1. Topped with your choice of melon salsa
2. Topped with fresh tomato-basil balsamic mixture
3. Blackened - Cajun style
All three versions are served with grilled marinated vegetables and baby red potatoes.
When it came to the melon option, Shawn preferred the Howlin' Hefeweizen, a traditional style German wheat beer full of clove spices and banana. The natural fruitiness of the beer resonated with the melon and created a unifying base layer.
Shawn's pairing pick for the Cajun option is the Desperado IPA, an American style India Pale Ale with big hop flavors and bitterness. Desperado resonated with the cajun spices and accentuated them momentarily before the malt flavors and alcohol could soothe and cleanse his palate.
When it came to the blackened Cajun version, Jason pick was Midnight Howl, a black IPA with a crisp, citrus hop flavor, pronounced bitterness and subtle roasty notes. He really enjoyed the way the beer accentuated the paprika and how the entree changed the flavor profile of this beer. The roasty flavors of the beer became more chocolaty - think Tootsie Roll- as he was eating the Cajun version.
My favorite pairing for the Cajun version is the Golden Eagle, a blonde ale with a crisp, clean malt flavor and refreshing hop bitterness. The malt profile of Golden Eagle helped contrast the Cajun spices before its mild hop bitterness and medium light body refreshed and cleansed the palate.