Tag Archives: rice

Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils

I have been harsh to lagers lately. Most of the lagers I try leave my palette with an off taste that is not quite burnt. It’s not musty or soapy either. It’s just an odd flavor that makes me want to pour the beer out and grab the nearest pale ale.

Since I was such a fan and consumer of Dale’s Pale Ale while in Colorado I brought home some Mama’s Little Yella Pils:

Little Yella Pils

What is this liquid masquerading as a lager? It has none of the bad traits I associate with the breed. It, dare I say, drinks smooth like my favorite ales. What alchemy have the brewers at Oskar Blues conducted to create such a monster?

First off, this beer is true to style meaning that it does not employ the use of so-called “adjuncts” like corn and rice. Say what you want about corn and rice in beer, but the traditional recipes used in Europe do not call for the ingredients. These beers also do not use a lot of the ingredients modern American brewers are using to craft stunning beers—yes, I am looking at you Surly Coffee Bender.

Second, the hop bill consists solely of Saaz hops. This is a very traditional hop for pilsners and seems more in place in this style as opposed to more common American craft beer hops like Cascade, Centennial, or Willamette. A pilsner lager is normally an easy drinking beer—hence the use of this style as the backbone of American light lagers that are meant to be consumed in units measured by 24 cans—so a potent hop really interferes.

The end result is a “smaller” beer that begs to be quaffed. I came home from a three hour long hike with my daughter and enjoyed a beer on the patio as the sun was setting. It fit the moment perfectly.

This all kind of surprised me because Oskar Blues is known for being on the more aggressive side of craft brewing. It’s not Stone Ruination aggressive by any means, but several of their beers are pushing higher alcohol and/or bitterness levels. This is not a brewery known for making session beers. Heck, the main line beer—Dale’s Pale Ale—clocks in at 65 IBU.

It’s a malty, not too hoppy easy drinking beer from a brewery better known for trying to knock your socks off:

Purchase 3 Mug Rating

Not Really Claypot Rice

I am a big fan of claypot chicken rice.  However, I do not actually own a claypot or cook over a smoky charcoal fire.  Okay, it’s not really claypot chicken rice because I split the grain 50/50 with quinoa.  Oh, I usually use chorizo instead of Chinese sausage like lap cheong.

What it comes out as is Not Really Claypot Rice.  My goal here was to create a dish that approximated some of the flavors I love in claypot rice but with a more weekday friendly preparation and using quinoa.  Why quinoa?  Other than the fact that it is the supposed “International Year of Quinoa,”quinoa is loaded with protein, it’s easy to digest, and it’s a whole grain.  Pretty much a winner all the way around.


1/4 cup soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 pound chicken, diced (I use boneless thighs and pieces for extra flavor)

1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

Thumb sized piece of ginger, minced

4 ounces sausage (I use chorizo, but others use lap cheong or high quality salami)

10 ounces shiitake mushrooms (I use dried, but you could use fresh)

1 cup long grain rice

1 cup quinoa

4 cups chicken stock


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and corn starch.  Whisk until combined.  Stir in chicken, scallions, garlic, and ginger. Marinate for at least fifteen minutes, but ideally longer.

Using a Dutch oven (I use my trusty Le Creuset) heat over medium high until hot. Add sausage.  When the sausage releases its fat add mushrooms.  Let them cook for a few minutes without stirring and then flip over letting the mushrooms cook for another few minutes without stirring.

Add a little oil to the pot along with the rice and quinoa.  Toast the rice for about a minute.  Don’t brown the rice.  Add some salt, marinated chicken mixture, and stock.  Bring to a boil.

Take off the burner, put on the lid, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or so.  Let the pot stand for 5 minutes or so after removing from the oven.  Stir the casserole well before serving because the mushrooms will have risen to the top during baking.

Serve with the garnish of your choice.  My daughter loves sweet and sour, but she is five years old so take that recommendation with a grain of salt.