Matt Gilliland, known to all his coworkers at New Belgium as Matty Smooth, is a brewer and father with a goal:
to cook meals for his family with as many local, seasonal ingredients as possible and try a new recipe at least once a week. But whatâs a delicious home-cooked meal without an equally delicious New Belgium beer to accompany it? Luckily, this man knows his beer:
I knew I was going to make scallops with caramelized walnuts over spinach tonight, which is great. I donât typically make a lot of seafood, being a native Coloradoan, so itâs nice to take a walk on the mild side.
What to make with it, though. I asked my lovely wife P, whose answer I probably should have guessed. âCollard greens!â she cried, as though it were ice cream. Okay, collard greens, I know; I get it already. Thereâs this recipe I make for Sicilian collard greens that, letâs face it, is really, really good, but Iâm not convinced that itâs like, throw your hands in the air, pots-and-pans-parade good. P, on the other hand, is convinced that eating it is actually a marginally better experience than having unicorns reduce rainbows into a sauce that is served over a delicate bed of exuberance. Besides, a spinach dish with collard greens is really green.
But, I made it all anyway. I know. If all of you foodies reading this right now were dead, you would be rolling in your graves. Apologies.
The real challenge here, however, is what to drink with it.
Texturally, this is a complex platter. The delicate touch of the scallops, the heavy meatiness of the collards, the gentle touch of baby spinach â thereâs a lot to balance. The collard greens have pine nuts and craisins (the recipe originally called for raisins, but what are we, in prison or something?) and are finished with a little balsamic. Thatâs some sweet, spicy, and lots of bold flavor. The scallops have some lime, tarragon, and caramelized walnuts; thereâs some gentle sweetness, delicate fruitiness and tiny hints of herbal flavors.
Mothership Wit seemed like the right choice. The sour notes in the beer were able to commiserate with the balsamic and craisins in the collards, but, at the same time, there were sweet and delicate spice notes that exonerated the scallops and spinach.
This was a good meal, it worked out. My 5 year old ate some scallops, and everybody went to bed happy. I love cooking for my family, but sometimes I have to wonder if itâs time well spent, you know? I am in school and I work full time, the lovely P works, we have a 5 year old and a 6 month old. Do I really have time to make this kind of meal on a weeknight?
Do I? Hell yeah!
I just donât have the time to clean up.