Pangea Poached Pears with Smoked Blue Cheese and Almonds

300 Million Years Ago

Here is a History lesson. Pangea was a supercontinent formed about 300 million years ago before the rift which happened about 200 million years ago, before the continents were separated into the forms we know today.

This beer is one of my favorites.  Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head was watching the bombing of Iraq with his son and to cheer him up he put on a Dinosaur movie and in the film they featured the supercontinent Pangea.

Sam was inspired and thought it would be cool to create a beer using a unique ingredient from every continent, including Antarctica. Pangea was born.

What did he add?

  • Basmatti rice from Asia
  • Crystalized Ginger from Australia
  • Quinoa from South America
  • Muscavado Sugar from Africa
  • Yeast from Europe
  • Maize from North America
  • Water from Antarctica

The sad thing is Pangea has taken a hiatus and I have no idea when it will return, however, I will provide you with some substitutions for the Pangea.

I have previously cooked with beer but this is the first time I have written it down. I wanted to take advantage of the ginger profile found in Dogfish Head’s Pangea. The Pangea worked well and reduced without turning bitter.

Pangea Poached Pears with Smoked Blue Cheese and Almonds

Serves 4

2 cups simple syrup

2 cups Dogfish Head Pangea. (You know what to do with the rest) You can substitute any low hopped beer with a spicy profile such as a Saison, Belgium Golden or Tripple.

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise

2 tbsp honey

4 firm pears, peeled, cored and cut in half. (Red Bartlet Pears are my favorite)

fresh spring mix, rinsed and dried

1 cup of smoked blue cheese

1/2 cup almonds, toasted

1. In a medium saucepan, add first five ingredients. Bring to medium heat and stir until honey is melted through.

2. Add pears, cut side down and bring to a simmer.

3. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until pears are just tender, turning half way through.

4. Remove pears and let cool.

5. Reduce poaching liquid until it reaches a syrup like consistency. Remove from heat.

6. Place a mound of greens on a salad plate. Slice 2 pear halves into thin slices and fan on top of greens. 

7. Crumble 4 tablespoons of blue cheese on pears and sprinkle with toasted almonds. 

8. Drizzle Pangea syrup and enjoy. Repeat this for the remaining three plates.

If you want, omit the greens and smoked blue cheese and place on top of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with warm Pangea syrup.

The salad has alot going on. Sweetness from the pears and syrup,  the smokiness and saltiness from the blue cheese, the bitterness from the greens and the nutiness and crunchyness from the almonds.

Have you had a chance to try Pangea?  Tell me your favorite pear recipe.

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6 comments on “Pangea Poached Pears with Smoked Blue Cheese and Almonds

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