Week 24 – Beer

“Beer is living proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin

My name is Thad and I have been invited to be the guest “blogger” for this week’s cooking theme, “Cooking with Beer.” For those who don’t know who I am, I get the wonderful privilege of calling Lisa, one of the resident cooks for this page, my girlfriend. I live in Mankato and work as a faculty member in the Health Science Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I very much enjoy cooking and the opportunity to try new culinary experiences.

For this week I have prepared three dishes that are sure to excite your taste buds. First, we will make a wonderful winter delight, Beer-Cheese Soup.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups diced green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups favorite light beer
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

*popped popcorn, for garnish

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together green and red peppers, onion, and garlic. Stir in hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Gradually stir in milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in cheese. Keep warm.
  • Stir beer mixture into cheese mixture. Stir in Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Adjust for hot pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Serve topped with popcorn.

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A couple variations could be used. If you’re not a fan of green and red peppers, you can substitute diced carrots and celery. In addition, if you’re looking to reduce the total calories, you can switch out the half & half for 2% milk. The soup is phenomenal and pairs well with the creamy Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewery.

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Moving on to the next dish, I set out to pair two of my favorite items, chicken and beer. I will provide you with the instructions to make a slam dunk treat, Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers.

What you will need:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup beer preferably an Indian Pale Ale (IPA) or other hop centered brew

1⁄3 cup honey

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1⁄4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

4 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken in small pieces.
  1. In a medium bowl whisk all the ingredients together. Add chicken, there should be enough marinade to 
cover the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours to 24 
hours.
  1. Fire up the grill. Or you can use the oven by hanging skewers on a cake pan.
  1. Thread chicken on skewers, about 5 pieces per skewer.
  1. Cook until chicken is cooked through.
  1. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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The skewers make a nice blend of sweet and zesty topped of with the pleasantly refreshing hoppy notes provided by adding in hop centered pale ale.

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The last recipe that I will share with you today is the Beer and Brown Sugar Steak Marinade. This is a quick and easy, yet tasteful way to add a little extra flavor to your favorite cut of red meat.

What you’ll need:

Your favorite cut of steak

¼ cup dark beer

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Mix the beer, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder into a bowl. Place cut of steak into the mixing bowl while poking fork holes into the meat. Let meat sit in marinade for 30min.

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You can grill the meat, or enjoyed by pan fry.

For me, I used thin cut flank steak with dark Schell’s beer in the marinade. I then pan-fried the steak searing the outside and cooking medium rare. Once cooked, I sliced the steak into small strips to enjoy as a finger food. This also is a wonderful cut of meat to use in steak sandwiches.

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I hope you all will enjoy these fantastic recipes as much as we did. Cooking with beer is a wonderful way to enjoy a beverage while expanding your taste palate!

Until next time…..

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