The start of the fall season means many things around here; football, hockey, Nikki’s awesome apple pie and a whole lot more. It is also Oktoberfest season and the great food and beer that goes along with it. During this season, we do everything from traditional brats to smoked German pork loin to our original Oktoberfest sandwiches. Tonight we do another favorite with a Grilled Onion and Bacon pie, a traditional savory cool weather German tart. We grill yellow onions until nicely charred and layer them on a pizza crust that has been covered in shredded butterkase cheese. An egg/sour cream mixture is poured on top followed by crumbled smoked bacon. The pizza gets baked to perfection and cut into slices that go perfect with a German-style beer. The beer tonight is a shameless plug for one of our home brews, Slades Brewing Co.’s Autumn Ale. This ale resembles a combination of an Oktoberfest and a IPA, so in other words a perfect hybrid. For the music, another hugely anticipated 2013 release, this time from the venerable Sasquatch. These guys deliver an absolute monster of an album with “IV”.
Grilled Onion and Bacon Pie – This is a great quick recipe that is part pizza, part frittata and comes together in minutes. The onions are the first component we need to work on. Thinly slice yellow onions into rings, season with fresh cracked pepper and place on an oiled grill that is at a medium/high heat. Grill for 6-7 minutes per side until thoroughly charred on both sides. Remove from the grill.
On to the pizza crust. You could make your own here, but since we are pouring a custard mixture on top, we opted for one of the store bought crusts that are thicker and has a deeper well between the base and the lip of the crust. Next we grate butterkase cheese over the crust and firmly press the grated cheese into the crust. The grilled onions go on after the cheese. When we pour the egg mixture on top, we don’t want it moving the ingredients around too much.
Speaking of which, the custard goes on next. In a measuring cup, combine 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream and pinch of nutmeg. Mix well to combine.
Pour the custard over the crust. Gently move the custard around the crust so that it covers the entire bottom of it evenly, redistributing the cheese and onions if necessary.
Lastly, crumble cooked bacon that has been baked just short of being crisp on top of the custard. Place the pizza in a 450 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the custard is set.
Remove from the oven, slice and serve. The pie is so rustic and simple, yet is so flavorful even though there are only a handful of ingredients. The bacon and egg combo is great any time of day.
Slades Brewing Co. Autumn Alt – Thanks to a good friend of ours who is a home brewer, we have been completely immersed in this hobby over the past year. There really is no substitute for fresh homemade beer that you make with your own hands. This Autumn Alt is our attempt at a fall seasonal. A dark, slightly sweet ale brewed with three different varieties of hops. The beer pours cloudy with a dark orange/brown hue. The head is dense and not too thick. Bright citrus and mango peel aromas waft from the glass thanks to a liberal dose of Citra hops. Those flavors don’t translate over in the taste department, at least not right away. The first sips are smooth and slightly sweet. The beer is not overly carbonated, resulting in a beer that is a little resiny but not syrupy. The hops balance things out nicely, providing a much needed bitter citrusy punch on the finish. This beer was a natural pairing with the food, not only for the German heritage both share, but the sweet/salty combo of the two was irresistible.
Sasquatch “IV” – So far our most anticipated albums of 2013 have not yet disappointed and now we can safely add this new album by LA’s Sasquatch to that list. The disc starts off with not only the best song on the album, buy arguably the best song in the group’s storied catalog. The aptly titled “The Message” delivers a pretty powerful one indeed. The message is simple, this album must be listened to at the maximum possible volume for its overall awesomeness to shine through. The song is the ultimate driving tune with its crushing riff and breakneck paced drumming. The vocals are spot on as always with one of the great rock voices around today in Keith Gibbs. On “Eye of the Storm” the band delivers this heavy melodic hybrid of Mastodon meets Frampton-era Humble Pie. A very cool tune and sound. “Sweet Lady” starts off with a 70s swinging groove (thanks to the gratuitous use of the wah pedal) that gets heavy pretty quick. The result is an amped up track that closely resembles Montrose’s “Rock Candy”. “Money” sports a grungy riff that echoes classic Soundgarden. Things move a little toward the sludgier side on Smoke Signal. Well, at least as sludgy as a good time rock and roll band from LA can be. The song still manages to rock even in its slow and gloomy glory. The guitar work on “Wolves at My Door” is simply electrifying, not just the riff but the solos smoke as well. “Me and You” masterfully combines a fuzzy blues groove with Gibbs’ soulful crooning. “Corner” is a classic Sasquatch track; huge back beat, crushing riff and awesome vocals to be played loudly, preferably on a stretch of open road. The album ends with “Drawing Flies” which is not a cover of the classic Soundgarden song of the same name, but rather a big and anthemic number that just builds and builds. We’ve always contended that you could put the first three Sasquatch CDs in a changer, hit shuffle and never need to skip a song. We can now revise that thought to include “IV” in the mix as well. This band is so ridiculously consistent in churning out one badass rocker after another, album after album that any new release announcement brings on anticipation of massive proportions.