If you haven’t heard of The Amends yet, I’m sure that will change. This new quartet out of Boulder, Colorado are flat out catchy fun. Punk meets pop. A touch of prog. Indie rock? Yes. Possibly. More like traditional rock with a creative edge that gives it a fresh modern feel.
There is no way one can sit still when The Amends are on the stereo. This is cool music to the max.
So what food to serve up for the band?
I asked Tyler if he had any recipe requests. He responded, “Drew (the main frontman and lead guitarist) and I (lyricist, keys, rhythm guitar,and sing some songs like Regina) are both from the Midwest so have a soft spot for Midwestern comfort food… And since what we’re trying to accomplish is bring back good old fashioned rock n roll but with a twist– maybe some sort of traditional favorite with a new twist by you.”
I loved the idea and decided on a quartet of twisted Midwestern comfort foods.
Let’s start with some Midwestern milk shakes. The twist here is the mango (Not my idea, that credit is to WikiHow).
I love the Kansas counting in the directions. I did not include telling you to plug in your electric blender. My readers are kind of smart about things like that.
Midwestern Strawberry Milk Shakes
14 Ice cubes, crushed
7 Large Strawberries, chopped
1.5 cups of milk
2 cups of vanilla ice cream
1 cup of whipped cream
1 mango, chopped
1. Place all ingredients into the blender.
2. Set blender on high for 20 Kansas counts. (i.e. 1 Kansas, 2 Kansas, etc.)
3. Turn blender down to medium. Leave on medium for 10 more Kansas counts or until desired thickness.
Makes one very delicious shake. Very eager hands were waiting for me to hurry and put down the camera.
Scattering deep fried cheese curds over Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup elevates this simple soup from really good to over the top amazing.
Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup With Beer Batter Fried Cheese Curds
4 Tbs butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
12 oz pale ale (I used some of Vermont’s very own Harpoon IPA)
1 cup milk or half-and-half
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I know Wisconsin has some serious cheese, but I adore Cabot’s Seriously Sharp)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté until the onions are translucent and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the top and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Whisk in the chicken stock and beer, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
3. Add the half-and-half, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Return to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly add the cheddar cheese, stirring until it is melted and smooth. Take care not to overheat the soup after the cheese is added or it could curdle.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve hot in bowls with sliced fried cheese curds (recipe below) to garnish.
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Whats4Eats.com
Beer Batter Fried Cheese Curds
5 ounces beer (again, I used Harpoon IPA)
5 ounces pancake mix, such as Bisquick
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 lbs cheese curds, at room temperature (I know, that’s a lot of cheese curds! Make sure you invite a few bands over when you make this)
oil (for frying)
1. Mix beer, pancake mix, salt, and egg.
2. Drink the remaining beer in the bottle while you dip curds in batter and drop one at a time into heated oil (425-450℉). Fry for about 1 minute or until golden brown.
3. Drain on paper towel.
Recipe from Food.com
I thought a really fun twist on Dairlyland Casserole, a Midwestern staple, would be to flavor the beef portion with Cincinnati chili spices. You get the best of both dishes in one.
Cincinnati Chili Style Dairyland Casserole
2 lbs ground beef
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 c green onions, sliced
2 (16 oz) cans tomato sauce
3 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 lb noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 3 quart baking dish.
2. In large skillet, brown beef. Add green onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add tomato sauce and next 9 ingredients. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese.
5. Place 1/2 of noodles in bottom of baking dish. Cover with cheese mixture. Place remaining noodles on top of cheeses. Top with beef mixture. Bake 30 minutes.
Finally, how about some Sugar Pie?
Sugar Pie. Really? Oh, yes. Oh yum.
I topped the pie with some Vermont maple sugar candies to make it even sweeter. And it was.
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup milk
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Maple sugar candies, to garnish
I used this kind of pie shell. Honestly, I almost don’t buy products that tell me not to do stupid things like ‘Bake Before Serving’. Well, duh.
1. Preheat oven to 450℉.
2. Combine sugar, flour, cream, and milk in a mixing bowl. Pour into pie shell. Dot butter bits all around top of pie. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350℉ and cook for approximately 50 more minutes. (the original recipe said 30 minutes, but my pie was way too jiggly. It needed about 20 minutes longer. I wasn’t sure how much it would set up in the fridge). Cool pie to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled. Serve chilled.
Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen
Back to The Amends.
I was hooked on Hey Regina from the first listen. There is a disconnect between the catchy chorus and the lyrics that elevates the song above your typical tune of two people using each other. It’s just freakin’ great.
‘She don’t want me for my body, I don’t want her for her mind
I’m just a little game to help her pass the time
We’ve got flesh and lust and mutual distrust and hours and hours to unwind’
The Amends-Hey Regina
Woo-hoo-hoo. Listen to this rocker. Fast and fun with a retro vibe. You know you want to move and shake.
The Amends-Dance (demo mix)
I absolutely love the piano in the song Bored & Mean. And those guitars. And those vocals. What’s not to love?
The Amends are: Andrew Weikart (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Tyler Taylor (Vocals/Guitar/Keys), Shay Byington (Drums), Chris Childress (Bass) The new album is due out on July 23rd. I can’t wait.
Learn more about The Amends on their Myspace Page, on Facebook and the band’s website.
You missed the essence of Midwestern cooking–jello salads!
I saw some of those while doing my research. The thing is…I had to eat what I made and jello salad, er, no. I almost made your KC BBQ, but the recipe was too good as is without giving it a twist.
I’m originally from Ohio, so these recipes bring me back to my childhood! Thanks for sharing, and thanks- as always- for using Cabot cheese!
Cabot rules in my kitchen!
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