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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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So, you want to blaze new trails on the map of your tongue? Head to Texas. First stop: Dallas, where palate-pleasing combinations of beer and food are offered by Yegua Creek Brewing Co.

Founded in February 1994, Yegua Creek's menu offers specialty foods made in the area, from the ancho chile infused cacciota of the Mozzarella Company, to fresh pasta made by the nearby Raviolissimo, to ranch-raised game and venison. What could be more perfect to go with new Texan cooking but the full-bodied flavors of freshly brewed beers?

Imagine a wheat beer sharp with yeast, paired with a rich appetizer of spicy black bean ravioli with an asiago cream sauce, gently seasoned with achiote, an earthy spice commonly used in Southwestern and Mexican cooking.

Or try the "beerbecued" buffalo brisket tacos and chicken-cilantro tamales, paired with the hoppy, copper-colored pale ale known as Icehaus ( not "ice" brewed, but named after the original moniker of the vintage building occupied by Yegua Creek, the Republic Ice House).

Traditional Texas prairie cooking also gets a lift from lighter lager and pilsner style brews. Matt Martinez, chef-owner of Rancho Martinez and No Place Restaurant, serves simple, straightforward Texas classics, such as chicken-fried steak, chili, and Gulf seafood. "Basic TexMex cooking is still very hot," says Martinez.

But the nuevo rancho style of cooking with field mushrooms, wild game and American-made queso blanco, is gaining in popularity. For example, Martinez serves an appetizer of corn pancakes, topped with grilled Gulf of Mexico shrimp, sauteed bell peppers and onion, portabello mushrooms, and lean wild boar chorizo, drizzled with warm melted cheese thinned with chicken stock.

"Most people order a simple, quenching Lone Star or Shiner Bock with this one," says Martinez. "The smoky flavor of the sausages go great with beer." In Texas, most people consider beer to be the natural partner to Mexican food.

"TexMex food is spiced with cumin, garlic, oregano, chiles, salt and pepper. With foods that are this flavorful, you want to drink something that is sparkling and cool, like a lager."

But the appeal of Texas foods extends beyond pairings with Texas-brewed beers. The natural affinity between the intensely flavored ingredients of Southwestern food extend to pairings with a wide range of brews.

Yegua Creek Brewing Company
7123 E Mockingbird Lane, Dallas

Matt's Rancho Martinez
6332 La Vista Drive, Dallas

Matt's recipes for Cowboy Drunk Beans
and BBQ Brisket

www.beercook.com, Copyright © 2012-2002, by Lucy Saunders. All rights reserved. Note copyright of authors and recipe contributors in bylines and prefaces. Fee required for reprints in any commercial media.

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