What to Do with All That Beer

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I don’t know about you, but we hosted a lot of gatherings over the last two months, both large and small. As a result, we have a bunch of beer lying around that we will never drink.

Normally, I donate excess food to appropriate shelters and hunger relief organizations, but beer does not fit with that mission. And I hate waste.

So I consulted my friend, beer expert Ray Swerdlow, who was profiled in November. He gave me a few food-friendly recipes that have resulted in delicious dishes — and good use of my excess brews.

IPA Tandoori Chicken Wings (meat)

Makes 16 wings

This recipe is adapted to kosher diners by swapping out traditionally used yogurt for mayonnaise. The mayo delivers the creamy tanginess that the dish requires without mixing dairy with meat. Many preparations of chicken wings require frying; this one has all the work done in the oven, so that’s a bonus for the cook.

Indian tandoori chicken wings served with pilau rice and garlic naan , selective focus
  • 16 chicken wings
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup India pale ale
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala spice blend
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Cut a few slits in each of the wings and place them in a large zip-close bag. In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients except the oil and pour them into the bag with the chicken.

Shake the bag to ensure that the wings are thoroughly coated and the marinade is evenly distributed.

Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the wings from the bag and drain them in a colander.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and brush the parchment with oil.

Place the wings on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over; return them to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro and a glass of India pale ale.

Porter Cheese Soup (dairy)

Serves four

This soup is ideal for a cold winter day — serve it for lunch or dinner with a simple green salad and some crusty bread. And, of course, a glass of porter.

Homemade Beer Cheese Soup with Chives and Bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup porter
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add the beer, stir constantly, and bring to a boil (this cooks off the alcohol).

Add the vegetable stock, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the cream, then add the cheese, ¼ cup at a time, allowing each portion to melt before adding more. This ensures a smooth, creamy texture.

Taste for seasonings; it may need salt and pepper.

Brown Ale Chocolate Cherry Nut Bread (dairy)

Makes one loaf

This bread is a heavenly blend of chocolate, nuts and dried cherries. It is lovely with a cup of tea in the afternoon, with coffee for a somewhat decadent breakfast, or any time you crave something delicious.

It is not overly sweet, but it could certainly be served for dessert, especially topped with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • 1 bottle brown ale
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice:  almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, or pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more to coat top of bread when done

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard-size loaf pan.

In a small bowl, soak the cherries in ale for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Add the cherries and beer, then add the chocolate chips, nuts and melted butter.

Pour the mixture into a prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes until done (toothpick comes out clean and top is golden brown and crisp). Immediately rub a pat of butter over the top of the loaf. Remove from the pan, cool and enjoy.