Scallops, Minted Peas and Beer Blanc matched with Mountain Goat Steam Ale

Kris: Nothing like a weekend away in the big city. I can’t go to Melbourne without visiting the Queen Victoria Markets. An amazing selection of fresh produce, cured meats, cheese, beer, wine and seafood. I thought it would be a great idea to cook dinner using Victorian produce, matched with some Victorian craft beer.

The entree I decided to create was Pan fried scallops, minted peas and beer blanc (Beurre Blanc is a classic french butter sauce, made with a reduction of white wine and vinegar. I decided to do my own version using a reduction of Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene, a classic Belgian Gueuze. It is a funky, sour blend of 1,2 and 3 year old barrel aged lambic)

Caroline: One of my favorite things about Melbourne is the Queen Victoria Markets! SO much fresh produce, so many spices, so much cheese, wine, seafood, and meats! If I died and went to heaven, I think it would be Queen Vic. Luckily We stayed with a friend who lived right by the markets and scored a ton of great snacks…

Scallops, Minted Peas and Beer Blanc

400g scallops

300g peas

10 finely sliced mint leaves

olive oil

180ml Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene Gueuze

2 peeled eschalots

5-6 pepper corns

180g chilled butter

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper


Kris: This sauce can be a little intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. The key is to make sure the butter is really chilled and you add it in small amounts so that it emulsifies and doesn’t split.

Beer Blanc

Place the beer in a saucepan over a medium heat and reduce by half

Add the eschalots and pepper corns

After a few minutes, slowly add small cubes of the chilled butter and whisk

After all the butter has been added, simmer until the sauce thickens

Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste

Steam the peas for 5 minutes until tender

Add the peas and mint to a mortar and pestle

Add some olive oil and mash

Season with salt and pepper

Heat a frying pan to smoking point

Add a small amount of olive oil and sear the scallops for a couple of minutes each side

Take off the heat and season with salt and pepper

Place the minted peas on the plate 

Place the scallops on top of the peas

Spoon over the Beer Blanc


Caroline: The scallops were so soft and tender, perfectly cooked, and the mint added so much freshness and lightness to the mashed peas! and Beurre blanc (beer-blanc) how can you go wrong?? Such a delicious dish, rich and still light and summery.

Kris: I have been thinking about making the Beer Blanc for quite a while now. It was a great success. The dish was also a great match with the Mountain Goat Steam Ale. It is a great interpretation of the Californian Common, an ale brewed at a low temperature. It is clean and crisp with a nice touch of citrus hop flavour and aroma.

Caroline: Matching our Melbournian dinner with a Melbournian beer seemed only natural, and Mountain Goat is one of our favorites! If only we had been in town on a Wednesday or Friday to go down to the brewery for brewskies and pizza! We drank the Steam Ale with our seafood dish. The Steam Ale is not only certified organic, but is also really delicious! Clean, crisp and refeshing; a perfect match for seafood.

Roast Pumpkin, Fetta and Pine Nut Salad with Lambic Dressing

Caroline: It’s getting warmer out! Too warm for duck or turkey? Not to worry! Beer is great in salad. YES! SALAD!

To start I roasted some chopped up pumpkin and cherry tomatoes in some olive oil with salt and pepper in a 180C oven for 45 min.

Half way through take them out and give them a shake to unstick them from the pan and roll them around…So, here was my mistake…I put the pumpkin and tomatoes in together and as a result, the tomatoes were a little over cooked . They still tasted great, they just lost their shape a bit…Next time, I would put the pumpkin in and cook for 25 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for another 20.

Ok Beer time! I used a lambic because the sourness of this kind of beer is a great substitute for the acid you would typically put in a dressing (like lemon or vinegar).

Geuze Salad Dressing

80 ml olive oil

80ml lambic (belgian sour ale)

1 Tbs good quality honey

1 Tbs seeded mustard

1 small clove garlic (minced)

Shake well (a clean jar with a lid works) so all ingredients smoosh together

Caroline: SALAD! (See my sad deflated tomatoes?)
So, in this salad I put some danish fetta (really creamy yum), pan roasted pine nuts (til brown), the roasted pumpkin and tomatoes, Red Coral Lettuce and the Lambic salad dressing. It was delicious! Crunchy pine nuts and creamy cheese! And I recommend serving while the pumpkin and tomato are still warm, I love the contrast in temperatures as well!

Kris: I do enjoy salad when the weather is warm. It’s also good to balance out your diet too. I decided to match this dish with 4 Pines Pale Ale from Manly, NSW. It’s 5.1% and brewed withPale, Munich,Wheat and Crystal malt and derives it’s subtle but balanced hop character from the addition of Cascade, Amarillo and Citra hops. The sweetness of the malt compliments the sweetness in the pumpkin and the tomatoes and balances the acidity in the dressing. The citrus hop character also compliments the dressing and the subtle, hop bitterness doesn’t over power the salad. Another great combination!

Caroline: There you have it, BEER IN SALAD. Who was skeptical? (I was) Yum!
Also, this recipe for dressing is enough for a couple of salads. It’s handy to make the dressing in a jar because after shaking and using you can just pop it in the fridge as is.

 Delicious and healthy, who would have thought?