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Drink Up?

March 24, 2011 By:
Eileen Goltz
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SLICE OF LIFE

I have 11 cans of beer left over from the Super Bowl party. I'm starting to clean the refrigerator pre-Pesach and need to figure out what to do with the stuff. I've discovered that adding beer to vegetables like onions, carrots and corn, combined with a dash or so of honey, molasses or sugar, gives a deep mellow flavor to ho-hum vegetables.

Beer is also great combined with cheese dishes, but you only need a little to give you the kind of kick you'd get by adding lemon juice or vinegar. Surprisingly, you can also bake with beer and get terrific results. The yeast in beer is an excellent addition to pancakes, breads and onion-ring batters.

Beer is also fantastic for tenderizing meat via marinades.

So, you ask, why would we want to cook with beer instead of just drinking it right down? The answer is, because we can, of course, and the recipes below will help you use up lots of stuff you need to get rid of.

Carbonnade à la Flamade

(Meat)
  • 11/4 lbs. lean ground beef 
    3 Tbsps. margarine 
    1/4 cup flour 
    2 tsps. minced garlic 
    2 cups chopped onions 
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled 
    1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
    11/2 lbs. red-skin potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 11/2-inch chunks (not peeled) 
    1 can (10.5 oz.) beef broth 
    1 package frozen asparagus cut (do not thaw) 
    1 can (12 oz.) beer, blended with 3 Tbsps. flour 
    salt and pepper

Shape the meat into large flat patty. Dredge both sides in flour.

Heat the margarine in Dutch oven on high for 1 minute.

Add the ground beef. Brown for 3 minutes on each side. Place patty in plate and set aside.

Lower heat to moderate temperature. Add the onions, garlic, thyme and nutmeg to drippings; sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add the potatoes and broth. Bring to a gentle boil. Place lid on askew and cook 15 minutes.

Add beer mixture and cook until liquid thickens (3 to 5 minutes). Add meat, breaking into large clumps. Cover and cook 10 more minutes.

Add the asparagus, and cook, breaking up frozen clumps, until potatoes are tender and meat shows no signs of pink (7 to 10 minutes).

Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6.

Beer-Baked Chicken Wings

(Meat)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
    1/2 cup lager or light beer 
    1/4 cup soy sauce 
    1/8 cup lemon juice 
    1/2 tsp. salt 
    1/4 tsp. pepper 
    1/8 tsp. ginger 
    1 tsp. minced garlic 
    3 to 31/2 lbs. of chicken wings

In a large, resealable plastic bag or a large plastic container with a lid, combine all ingredients except the chicken. Close and shake to combine. Rinse the wings in ice water and then drain them on paper towels.

Add the wings and shake to coat. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but no more than 24.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place the wings in a roasting pan, making sure not to overlap them. Discard excess marinade. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until wings are crispy and done.

Creamy, Crabby Beer Dip

(Dairy)
  • 16 oz. cream cheese 
    1/2 cup light beer 
    1 lb. fake crabmeat, cut into small pieces 
    1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained 
    2 green onions, finely chopped 
    2 ribs of celery, diced 
    1/2 Tbsp. of dried parsley 
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
    1/4 Tbsp. of lemon juice 
    1 tsp. Worcestershire or soy sauce 
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

In bowl of a food processor, combine the cream cheese with the beer. Process until smooth.

Add the water chestnuts and process just until the water chestnuts are chunky pieces.

Place mixture into a bowl. Add the crabmeat, onions, celery, parsley, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and lemon juice; mix with a spoon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Serve with chips, pretzels or pita.

Makes about 3 cups.

Crockpot Beer Stew

(Meat)

You can add more or less of anything you like, except the beer.

  • 2 onions, sliced thickly 
    8 potatoes, quartered 
    4 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters 
    2 to 21/2 lbs. stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces 
    2-3 Tbsps. brown sugar 
    1/2-1 tsp. black pepper 
    4-5 Tbsps. onion-soup mix 
    12 oz. beer 
    1/2 tsp. salt 
    water

On the bottom of your crockpot, first layer the onions, then the potatoes, then the carrots and then the meat.

Sprinkle the onion-soup mix, brown sugar and pepper over the meat.

Pour the beer over the top of the meat and add enough water so that the meat is covered.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 hours, until beef is tender.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tex-Mex Beer Marinade

(Pareve)

Terrific for chicken or fish.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
    1/4 cup minced garlic 
    1 cup onion, chopped 
    2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped 
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
    1/4 cup soy sauce 
    8 oz. beer 
    2 Tbsps. black pepper 
    1/2 to 2/3 cup lime juice

In blender, combine all ingredients; process until smooth.

Makes approximately 2 cups of marinade.

Chili With Beer

(Meat)
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin 
    1 Tbsp. ground coriander 
    4-5 lbs. ground beef or turkey 
    2 Tbsps. oil 
    3-4 onions, coarsely chopped 
    3 red bell peppers, diced 
    2 yellow bell peppers, diced 
    1/4 cup jalapeño peppers, diced 
    7 Tbsps. chili powder 
    2 28-oz. cans of crushed tomatoes 
    2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, drained 
    1 bottle (12 oz.) dark beer

In a large skillet, sauté the beef, making sure to break up the clumps, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In another skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers and jalapeños. Sauté until veggies are soft, about 15 minutes.

Add the veggies to the meat; mix to combine.

Add the cumin, coriander and chili powder. Mix to combine.

Add the crushed tomatoes, beans and beer. Mix to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 10.

Beer Batter for Veggies

(Pareve)
  • 11/3 cups flour 
    1 tsp. salt 
    2 sweet onions, sliced and separated into rings or 1 lb. mushrooms or 3 sliced zucchini or a combination 
    1/4 tsp. pepper 
    1 Tbsp. oil 
    2 egg yolks 
    3/4 cup beer

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, oil and egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the beer. Cover and refrigerate the batter for 3 to 4 hours.

When you're ready to make your veggies, dip vegetables in the batter and then fry them, in hot oil until golden-brown.

Drain them on paper towels and then sprinkle with a little salt. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4.

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