Is the heat getting to you yet? I don’t know about you, but when the temperature outside registers 103, I know it is summer time in Texas! Just for the record, I’m not normally a beer person. I usually prefer wine, but when I look like 10-day-old wilted lettuce just going from my car to the front door, I know it’s time to chill a few brews in the fridge, and later pull one out, sit in the shade under a fan, and watch the sun set over Lake Houston. It is also time to update our summertime schedule. It usually involves any air-conditioned venue: movies, museums, I-Max cinemas, indoor mall fun, bowling, Galleria ice skating, more mall shopping, planetarium, art classes ... you get the idea. Of course when we get home, we then enjoy an ice-cold beer! And since we have beer on hand, why not cook with it?

Last week, I was lucky enough to score an invitation to Walden on Lake Houston’s new twist on their quarterly wine dinner, “He Said, She Said Beer and Wine Dinner.” This event was enjoyed by everyone as beer and wine were paired with each course. Attendees sipped, tasted and voted on their favorite pairings. He says beer goes better with dinner… she says wine...

The executive chef, originally from New Mexico, is going on seven years at Walden and 17 years in the food and beverage industry. Anthony Kinsey is a talented visionary when it comes to foods and his intuition on the food and beer pairings was pure genius, from the Wente Vineyards wines to the local Buffalo Bayou Brew Co. stout and the uniquely named The Good, The Bad & The Unidragon, a Russian imperial stout -style beer brewed by Clown Shoes in Ipswich, Mass. I was blown away. As he described to me the menu course by course, from the tenderloin with cheese fondue to the bay scallop gratin, I was anxiously anticipating the taste of a cold beer with the food pairing he described. Of course, when it came time for dessert - lime and fennel delight - it was a cool finish with a tall glass of great beer. Kinsey graciously offered to share two of his recipes.

So “Please Join My Table” and try for yourself these delicious and unique dishes that go great with a cold beer. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let me know how you like them!

Bay Scallop Gratin
(6 servings)
6 tablespoons softened butter
6 cloves minced garlic
2 shallots-minced
4 tablespoons fresh
minced parsley
2 tablespoons fresh
squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh ground
black pepper
6 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 ounces cooked
chorizo; drained
2 pounds fresh bay scallops
rainbow micro greens
toasted French baguette

DIRECTIONS: Mix first 9 ingredients together. Evenly distribute scallops into 6 individual baking dishes. Top with mixed ingredients. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Garnish with micro greens and serve with toasted baguette.
Lime and Fennel Delight

Lime cream:
180 grams lime juice
40 grams orange juice
zest of 2 limes
300 grams sugar
850 grams cream
14 grams fennel seed

DIRECTIONS: Combine cream and fennel seeds. Heat to a scald. Turn off heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Heat juices, zest and sugar in a pot to boiling. Pour juices into the cream and whisk together. Strain out the fennel seeds. Divide evenly into dessert glasses leaving room for fruit topping. Chill in the refrigerator until the consistency of yogurt. While lime cream is chilling prepare the fruit topping:

4 cups simple syrup divided
1 red pear peeled and sliced
2 pints blackberries
1 orange zested with flesh
reserved for topping
1 grapefruit
1 pint sliced strawberries
Fresh mint for garnish

DIRECTIONS: Soak the peeled and sliced pears in simple syrup. Cook blackberries over medium heat with 2 cups simple syrup and zest of one orange. Reduce until thick and syrupy. Strain to remove seeds and set aside. Segment the orange and grapefruit and mix with strawberries. After lime cream is chilled, top with fresh fruit, drizzle with reduced blackberry sauce, and garnish with fresh mint leaf.
This is one of my all time favorite beer-marinated dishes.



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Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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