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Side Dishes: Leftover Food News

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"Hop shortage? We don't have no stinkin' hop shortage!" That's the slogan of American Flatbread Burlington's "IPA month," which began on April 1. No fooling.

Not familiar with India Pale Ale? The style is known for having slightly more alcohol than the average ale, as well as a higher hop content - the buds lend an aromatic but bitter flavor. The name's rooted in history: Since both hops and alcohol are natural preservatives, beers made with more of each were better able to withstand long voyages, such as the one from - you guessed it - England to India.

All this month, the hip eatery will offer between eight and 12 bold draught brews at a time, although the selection will most likely rotate from week to week. According to bar manager Jeff Baumann, featured breweries will include Rock Art, Dogfish Head, Smuttynose and McNeill's. The AFB's own brewmaster, Paul Saylor, has created three hoppy quaffs for the occasion, one in collaboration with Ron Cotti of the Bobcat Café in Bristol.

She grew up out West and currently lives an hour outside of New York City, but in between, Cree LeFavour, author of The New Steak: Recipes for a Range of Cuts Plus Savory Sides, made her mark in the Green Mountains. After earning a B.A. in history from Middlebury College, LeFavour spent time working as a waitress at Sneakers Café and Bistro. She moved to New York to pursue a PhD in American Studies at NYU.

LeFavour's book, which comes out this week, is a love poem to animal products, though recipes for complementary sides accompany each carnivorous entry. The colorful soft-cover tome includes recipes for mouth-watering meals such as "porterhouse with herb butter, slow-roasted garlic and creamed spinach" and "lime-tequila marinated skirt steak, roasted sweet peppers and salsa cruda."

Why did the first-time cookbook author gravitate towards carne? It all started with a low-carb diet: "I was eating a lot of steak . . . and given the expense, we were eating a lot of skirt steak. It was kind of a revelation that it didn't need to be marinated or have special treatment. That sort of got me going." After her successes with skirt steaks, LeFavour suggests, "I started cooking a lot of other steaks I'd sort of overlooked before." Beef lovers everywhere will be glad she did.

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