Saisons, because of their often complex nature, are extremely versatile and go with a lot of different dishes. The big taste factors of Saisons are that they are generally highly carbonated, tart, dry and refreshing, so they are best paired with strong, often spicy flavors. They are excellent with Thai and other Southeastern Asian cuisines. The spicier, the better, as saisons will cut right through the spice allowing the nuttier, brighter flavors to come through. They will also refresh the palate, really allowing you to thoroughly enjoy the dish the whole way through without your taste buds getting blown out by heavy spices and the burn of chilies. Most saisons also have a peppery quality, like cracked peppercorn, and will often complement that flavor. I would also pair it with a strong Caesar salad. I’m thinking of one of those robust Caesars that have pungent anchovies or a really good dressing, and some earthy croutons. But that can be the appetizer to the following dish, which will really make that Saison pull its weight.
Grilled Red Snapper with a spicy tamarind sauce
- Prepare the following mixture for the tamarind sauce and then store in the fridge until needed, up to a day. You can alter the level of spice by lowering or omitting the amount of chili powder or Chili garlic paste, but remember that the saison will help heal the burn! - 4 Tbls Ketchup
- 1 Tbls Tamarind Paste
- 1 Tbls Sugar
- 2 tsp Chili-Garlic Paste
- 2 tsp Minced ginger
- 2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 ½ tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 4 Tbls Water
- Buy some Red Snapper, Skin on is preferred. Also recommended is a wooden plank so that it buffers the intense heat and helps facilitate an easier cooking experience. Look for this fish at a fish monger of your choice.
Image courtesy of fishmountstore.com
- Begin by heating the grill, then while you have some time, prepare a marinade of one part olive oil, one part lemon juice, and two parts cilantro.
- Combine with the fish and store in the fridge for about 15 minutes and then throw it on the plank. Be sure that the plank has been soaked in some water before hand to avoid charring and incineration.
- Rub on some salt and pepper, and grill for about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- You can brush on the tamarind sauce while grilling or save for on the side.
- Pair with any number of saisons, including the well-known Saison Dupont, or the ones you heard on this podcast.