Friday, June 29, 2012

Fermented Friday: Summer Ale Couscous Salad

Fermented Friday: recipes featuring yeast, wine, beer or some form of fermentation

I'm not really sure how I came up with this one.  Sometimes even I can't follow my own train of thought.  It could be the result of 9+ hours of driving time this week to think.  Yay for summer road trips! Or it might have more to do with the fact that I haven't been home as much and needed to make something quick, take a few pictures and leave enough time to try something different in case this was a total flop.  Or maybe my brain is just going crazy in all this heat.  But hey, I had a lot of other weirder ideas that I held back on, well for now.   Let's just stop trying to figure it out and get to the food.

 Summer Ale. Strawberries. Corn on the cob. Is it really almost July?!  It's just not summer without strawberries and sweetcorn.  Since summer is in full swing we're going to use a summer ale and we're going to use it twice for a little extra flavor. Strawberries, sweetcorn and edamame are marinated in the beer for 15 minutes.  Instead of draining and dumping the excess beer we use it to cook the couscous.

Using raw sweetcorn adds just the right touch of crunch to this salad.  However, if you have leftover grilled sweetcorn, I'm sure that would add nice flavor as well.  I added the edamame for some extra protein and color, but it didn't add much to the dish.  If you don't have any you might try using fresh peas, cucumber, green pepper or a little green onion. On second thought, blueberries would be a nice substitute for the edamame.  That would give this salad the perfect look for 4th of July.

The strawberries soak up quite a bit of beer flavor while marinating. The sweetness of the berries and corn pairs well with the fruity notes in New Belgium Somersault.  Over all this has a faint but noticeable beer flavor.  A light, crisp summer ale and cold light salad; perfect for hot summer days.

Summer Ale Couscous Salad

1 ear fresh sweetcorn
3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed
3/4 cup summer ale (I used New Belgium Somersault)
1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
salt, to taste

* Cut corn kernels off cob.  In a medium bowl, combine corn kernels, chopped strawberries and edamame.  Pour beer over mixture and let stand 15 minutes to absorb flavors. Drain, reserving liquid. Chill in refrigerator while preparing couscous.
* In a medium saucepan, bring reserved liquid to a boil  Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff lightly with fork. Refrigerate until chilled.
* Gently stir marinated strawberries, corn and edamame into couscous.  Season to taste with salt.  Serve cold.

Food for Thought: "If you do not go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place." -Nora Roberts

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