Blue Bee is Virginia's first and only 'urban' cidery. Located within the city limits of Richmond, Virginia, in the city's Old Manchester neighborhood, Blue Bee is also one of the few such 'urban' cideries in the entire nation.
Charred Ordinary is one of Blue Bee's regular offerings, and the 'hard' cider I poured at this year's Thanksgiving meal.
An old-fashioned style of cider, Charred Ordinary is dry and assertively sour, with earthy aromas of hay, mushrooms, and bruised apples. A strong citrus and salt finish. 8.3% alcohol-by-volume (abv).
Charred Ordinary has apple-skin tartness and flavor, some earthy and smoky flavors, and a nice finishing slug of minerality.
From the 12 o'clock position:
- Blue Bee 'Charred Ordinary' Cider;
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts (with maple syrup dressing);
- Cranberry/Orange Relish;
- Gardein Holiday Roast 2 with Stout-Mushroom Gravy;
- Potato Kugel.
Not your Nana's KugelPotato Kugel, an eastern European staple, has been historically plied with eggs, milk, and pork. Here, new-world, it's a kugel, cooked 'vegan': un-egged, un-cow'ed, un-pigged ... and served with 'hard' cider.
- 3 Russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 2/3 cup olive oil (or vegetable shortening)
- 2/3 - 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 TBSP Ener-G Egg Replacer 1
- 3 TBSP matzo meal
- 1 TBSP Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1. Preheat the oven to 380 °F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 shallow cake pan with oil.
- 2. Grate potatoes into thin strips. Keep the gratings submerged in water, with a dash of lemon juice. This prevents the kugel from turning gray.
- 3. Sautée diced onions in oil, over medium heat, until just soft. Add chopped garlic in the oil. Sautée until golden. Set aside, and cool.
- 4. In a bowl, mix together onions, garlic, grated potato (drained), olive oil, and spices until the oil just coats the potato mixture.
- 5. Add the stock.
- 6. Mix in the flour (+ baking powder + Ener-G) 1/4 cup at a time, until the 'batter' around the potato and onion becomes 'just' thick. Add more flour as needed.
- 7. Spoon into greased casserole dish, 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle top with Panko bread crumbs.
- 8. Set oven at 380 °F. Bake for 45-60 minutes, uncovered, or until the top of the kugel is brown and crisped.