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Beer adds depth to recipes

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

Crack open a cold one this holiday weekend, and enjoy the earthy flavor that beer adds to your food. While beer brings out the richness in sweet or savory dishes, you’ll have no reason to feel guilty as almost all the alcohol evaporates while cooking. Try any one of these brew-infused recipes, and discover how every drop of beer is just as versatile as wine when cooking. Another bonus – you’ll have a delicious dish to share with friends at your first tailgate, which is right around the corner.

BEEF & BEER STROGANOFF

2 lbs. sirloin steak, cubed

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 ½ tsp. salt

2 sliced onions

3 oz. sliced mushrooms

¼ tsp paprika

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

12 can regular beer

1 cup sour cream

Pasta noodles

In a skillet, brown meat in the oil. Add salt. Remove meat to a bowl and set aside. In the same skillet, cook onion and mushrooms while covered for 4 minutes. Add to bowl with meat. Blend flour and paprika with skillet drippings. Add beer and Worcestershire. Stir and cook until thickened and bubbly. Stir in sour cream. Return meat and vegetables to the skillet. Mix together and cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Serve over noodles.

BEER FRIED CRABMEAT PUFFS

1 pound fresh lump crabmeat

1 pound fresh, crab claw meat

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

½ bunch minced, green onions

1 minced green bell pepper

1 minced stalk celery

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. white pepper

Vegetable oil frying

Honey Mustard Sauce

Thoroughly clean crabmeat. Combine crabmeat, mayonnaise, green onion, pepper, celery, salt and white pepper in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with hands. Roll mixture into 2-3 oz. balls as preferred. Dip crabmeat balls into beer batter, coating well. Deep fry crab balls in hot oil. Serve with Honey-Mustard sauce for dipping.

Beer Batter

12 oz. regular beer (not light)

2 large eggs

6 ½ oz. vegetable oil

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Combine beer, eggs, and vegetable oil in mixing bowl. Mix at low speed, adding flour gradually. Continue whipping until thoroughly mixed, and the batter is smooth.

Honey Mustard Sauce

¼ cup Dijon mustard

¼ cup honey

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

Combine mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar in mixing bowl; mix thoroughly at medium speed. Add mayonnaise gradually; continue whipping until sauce is smooth.

HOT BEER POTATO SALAD

10-12 medium potatoes (about 4 pounds)

6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon

1 cup diced celery

2 Tbsp. chopped onion

4 tsp. salt

½ cup salted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. dry mustard

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup regular beer

1 tsp. hot sauce

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Cook potatoes in skins until barely tender. Peel and dice into a large casserole about 3-quart size. Add bacon, celery, and onion. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour, mustard, sugar and remaining 2 tsp. of salt; stir to a smooth paste. Gradually add beer and pepper sauce. Cook while stirring until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with parsley. Mix lightly with a fork. Let stand about an hour. Cover and reheat in moderate oven 5 minutes. 10-12 servings.

BEER BATTERED SHRIMP

2 eggs, separated

12 oz. regular beer

1 Tbsp. melted salted butter

1 tsp. dry mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus some

Large shrimp

Vegetable oil

In a mixer, beat yolks. Add beer and melted butter and mix well. Add dry mustard, salt and pepper. Add flour, and mix until smooth. In a separate mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into the batter mixture. Dredge shrimp first through plain flour, then through the batter. Fry in hot oil until golden. Serve with red sauce and tartar sauce. You can use this batter for any fish.

BAKED BEER PUFFS

¼ lb. butter

1 cup regular beer

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

4 eggs

In a pan, bring butter and beer to a boil. When the butter has melted, add flour and salt. Cook over low heat while stirring until thickened. Remove from heat. Transfer to a mixer. Beat in 1 egg at a time until the dough is shiny. Drop by teaspoonfuls 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce to a 350-degree oven, and bake 10 more minutes or until browned. Cool and split. Fill with your favorite crab, chicken, or shrimp salad.

LOUISIANA BAYOU BEER SOUP

1-quart dark beer

2 Tbsp. melted, salted butter

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 ½ Tbsp. sugar

1 lemon, juice and zest

¾ tsp. cinnamon

3 beaten eggs

Toast

Open beer night before to go flat. In a skillet, melt butter, and brown flour and sugar in the butter. Add beer, lemon juice and zest, and cinnamon to the flour mixture. Bring to a boil. Beat eggs. Warm eggs by mixing a little of the hot mixture into them. Slowly pour the entire hot mixture over eggs while stirring well. Cook 5 minutes on low.  Place a piece of toast in the bottom of each soup bowl. Serve the soup over the toast.

EASY BEER ROLLS

4 cups Bisquick mix

3 Tbsp. sugar

12 oz. can of regular beer

In a mixer, mix biscuit mix, sugar, and beer. Mix well. Pour into butter greased muffin tins, filling ¾ full. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes until done. These rolls are light and have super smell and flavor.

SAUTEED BEER SHRIMP WITH CREAM

2 lbs. peeled, deveined shrimp

3 cups flat beer

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp. salted butter

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. minced parsley

Place cleaned shrimp in a saucepan. Pour in cold beer to barely cover shrimp. Add bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 4-7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink; do not overcook. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Over high heat, reduce cooking liquid until 1 cup remains. In another saucepan, melt butter, add flour and whist to make a paste; add the reduced cooking liquid.  Cook and whisk until thick. Add cream. Heat and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add parsley and return shrimp to sauce. Reheat gently.

BEER BREAD

3 cups self-rising flour

3 Tbsp. sugar

12 oz. regular beer

¼ cup melted, salted butter

In a mixer, combine flour, sugar, and beer. Spread in a well-greased, 9 x 5-inch bread pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven. Pour melted butter over hot bread. Bake about 10 minutes more. Yield: 1 loaf.

GRILLED BEER CHEESE SANDWICH SPREAD

1 lb. mild Cheddar cheese

1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese

6 oz. tomato paste

1 ½ cups regular beer

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic salt

Salted butter

Fancy bread

Grate mild and sharp cheddar cheese. In a mixer, add cheeses. Add tomato paste, beer, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic salt. Spread on two slices of bread. Melt butter in skillet and toast on each side for 2 minutes. Can also be served as a cheese spread with crackers.

BEER & BBQ BRISKET

5 lb. brisket

1 Tbsp. onion salt

1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. meat tenderizer

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ Tbsp. liquid smoke

4 Tbsp. regular beer

In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, and tenderizer. Rub the blend over the entire piece of meat. On a sheet of aluminum foil, place your meat with the fat side upward. Tightly wrap the meat in aluminum foil. Bake in a shallow pan in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 300 degrees.

In a bowl, mix Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and beer. Carefully open top of foil and baste the meat with the liquid. Then add the remainder of the liquid mixture to the meat. Tightly wrap foil back up. Cook in a 300-degree oven for 3 hours. Reduce heat and cook in a 275-degree oven, unwrapped, for 1 hour. Serve with a favorite BBQ sauce.

ALEHOUSE CHEESE SOUP

3 Tbsp. salted butter

1 chopped onion

2 thinly sliced ribs of celery

2 medium, shredded carrots

12 oz. can flat dark beer

14 ½ oz. chicken broth

1 cup half and half

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

¾ pound shredded, sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and cayenne pepper

In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook while stirring until onion is soft but not browned. Add beer and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return to pan and add half and half and nutmeg. Heat over medium-low heat, cook while stirring until soup is steaming. Add cheese, about 2 Tbsp. at a time, whisking after each addition until cheese melts. Do not let soup boil Season to taste with salt and cayenne.

SEAFOOD & BEER NEWBURG

4 Tbsp. salted butter

2 lbs. large scallops and shrimp

2 Tbsp. butter

¼ cup minced scallions

1 green pepper, cut in strips

½ lb. whole mushrooms

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. tomato paste

1 cup beer

1 cup sour cream

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup toasted, sliced almonds

White rice

In a skillet, melt butter, and cook shrimp and scallops over moderate heat while tossing until done. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, saving the pan juice in the skillet. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and saute scallions and green pepper until soft. Add mushrooms and paprika, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Stir in tomato paste and beer. Cook at high heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup. Add sour cream and the reserved shrimp and scallops. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until hot, and serve over white rice. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. To toast almonds, saute almonds in 1 Tbsp. of butter until golden, and drain on paper towel.

BEER CHEESE PARTY FONDUE

8 oz. grated Swiss cheese

8 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

12 oz. can regular beer

1 crushed garlic clove

1 tsp. hot sauce

French bread loaf, cubed

In a bowl, mix Swiss cheese, Cheddar cheese, flour, salt, and pepper. In a saucepan, bring beer to a boil. Slowly add the cheese mixture to the beer. Stir in garlic and hot sauce. Serve in a fondue chafing dish, and dip cubed French bread in cheese.  Can also dip cured meats and steamed vegetables.

CRY IN YOUR BEER SOUP

4 Tbsp. butter

¼ cup chopped carrots

½ cup chopped onion

5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. paprika

½ tsp. dry mustard

1 can regular beer

1 cup chicken broth

1 lb. grated, sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp. hot sauce

In a skillet, melt butter and sauce carrot and onion. Stir in flour and cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add paprika, mustard, beer, and chicken broth. Whisk until smooth. Add the cheese and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and fold in milk and hot sauce.

CITRUS BEER CAKE

4 beaten eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 cup regular beer

1 plain lemon cake mix (no pudding)

1 pkg. instant lemon pudding mix

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add the oil and beer while mixing. Add cake and pudding mixes. Beat until mixed well, and the batter is thick and smooth. Bake in a well-greased and floured, 10-inch Bundt pan in a 350-degree oven for 50 minutes or until done. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.

Citrus Icing

1 large egg yolk

½ cup softened, salted butter

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

4 ½ cups sifted, confectioners sugar

5 Tbsp. heavy cream.

Pinch of salt

In a mixer, beat egg yolk. Add softened butter and mix. Add lemon zest and juice and mix. Add confectioners sugar while alternating with the cream. Blend until smooth between each addition. If too stiff, add more cream in small amounts.

SPICED BEER CAKE

2 beaten eggs

2 cups packed, light brown sugar

1 cup Crisco shortening

3 cups sifted, all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. allspice

½ tsp. salt

2 cups beer

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar and Crisco, and cream together. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, while alternating with beer. Mix well. Bake in a large, well-greased tube pan in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Cool cake and frost with Caramel Icing.