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BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Angry Axe IPA

Fredonia Brewery
Proudly brewed in the oldest town in Texas, Fredonia Brewery began in 2016 when creator, Paul Murray, turned his passion for home-brewing into a brewery that represented his love for Nacogdoches and the independent spirit that created Texas.

An alumnus of Stephen F. Austin University, Murray uses the college mascot and the Nacogdoches old-town heritage as inspiration for his lineup of beers.

Featured Beer: Angry Axe IPA
Cascade and Columbus hops are used to complement Crystal 10 and Melanoidin malts. Some slight red tones can be seen in this caramel-colored ale that leaves a pleasantly bitter taste on the middle and back of the tongue as well as on the finish. With an IBU of 78, Angry Axe offers moderately bitter flavor combined with orange peel, caramel and citrus notes. A great choice for enjoying with friends who appreciate a beer with predominate hop character.

Food Pairings
It is sometimes difficult to pair food with an IPA that is higher on the IBU scale. They need flavors that stand up against the bitterness of the beer and complement rather than contrast the pairing. Avoid overly spicy or salty food, as the hops in the beer can make the food taste spicier or over-salted. The beer will also latch onto sweeter flavors and highlight the subtle sweetness of foods like caramelized onions or roasted meats.

Cuisines with a complex flavor profile like Thai, Indian or Moroccan food match the array of aromas and flavors that complement IPAs. Also, oily fish like salmon, burgers or sausages with sautéed onions and citrus desserts that balance the sweet and tart.

Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp peeled fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece), grated
2 tsp vegetable oil, plus more for baking sheet
1 tsp coarse salt
8 chicken legs and thighs
1/2 cup mango chutney

Combine yogurt, tomato paste, garam masala, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, 2 teaspoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the chicken to a large baking dish or gallon-sized plastic bag; coat the chicken with the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat oven to 450° F. Rub oil on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Remove chicken from the marinade. (Do not wipe or rinse marinade off of chicken.) Arrange pieces in a single layer. The high heat of the oven is similar to the type of ovens used in India, but the layer of yogurt marinade protects the chicken from burning. Broil until golden and cooked through (about 20 to 30 minutes total), flipping once halfway through. Remove from oven, and then brush with chutney. Serve with dipping sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 620, Fat: 41 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 223 mg, Sodium: 785 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 0.9 g, Protein: 42 g.

Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce

1 tsp sugar
10 mint leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala, to taste
1 Tbs mango chutney

Place the sugar and mint leaves on a cutting board. Chop into a sugary mint paste. Add to the yogurt; stir in all remaining ingredients. Serve as a dipping sauce with the chicken.

Calories Per Serving: 61, Fat: 2 g (1.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 11 mg, Sodium: 38 mg, Carbohydrates: 5.5 g, Fiber: 0.1 g, Protein: 5 g.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France where it is often referred to as red Burgundy instead of Pinot Noir. The wines from Burgundy have flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms and what sommeliers call forest floor, which is the smell you get from freshly fallen damp leaves.

American-grown Pinot Noir can be divided into two categories: warm climate and cool climate. Warm-climate wines have more ripe fruit flavors and less acidity, while cool-climate wines still enjoy the heat of the season. As temperatures drop off close to harvest time, the acidity is preserved, and the fruit flavors become more tart.

Many warm-climate Pinot Noir wines come from Napa Valley, and the cool-climate varieties are from Sonoma County, specifically the Russian River Valley, Oregon and Washington.

“A difficult grape to grow, Pinot Noir achieves greatness in only a handful of places worldwide, and the Russian River Valley is one of those places. Our Pinot-perfect climate combined with an amazing complexity of soil types results in wines that not only reflect their individual sites but share a common thread. Aromas tend to be bright, focused fruit, ranging from wild strawberries and raspberries to red and black cherries. Notes of cola and baking spices are common. In the mouth, they are rich and velvety with their high degree of ripeness kept in check by bright acidity,” according to the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association.

Wine of the Month:
Migration® Pinot Noir

Created by the Duckhorn® Wine Company to showcase Pinot Noir grown in the cool-climate winegrowing region of the Sonoma County Russian River Valley, this wine highlights the lush fruit, bright acidity and balanced oak of the aging process. Coastal fog and sandy loam soils have contributed to a Pinot Noir with beautiful, high-tone red fruit flavors of cherry, cranberry and strawberry with enticing hints of orange and cinnamon spice.

Classic Russian River Valley aromas of ripe red raspberry, Bing cherry and pomegranate erupt from the glass. These red-berry flavors resonate on the lush, silky palate, where they blend with blackberry notes and hints of French oak-inspired spice. This wine is barrel-aged for 10 months in French oak.

Food Pairings:
Pinot Noir pairs well with pork, lamb, salmon, mushrooms, truffles, Gruyere cheese and sharp cheddar. It is also a great choice for Thanksgiving as it complements roasted turkey and many of the side dishes.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cakes

(The perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.)

4 cups leftover turkey meat, brown and white
1 cup stuffing
2 cups side dishes (potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, corn, etc.)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
cooking oil
cranberry sauce, turkey gravy or buns, for serving

In a food processor, pulse each of the first 3 ingredients separately a few times to chop. Place in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs. Fold together; form into small cakes that are about 3 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Cook in a fry pan with a small amount of oil until brown on both sides and heated through. Serve with cranberry sauce, with turkey gravy or on a bun.

*Nutritional Information will vary depending upon the side dish combination used.

*Calories Per Serving: 195, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 22 g.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale

Rogue Pumpkin Patch AleRogue Brewery
Started in 1987 in the basement of the Rogue Public House in Ashland, Oregon, a group of like-minded “rogues” decided to create a brewpub. One year later, they opened a 60-seat pub and a brewery in the basement. Their first beers were an amber ale and an Oregon golden.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Rogue is still growing and brewing. They create a large assortment of handcrafted ales, lagers, porters, stouts and spirits that are distributed throughout the country.

Featured Beer: Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale
Each year, Rogue increases the number of pumpkins grown on Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. They pick their pumpkins fresh from the patch, load them on a truck, and drive them 77 miles to the brewery in Newport, Oregon. At the brewery, they are roasted and pitched into the brew kettle. From patch to batch, Rogue grows pumpkin patch beer.

The Pumpkin Patch Ale has a dark color with aromas of spice, citrus zest and toasted caramel. Spices with hints of vanilla, malt and caramel are prominent in the flavor. It finishes dry with a hint of sweet pumpkin.

Food Pairings
Dessert, Pork, Grilled Turkey, Ribs

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic-Parsley Sauce

1 large spaghetti squash
1 Tbs olive oil
coarse salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 shallots, small-diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, and clean the seeds out with a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil, and rub with salt and pepper. Turn the squash halves flesh-side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the inside of the squash is tender. Let cool for 15 minutes. Run the tines of a fork down the length of the squash flesh, pulling out long strands of squash. Continue until all of the flesh is pulled out of the skin. Place the strands loosely in a bowl. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook until softened. Add squash to the pan; toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in parsley and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Grilled shrimp or chicken can be added to this dish.

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Mangia Bene at FRESH

There’s a famous Italian quote, “Mangia Bene, Ridi Spesso, Ama Molto.” It means “Eat well, laugh often, love much.” It sums up the Italian lifestyle of long, multi-course feasts filled with laughter, friends and family. It’s also a good reason why Italian cuisine is so loved in America.

At FRESH, there are plenty of ways to eat well, especially when it comes to authentic Italian food. From October 9 – 15, the store will be celebrating a Taste of Italy. In every department, products will be featured that highlight the essence of Italian cuisine and are perfect for creating your own multi-course feast with friends and family.

The ingredients in many Italian recipes are really quite basic. They highlight the wonderful natural flavors of things like quality extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, handmade pasta, artisanal cheese, slow-baked bread and plump juicy San Marzano tomatoes.

Here are a few of my favorites that I think you will enjoy from various departments throughout the store:
Cheese: Housemade Fresh Mozzarella, Gorgonzola Bleu Cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano and Asiago.

Charcuterie: Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Speck, Molinari & Sons Italian Salami and Pancetta, and Columbus Italian Salami.

Fresh Pasta: Also found in the cheese department is fresh pasta. Made daily, you’ll find Fettucine, Pappardelle, Alfredo Sauce, Marinara and Bolognese.

Pizza di Napoli: Enjoy an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in our new pizza oven. Made with handmade dough, San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. An assortment of toppings and flavors are available that are truly Italian.

Chef-Prepared: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna Rolls, Eggplant Parmesan and more.

Bakery: All bread is baked in the store. Look for Rustic Italian Bread, Focaccia Bread and Ciabatta.

Wine: There is a wide assortment of Italian wines to enjoy from throughout the country and at every price point. From an inexpensive Chianti Classico to the prized Barolo. Two of my favorites are from Southern Italy.

Asmodeus Nero d’Avola from Sicily is a dark red wine that has a rich earthy flavor, but it is also balanced with red fruit, spice and high tannins. Also, Lacryma Christi Bianco Feudi di San Gregorio from the Naples area is a bright and golden white wine that has floral notes and flavors of white fruits. Lacryma Christi means “Tears of Christ” and the legend claims that as Christ ascended into heaven, he wept over the beauty of the area and brought life to the vines that were growing on Mt. Vesuvius.

Italian Products: Some of the essential Italian pantry ingredients can be found in the aisles. Look for Extra Virgin Olive Oil made in Italy and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. San Marzano whole canned tomatoes are available in a variety of brands, along with sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, olive tapenade and a variety of pasta sauces. Of course, you need some pasta to go with all of these wonderful ingredients, and FRESH carries Montebello dried pasta that is made in Italy. Available in a variety of shapes, Montebello is handmade using Old World techniques.

WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Syrah Red Blends

The Syrah grape creates a wine that has a range of flavors that primarily depend on where they are grown. Cool-climate Syrah is light-bodied with more delicate flavors of soft fruit and earthy tones. They come from wine regions in cooler climates like Washington State, Northern Rhone, Sonoma and Chile. Warm-climate Syrah creates a full-bodied darker wine with heavier tannins, bold fruit flavor and notes of warm spice. These grapes are grown in warmer climates like Argentina, Spain, Napa, Paso Robles and Australia, where Syrah is known as Shiraz.

Petite Syrah is another hybrid grape from France. Despite its name, Petite Syrah is a distinctly different grape than Syrah. It possesses deep color and strong flavors of blueberry, sugar plum, black pepper, dark chocolate and black tea. It’s also a rare grape that is difficult to grow, and it’s primarily found in California and the French Alps.

Featured Wine of the Month: Freakshow Red Blend
Created by Michael David Winery, brothers Michael and David are fifth-generation grape-growers from the Phillips family in the Lodi region of California. They produce a variety of different wines, but the Freakshow lineup has been very successful.

The 2015 Freakshow Red is a blend of Lodi Syrah and Petite Syrah. “Very robust, this wine features aromas of campfire smoke and just a pinch of spice. Flavors of ripe plum, caramel and blackberry-infused maple syrup. Velvety smooth on the mouth with a bold finish. This wine is well balanced, just like a tight rope walker!” – Michael David Winery

Food Pairings:
Syrah grapes create bold, full-bodied wines with high tannins. They pair well with beef, pork, cured meats and vegetables with umami flavors like mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potatoes or winter squash. Pairing the wine with grilled meat helps match the intensity of the wine and smooth the tannins. The umami flavors also bring out the fruit in the wine.

Black & Bleu Burgers with Red Onion Marmalade

4 FRESHmade Black & Bleu Burgers
4 FRESH Bakery Hamburger Buns
1/4 lb Point Reyes Bleu Cheese Crumbles
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water

To make the red onion marmalade, heat oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid browning. Reduce heat if necessary. Add salt, brown sugar, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Continue to stir and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool before serving.

To serve the burgers, grill to desired doneness. Spread some of the bleu cheese over each burger. Top with some of the red onion marmalade. Place on the bun and serve.

Serves 4

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Celebrating the Tradition of Oktoberfest

Celebrating the Tradition of OktoberfestWho would’ve guessed that a wedding celebration in October 1810 would become a worldwide annual celebration? Of course, now it is known as the German beer celebration called Oktoberfest.

It was October 12, 1810. The Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became the King of Bavaria, was marrying Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. A little-known fact about the princess is that she was supposed to marry Napoleon Bonaparte in 1809, but she married Ludwig instead. If she had married Napoleon, there would be no Oktoberfest!

The wedding celebration was held outside the gates of Munich in the German state of Bavaria. The festivities included food, beer, horse racing and plenty of revelry. The celebration continued from year to year and began to grow. At some point, it was decided to hold the celebration in September because of better weather. The festivities last for 16 days and always end on the first Sunday of October.

In the beer tents at the Munich Oktoberfest, only six breweries are allowed to serve their Oktoberfest-Maerzen brews – each of them adhering to the strict beer-making requirements of the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian Purity Requirements). They are Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwebräu, Paulaner and Spaten. Each one has been producing beer since before Oktoberfest began. The oldest one is Augustiner, founded in 1328, and the newest is Paulaner, started in 1634. Over the length of the festival, more than 7,000,000 people will attend and approximately 6,900,000 liters of beer will be served.

FRESH will be having their own Oktoberfest celebration, although on a slightly smaller scale. During the week of September 18 – 24, the store will be decorated for Oktoberfest, and plenty of themed food and beer will be served.

Thursday, September 21 from 6PM to 9PM will be the official Oktoberfest celebration. Several breweries will be there to sample some of their beers. Also, there will be games, live music and plenty of Oktoberfest fun.

Here’s a look at the visiting breweries:
St. Arnold
Southern Star
Samuel Adams
Real Ale
Nine Band

BREW CLUB Brewery of the Month: 903 Brewers

903 BrewersEast Texans Jeremy and Natalie Roberts created 903 Brewers in 2011 with a goal of making a great beer for a great community. After a lot of experimentation with different flavors and beer recipes, 903 Brewers opened in Sherman with two beers: The Chosen One Coconut Ale and Roo’s Red Ale. Since then, they have added many year-round beers, seasonals and special releases.

Their beers have won many awards, but the most prestigious one came in September 2015 when the Sasquatch Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout won a silver medal from the Great American Beer Festival in the aged beer category. Their brewery in Sherman is a great place to visit, and they have beer tastings, trivia nights and Saturday tours. Look for several year-round and seasonal selections from 903 Brewers at FRESH.

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WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Blended Reds

Blended reds are wines created by combining two or more red varietals. They are typically complex in taste and structure, and they often express the creativity of the winemaker. There are no regulations that restrict how the blends are crafted or labeled. Blends usually consist of 40 to 50 percent of one varietal and then a small percentage of one or more other varieties of grapes. The grapes used in a blend are often chosen because of where they are grown, their particular flavors or aromas, their body, their concentration and their finish. Blending adds complexity to each chosen grape varietal, which results in a wine that is more well-rounded and complex than the one varietal could have been on its own.

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BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Stiegl Radler Grapefruit

Stiegl Radler GrapefruitThe Stiegl brewery in Salzburg, Austria, creates the Radler Grapefruit by combining 60% Stiegl-Goldbrau, a mild but full-bodied lager, and 40% grapefruit soda. Their website’s description states that the grapefruit lends “a naturally cloudy appearance and a tangy fruit flavor, creating a succulent and fruity taste sensation with a refreshing finish.”

Its effervescence combined with the citrus flavors gives it a champagne-like characteristic that is reminiscent of a mimosa cocktail. Slightly sweet, yet bitter from the grapefruit, makes it easy to drink and refreshing. (3.2% ABV)

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WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Amarone della Valpolicella

Amarone della ValpolicellaItaly is known for many fine wines like Barolo, Brunello and Barbaresco, but another varietal to add to the list is Amarone della Valpolicella.

It’s a special-occasion wine that has earned its place as an elite red because of its scarcity and difficulty to make. From the district of Valpolicella in the Veneto region near Verona, Italy, Amarone is the top red wine made in that area. It achieved DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllato e Garantita) status in 2009, which means that the winemakers followed strict quality guidelines while making the wine. It is a government-controlled guarantee that designates geographical authenticity. Only 74 wines from designated regions qualify for DOCG status.

This wine is traditionally made with Corvina grapes (45% to 95%) and blended with other varieties such as Corvinone (up to 50%), Rondinella (5 to 30%) and, possibly, small amounts of Molinara. The grapes are picked late in the season to ensure full ripening and perfect conditions. They are then laid in a single layer on bamboo racks in a large, low-humidity drying room where the grapes dry for 3 to 4 months. This process lowers the level of moisture and acidity in the grapes, and it concentrates the sugars, glycerin and other components such as resveratrol. The grapes are then crushed, and the fermentation and aging processes begin. Amarone must be aged a minimum of 2 years, and reserve varieties must be aged a minimum of 4 years.

High-quality Amarone wines will contain a higher percentage of Corvina and Corvinone grapes. The Corvina grapes offer notes of cherry, almond and spice, while the Corvinone grapes, which are very rare, possess similar flavors. Rondinella and Molinara grapes are also used in smaller quantities. Rondinella adds a floral note and helps balance the tannins. Molinara offers high acidity. Because the drying process lowers the acidity in Corvina and Corvinone, Molinari helps balance those components.

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