Based on the number of Facebook invites involving the words"cookout," "grilling," and "bathing suit" in our inboxes, it's safe to say summer is in full effect. It also raises the question, what do we bring to the party? Sure, we could make something tasty. Or...we just could grab a cold twelve pack from the store and equally please everyone.
But why not have the best of both worlds? This article is for those interested in finding that happy medium. We'll share 10 recipes, from appetizers and sauces to main dishes and desserts, all involving your favorite beverage: beer. Cheers/Bon Appetit!
First, A Few Tips for Cooking With Beer
Believe it or not, people have been cooking with beer for thousands of years. Back in Ancient Egypt, they believed infusing beer into food made it healthier. Today, fruity, hoppy, or other types of beers are used to bring unique flavors and twists to dishes. We scoured the net to find some of the best tips for cooking with beer, and one article got it just right. Here are the highlights you can keep in mind as you go through the ten recipes below:
- Pale ale goes well well most recipes--it's probably the least intrusive of all the beers when cooked
- Darker beers will typically stand out the most after being cooked because their flavor only intensifies during the process
- Nut brown beers are perfect for stews and cheese dishes like dips
- Belgian ales go well with meats--especially red ones!
- Fruity beers--not surprisingly--can complement many dessert dishes
- Wheat ales, like a white wine, can bring to life seafood and poultry recipes
- Lager beers have an interesting impact on dough, in that they provide levity--as a result some people use them to replicate the effect of yeast in things like pancakes
Sure, you could go out to the grocery store and grab a few cans of Bush’s Baked Beans for your cookout, but where’s the fun in that? Taking a whopping eleven and a half hours (mainly because you have to soak dried pinto beans overnight), this fantastic recipe from Tablespoon combines porter, bacon, chipotle peppers, molasses and—of course—beans.
It’s hard to go to a grocery store these days without walking by an entire section of hummus. Not many people know, though, how easy it is to make your own at home. With a can of garbanzo beans, two jalapenos, a handful of spices, and in this case a big splash of IPA, this recipe from The Beeroness brings together many things we love.
Beer: Dark Mexican Lager
Tacos can take on a whole new meaning once you add fish into the mix. And if it’s done right, a fried fish taco offers a flavor incomparable to other dishes. From the Mexican beer-batter to the cream sauce, The Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid shares a summer staple. Don’t forget to add the cabbage for that extra crunch.
A good barbecue sauce can make all the difference. This recipe from Sweet Home Waimanalo brings together the flavors of orange juice, coffee, ancho chilies, and amber beer among others for a rich, dark sauce. It works well for chicken, but don’t hesitate to toss it with some freshly pulled pork off the smoker.
Beer: Any light brew
If you’re a little intimidated by the thought of smoking a pork butt overnight, then you might want to ease into the summer cookout game with something simpler like beer-can chicken. Beer-can chicken isn’t too hard, but it delivers an amazing bird with an almost unmatched moistness. Not to mention, it’s pretty fun to cook.
Beer: Citrusy Pilsner
Ceviche is one of those dishes that can really blow people away, because it’s not something you see served too often outside of a restaurant. Whether made with scallops, whitefish, shrimp, or something else, the lime-“cooked” plate is a staple among South American menus. This recipe from Draft Magazine incorporates citrusy pilsner into the mix, adding an unexpected and subtle twist.
Beer: Summer Ale
People love bringing together bacon and beer, and apparently Sam Adams supports this union. The Boson-based beer company shares this potato salad recipe, made with its Sam Summer of course, as well as hard-boiled eggs, diced bacon, and mayonnaise. And why not top it off with a tablespoon or two of bacon grease?
Beer: Wheat Ale
Limejuice, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic alone make for one hell of a salmon marinade. But this recipe goes a step further, adding some wheat beer into the mix. Unlike your everyday Asian-inspired salmon, the notes of beer definitely elevate the dish a bit. Marinade it overnight and then grill to taste.
Beer: Citrusy Lager
Tarts aren’t just delicious, sweet, and tangy, they’re also beautiful with their fruit-forward presentation. In another recipe from The Beeronnes, they include Coney Island Lager into the curd, toss it with strawberries, and add it into the whipped cream. This is a great way to end any meal, especially after a hot summer day.
If you’re planning on wowing everyone with your dinner, then you’re not going to want to settle for a run-on-the-mill dessert. This recipe from Betty Crocker takes chocolate chip cookies to the next level, mixing stout into both the cookie batter and the chocolate frosting that goes on top. We could do without the pretzels on top, but hey, to each its salty own.
Let us ask you again--what are you going to bring to the party? No one will ever blame you for picking up a 12-pack of something good. But many will praise you for that jalapeno IPA hummus. If you do make one of these recipes or you've got a better one, please share a pic with us on either Twitter or Instagram at @boxbrewkits.