozen BBQ down I-65 from one freezer to another.  Unfortunately the new freezer is about 1/4 of the size so we need to use this stuff up in quick order.  We switch from brisket to pulled chicken tonight.  The smoky, tender chicken is tossed in wing sauce then layered with pepperjack cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato and blue cheese mayo about a mile high on triangular slices of soft warm pitas.  We paired these club sandwiches up with another light and summery offering from Flat 12 Bierworks, this time opting for their Pilsner-style Hinchtown.  For the tunes we went super heavy, super sludgy and super southern with the new Weedeater, "Goliathan".

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Club - The last couple of recipes have started the same way, with the left over BBQ warmed up on the stove in a warming sauce.  This one is no different except this time we're simmering the chicken in a beer and wing sauce.  Same drill, we'll cover the chicken and let it do its thing.

While the chicken is simmering, we can knock out the rest of the sandwich.  Which is nothing really, other then getting the ingredients together.  So with that being said, let's build this thing.  We take toasted pita slices and smear one side with a blue cheese mayo that is just equal parts of each.

Next up is a scoop of the buffalo chicken followed by a handful of freshly grated pepperjack, some bacon and a slice of tomato.

The next triangle pita goes on top and that one gets smeared with fresh avocado. Then we repeat with more chicken, pepperjack, tomato and bacon.  

The last triangle pita gets both the blue cheese mayo and avocado on the underside.  A huge skewer goes through the whole thing before we serve it up with a cold tall boy and enjoy.  This thing was a messy mound of spicy deliciousness. The skewer was no match for the several pounds of toppings that amassed on these humble pita triangles.

Flat 12 Hinchtown - From what is quickly becoming one of our Indy breweries, Flat 12 delivers another winner with their made for summer Hinchtown.   The beer pours a clear watery yellow with a minimal head and decent effervecense.   The aroma is sweet and dry like a champagne. As for the taste, it took us a few sips to really wrap our tastebuds around it. At first it reminded us of their summery Cucumber Kolsch with a fresh and crisp vegetal tone, but then there were sweet white wine notes.  The finish did possess a little of the traditional Pilsner-y bite but with little to no aftertaste that would typically follow.  Don't let the light, watery appearance fool you though, this beer is not lacking for flavor in the least as Flat 12 delivers another home run on the summer beer circuit.  A sandwich this big, filling and spicy needed a beer this light and crisp to wash it down.

Weedeater "Goliathan" - Like doing shots of Early Times or eating really fatty prime rib, listening to Weedeater is one of those things that you don't do every night, your stomach might hurt a little bit after, but you feel a hell of a lot more manly whenever you do.  The distinctive voice of bassist/singer Dave "Dixie" Collins has all of the smoothness of gargling with chainsaws and battery acid, but it works with the severely down tuned, swampy groove that is Weedeater.   Trying to do a track by track dissection of a Weedeater album is a little like detailing the sounds of different Harleys at full throttle; it's all loud and noisy but sounds bad as hell.  The album starts off with "Processional", a oxymoronic angst-ridden southern hymnal of sorts. For the majority of the rest of the album the band stays in their classic heavy as shit, slow as frozen molasses, fuzzed out stoned state.  There's a slight reprieve for the band to tap into their banjo-picking southern bluegrassy roots on "Battered & Deep Fried" before resuming with their regularly scheduled programming.  The album ends with the bluesy instrumental "Benaddiction", serving as the proverbial aspirin before passing out after a bender.  Weedeater!!  Oh yeah, the video below is a first for us.  Normally it's either a live video or the band's official video, but this fan made video off of YouTube is amazing and worth a viewing.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Texas BBQ Burger/Magic Hat Electric Peel Grapefruit IPA/Mondo Drag "Mondo Drag"

We're not afraid to go big with our burgers, as we've had our fair share of behemoths grace these pages.  Tonight we add another one to that chapter.  The Texas BBQ Burger is our use of the three Texas BBQ platter staples (Brisket, Ribs and Hot Links) that find their way into/onto a burger.   We start with a ground short rib patty that we season with our BBQ rub then grill. The charred burger is topped with a mound of freshly grated pepperjack until melted and bubbly.   The leftover brisket gets reheated in a spicy vinegar based sauce and gets placed on the burger.  The last meaty piece of the trinity is the sausage.  For a change of pace, we're using encased chorizo sausage that we are going to smoke, split in half then place atop the burger.  Another splash of the spicy sauce and a few rings of fresh jalapeño completes this burger.  Needing an easy drinking IPA to pair up with this beast, we jumped on the Electric Peel Grapefruit IPA from Magic Hat Brewing.   The tunes were courtesy of Oakland's psych rock kings, Mondo Drag as we spun their self-tilted debut.

Texas BBQ Burger - We can start by warming up the brisket in a spicy, peppery vinegar sauce.  Being lazy, we picked up a bottle of sauce from The Shed and went that route. Don't judge. Add the brisket to the sauce, put the heat on low, cover and let the slow heat and sauce work its magic back into the meat.

With the brisket bathing, we can turn our attention to the sausage.  Encased and cured chorizo, that when smoked will have that snap and smokiness of hot links but with the irresistible flavor of chorizo blasting through.  Place the hot links on the cool side of a charcoal grill and cover.  In about 5-7 minutes the links will be nice and charred.  Remove from heat and keep warm.

Time for the all important burger.  We're using ground short rib again this time to keep with the BBQ theme and we apply our rub that has garlic, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, salt and cayenne.

Get the grill going to an incendiary temp and drop the burgers down over the hottest flame.  They will char fast with the fat ratio of the short rib, so move quickly to get the nice crust then shift over to the cool side.

Time for the shredded pepper jack.  Don't be shy, pile it on like your playing an intense game of Jenga. Cover the grill for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.

We're using pretzel buns again for the bread choice, they just need a second or two over the coals to soften and toast slightly.  Place the patty on the bun.

Now grab your tongs and pick up a heaping pile of the saucy brisket to go right on top followed by a few slices of fresh jalapeños.

Lastly split the smoked chorizo in half length-wise then in half cross-wise and place the two halves right on top of the brisket.

Cover with the top bun and get ready for ridiculously delicious, albeit messy thing of beauty.

Magic Hat Electric Peel Grapefruit IPA -  Leave it to Magic Hat to keep coming up with great IPAs and equally cool names and labels.  Electric Peel Grapefruit IPA is the latest in a long line of them.  The beer pours a pale yellowish green with a bubbly cascade and a thin wispy head. The aroma is stringent and sharp. The flavor is like a boozy grapefruit cocktail, full of citrusy goodness but more in a sweet juicy kind of way rather than a bitter peel bite, despite the name of the beer.  It's a really sweet and light beer that is less of an IPA and more of a Radler, but still delicious.  We probably would have liked a more traditionally super hopped IPA with the burger, but the Electric Peel did it's job.

Mondo Drag "Mondo Drag" - If the dark and erie organ is the defining sound of late 60s psychedelia, Mondo Drag has it in spades featuring dual organs, one being the unmistakable sound of a Hammond.  The band also features that raw garage sound typical of the era as well, but delivered with a heavier, desert rock bend.  The opening track "Zephyr" churns along with the same power and groove as the Yardbird's version of "Train Kept A' Rollin'".  "Crystal Vision Open Eyes" starts off as spacey hybrid of "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "The Theme from Shaft", as raw as it is groovy.   It features some stunning guitar and woodwind work that winds the song down.  The album's best track is "The Dawn" that digs its infectious riff right into your eardrums and sticks there for the duration. In Sabbath-like fashion the heaviness that starts off the song, turns into a heavy bluesy number then back again to the heaviness. Some great vocals just complete the track.  Venturing into Tull territory is "Plumajilla" with some well placed flute work to go along with this hard rocking gem until things gets a little trippy about halfway through.  The band is super-talented, changing tempo on a dime and never not being locked in.   "Shifting Sands" is a groovy number having more in common with the late 70s versus late 60s in the instrumental department.  There is a sad, stoic tone to the instrumental "Pillars of the Sky" along the lines of Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" mixed with the outro to "Layla".  The album closes with "Snakeskin", a building tune with a good dose of Morrsion-like swagger to go along with the pulsating Doors-esque organ-heavy psychedelic blues rock.  We saw these guys on the same bill as Dead Feathers, Slow Season and Electric Citizen and they were the band we knew least about, but after watching their set and now spinning this incredible disc, we're hooked.