Cooking with Beer
I like food and I like beer so the logical next step was to combine the two of them (just like those snooty wine people do). This past Saturday I decided I would do just that. I planned out a three course meal (appetizer, main course and dessert) that all featured beer in the recipe.
The three courses we made: Shrimp Appetizer, Chicken Soft Tacos, and Chocolate Stout Cake.
On to the food. The first course was a based off a recipe that came from my girlfriend’s mom – a simple shrimp appetizer.
- 10 Shrimp
- A tea ball filled with pickling spice
- A pinch of salt
- 2 12oz bottles of Abita Amber
We added the beer. pickling spice, and the salt and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
Next we added the shrimp and cooked until they were pink.
For the very short cooking time of the shrimp, they took on many of the flavors of the Abita Amber as well as the pickling spice. The combination gave the shrimp a very deep and complex flavor.
The main course, Beer-Marinated Chicken Tacos, was based off a recipe found on serious eats.
- 1 package of chicken breasts (this one had three)
- 1 cup Negra Modelo
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- A small handful of cilantro
We sliced the chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinated them for 2 hours (longer would have been better).
The next step was to cook the chicken; in this part we just used a frying pan and cooked the chicken on high heat until it was nicely cooked about 5-10 minutes.
Once the chicken was done we heated up some tortillas (we used spinach ones) and added the usual fixings (shredded lettuce, guacamole, salsa, cheese and sour cream) to the chicken.
These tacos were amazing! Marinating the light chicken in a dark beer definitely gave the chicken immense flavors.
On to dessert! The idea for this treat first came about from watching Iron Chef America where the secret ingredient was BEER! In this episode Bobby Flay made a chocolate stout cake so I figured that this would be excellent if it were made with the chocolate stout homebrew sitting in my kegerator. Unfortunately, I could not find the exact recipe Chef Flay used so we found a chocolate stout cake recipe on smitten kitchen.
Rather than mess with this recipe (well besides using the homebrew in place Guinness, pfft Guinness) we stuck to smitten kitchen’s procedure and came out with this:
This cake was also wonderful. It was not overly sweet, had a hint of coffee and a semi-bitter chocolate flavor. In all honesty I couldn’t taste the beer and not sure what depth of flavor it added, but I wouldn’t leave it out!
Overall beer is as versatile as wine (in my opinion more versatile due to the incredible variety of different beers) when used in cooking. I highly recommend incorporating beer into your everyday cooking.