Recipes with Beer as an Ingredient
There are several people who often make it a point to not drink anymore, only to break the promise a few days later. While they do not remain solemn to their oath and seldom get back to their bottle, many a times there is a lot of beer stocked in the kitchen closet during those sober days. On one of these days, it is suggested that the beer may be used in cooking, experimenting and in perfecting one’s culinary skills.
Beer could be better than wine for cooking purposes due to its light flavor and typically lower alcohol content, which allows the spices to blend in and complement the food. It is important to know that light and dark beers have distinct flavors and aromas and as with wine, the right beer in proper measures needs to be paired with a particular dish. Lagers should be used for pork, beef or lamb recipes. Beer can also work wonders with desserts, and go well with fruity flavors.
The difference between a lager and beer is the fermentation process. A slowly fermented light colored beer that has been stored or matured for a considerable amount of time at a cold temperature is called lager. This golden beer is bottom-fermented – the yeast sinks to the bottom of the fermentation container – where it carries out a slower fermentation, giving the resulting beer a clean, subtle flavor.
Beer is a very versatile cooking medium, and a few of the classic ideas for using golden beers in cooking relates to fried foods, beer bread; it can be even used as a marinade. Beer floats are the easiest of them all; just add a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Beer or lager does great in many dishes – in spaghetti sauce (instead of wine); chilli (pick a porter to enhance the smoky flavor); cheese soup or French onion soup (instead of the wine); fondue; or barbecue sauce (try a fruity ale). Although mussels are usually teamed with white wine, a light beer is an ideal substitute to make the dish more sumptuous.
A classic recipe for tailgating parties or a barbecue dinner in the backyard is the ‘beer can chicken’, where a whole chicken is barbecued over a can of beer or lager. Those who like their chicken spicy could add spices to the can of beer, cut its top off, and stand the whole chicken on the can before placing the setup onto the grill. Beer-battered potato wedges – either baked or fried – make a great accompaniment or even an evening snack! The possibilities are many; the more one experiments, the better are the chances of coming up with great culinary delights, with beer as the primary ingredient.