Cooking with a Bottle: Stout Cake, Pumpkin Pie Soda Beef, Reisling/Blueberry Wine Fondu, Cidered Norman Chicken

For the November edition of our collaborative O-Rama food writing project the challenge was to come up with a seasonal dish, perhaps one that one of our readers might want to cook for Thanksgiving. And to keep things interesting each of the recipes had to utilize as a key ingredient a Maine-made beverage.

There are certainly plenty of options to choose from, from the historic/iconic Moxie to one of Maine’s many beers as well as the state’s less well known ciders, meads and wines. As you’ll read in the individual pieces sourcing the right beverage became a bigger part of the task than anyone had imagined. Appetite Portland searched in vain for a bottle of Old Mean Tom and had to make due with her second choice. Vrai-lean-uh ended up cooking her dish 3 times with different ciders to get just the flavor she was looking for and Jillian at From Away ended up at Bootlegger’s Beverage Warehouse and Redemption to find what she was looking for.

The award for the oddest select by far goes to Edible Obsessions for using a Pumpkin Pie Soda from Maine Root. All of resulting recipes sound delicious and well worth trying out in your own kitchen. If you do end cooking up one of these dishes at home please write in and let us know how it went. Also, if you have an unusual Maine beverage recipe of your own, post it as a comment so everyone else can give it a try.

Appetite Portland – Evil Shenanigans’ Orange Chocolate Stout Cake

Music cranked, measuring cups clanked. I slipped into baking mode and relaxed. Zesting the orange made me particularly happy. Bright fruit tickled my nose as I danced around to Guster and began whisking. A lick of the batter had me hoping again. Bitter notes from the bourbony beer and the sassy citrus blended well. That extra kick of vanilla I was hoping for from Tom became beside the point. read the full article

Edible Obsessions – Pumpkin Pie Soda Braised Beef

[Pumpkin Pie Soda from Maine Root] started appearing on shelves about a month ago and will probably be around for another few weeks. It’s definitely one of the odder drinks that I’ve had in my life. It’s an orangish hue, the only thing defining ‘Pumpkin’ thing about it (there’s no actual pumpkin in it, mind you, just ‘spices’) because the flavor is more akin to some bastardized Dr. Pepper bred with a root beer. Actually, describing it like that makes it sound more appealing than it really is. It’s just straight out weird to me. read the full article

From Away – Lobster Fondue with Oyster River Reisling and Bartlett Estate Wild Blueberry Wine

Fondue is a food I can’t imagine hating. I suppose if you are lactose intolerant, detest the Swiss, and are a germaphobe – well, this is not for you. Please, leave. It’s kitschy! And European! And melty cheese and wine, inarguably two of the best things on earth. read the full article

Vrai-lean-uh – Norman Chicken with Kennebec Cider

This recipe requires very little hands-on work. You brown the chicken, then basically abandon it for half an hour, then come back to make a really simple sauce from the cooking liquid. Chicken thighs are cheap, flavorful, and relatively hard to mess up (they don’t dry out like chicken breasts do), and the finished dish is rich and hearty. It would be nice with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.
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