Friday, May 31, 2013

Firewater Friday - Strawberry Hefeweizen Shandy

This is a bright refreshing beer cocktail that mixes the tartness of lemonade, the sweetness of strawberries with the wheatiness of a good summer wheat beer.  

The perfect refresher for a hot summer day.

Strawberry Hefeweizen Shandy

2 Ounces Homemade Fizzy Lemonade (recipe below)
2 Ounces Strawberry Infused Vodka Liquor (recipe below)
12 Ounces Hefeweizen 

Pour lemonade and strawberry vodka into a 16 ounce glass.

Slowly, add the beer to the glass. I used Two Roads No Limits Hefeweizen.

Stir gently and serve.  

Homemade Fizzy Lemonade

1/2 Cup Raw Sugar 
1/2 Cup water 
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Cups Plain Seltzer (to dilute)

Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 small lemons, enough for 1/2 cup of juice.

Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 2 cups of cold seltzer. 

Strawberry Infused Vodka Liquor

Take 2 cups of fresh clean strawberries, hulled and cut in half and put into a clean 1 quart jar   The stawberries should fill the jar halfway. Next pour in the vodka to the top leaving about a half inch of headspace.  

Place cool, dark place. Give the jar a little shake once a day.  

After a couple days you will notice that the strawberries are being leeched of color and turning a sickly albino white.  Don't panic, this is normal.  All the color and flavor is going into the vodka.

In a week strain the solids from the liquid.  You will end up with a wonderful strawberry flavored vodka that is a beautiful red color.

Mix it with a cooled simple syrup - 1/2 cup raw sugar dissolved into a 1/2 cup boiling water. 

Mix 1 part infused vodka to a 1/2 part of the simple syrup.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Smoky Pale Ale Cheese Sauce

This beer cheese is rich and flavorful.  There a little texture and spiciness that comes from the Guinness Mustard, you can tone that down by adding a little less or using a milder mustard.  The pale ale adds a hint of bitterness that is just lovely.

I used this as a topper for a burger but it would be perfect as a fondue to dip crusty bread or vegetables in.


Smoky Pale Ale Cheese Sauce

3 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Pale Ale
2 Cups Smoked Gouda, Shredded
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
2 Teaspoons Guinness Mustard

Smash the garlic with the bottom of a glass or a flat knife and rub the bottom of a heavy saucepan with the cloves. Leave the cloves in the bottom of the pan and pour the beer over them.  Bring the beer a boil over high heat.

In a small bowl, toss the shredded cheese with the cornstarch to coat.  

Once the beer has come to a boil, stir in the cheese.  Bring back to a boil then reduce the heat.

The sauce should be thickening up, at this point.  

Stir in the mustard.  Add salt and pepper, if desired.  

Continue stirring as the cheese sauce simmers and reaches desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beer Brined Grilled Pork Chops

Beer tenderizes the pork chops and adds subtle flavor.  The brine creates a salty sweet taste that perfectly compliments the flavor of the meat.


Beer Brined Grilled Pork Chops

2 Cups Water 
1 12-Ounce Bottle Red Ale
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt 
3 Tablespoons Packed Light Brown Sugar 
2 Tablespoons Dark Molasses 
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Cup Ice Cubes 
6 Thick Center-Cut Bone-In Pork Chops 
Seasoned Salt ( I use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)

Combine water, beer, salt, sugar, molasses and honey in large bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in ice. Place pork chops in large resealable plastic bag. Pour beer brine over pork chops; seal bag. Refrigerate 4 hours, turning bag occasionally. 

Preheat grill to a medium high heat.  

Remove pork chops from beer brine.   Sprinkle with seasoned salt.  

Grill pork chops for approximately about 10 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside.

Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and allow to rest for about five minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beer-Candied Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Beer is definitely proof that God wants us to be happy.  But beer and bacon are proof that there's a heaven - right here on earth!

Beer Candied Bacon Wrapped Chicken is a tasty combination of flavors - sweet, salty, smoky. 

I used a winter beer for the syrup because of the combination of sweetness and spices.  Use what you like for a completely different taste experience.  But use something with enough flavor for it to stand up against the bacon.

Beer-Candied Bacon Wrapped Chicken

1 Lb Thick-Cut Bacon, Smoked Bacon 

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Beer
2 Large Chicken Breasts

In a small bowl, mix the beer and the brown sugar together until the sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.

Cook bacon on a griddle or in a pan until just starting to crisp.  Place in a bowl and pour the beer syrup over them.  Toss to coat.

Continue to cook the coated  the bacon on the griddle or in a pan.  Turn and baste with syrup as the bacon cooks.  Cook until the crispy and browned.

While the bacon is cooking.  Cut each chicken breast length-wise into four pieces.  And cook on the griddle until done.

Wrap two slices of  bacon around each piece of chicken.  

Any left over back - yeah right! - can be wrapped into coils and left to dry on a rack for about an hour.  It'll get nice and crunchy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stout Mudslide

Although technically this recipe isn't really cooking, but it is food related.  Ice cream is food, right?  Sure it is!

This recipe is so easy it's ridiculous and it's super tasty.

The bitter beer mixes with the sweet chocolate and ice cream and blends together to make a rich mudslide like creamy shake.  

Make it.  You know you want to!

Stout Mudslide

2 Dark Chocolate Klondike bars
2 oz. Stout 

Cut Klondike bars in half and place in a blender with the stout.

Pulse to break the bars into smaller pieces and then blend on high until smooth.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stuffed Breakfast Stout French Toast with Framboise Lambic Syrup

A rich and incredibly delicious french toast featuring Founders Breakfast Stout and topped with a syrup made with Framboise Lambic.   The flavors are complex and complimentary.  Very different from standard French toast.  Simply amazing.

Stuffed Breakfast Stout French Toast with Framboise Lambic Syrup

Breakfast Stout Stuffing:
12 Oz. Cream Cheese
6 Oz. Founders Breakfast Stout
1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
1 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup

With a mixer whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Stir in the powdered sugar and chocolate syrup.  Add the beer and mix well. Place in refrigerator until you’re ready to top your toast.

Framboise Lambic Sauce:

1 Bottle Framboise Lambic
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

Pour the lambic into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 20 or 30 minutes until it reduces to the consistancy of the thick syrup.  Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup.   

Breakfast Stout Toast:

1 Loaf Challah Bread
5 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Cup Founders Breakfast Stout
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon To Taste

Add eggs, milk, stout, vanilla extract and cinnamon to a bowl and whisk well. 

Cut the the challah bread into 1 inch thick slices and soak in the egg mixture making sure both sides are coated well. 

Add the bread to a heated skillet and let it sit for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Spread a slice of french toast with the cream cheese stuffing and stack and spread the top piece of French toast with a layer of cream cheese stuffing.  

Drizzle the lambic syrup on top.  The syrup is very rich and you really don't need a lot.  


Friday, May 10, 2013

Firewater Friday - Baby Guinness

I fell in love with Patron XO Café at first taste.  It is smooth and delicious and very coffee.  Mixed with Bailey's it simply wonderful!

Baby Guinness 

1.5 oz Patron XO Café Tequila
3/4 oz Bailey's Irish cream

In separate containers chill Patron XO and baileys over ice. Pour Patron XO in small cocktail glass, then slowly pour the Baileys down the side of the glass to float on top.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rustic Beer Tortillas

Homemade tortillas are better than any you can buy in the store.  These rustic beer tortillas made with an imperial pale ale and rendered bacon fat were really good. I'm no expert tortilla maker, not by any stretch of the imagination.  I call these tortillas rustic because they are not evenly flat and misshapen   However, that doesn't effect the remarkable flavor and texture.

I can only imagine what this recipe would be like in the hands of someone who hand makes tortillas on a regular basis.  They'd be amazing, I'm sure!

Also, make sure to use a good, flavorful beer.  The difference between Coors Light and Pyramid Outburst is like store bought vs. homemade.

Rustic Beer Tortillas 

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Rendered And Cooled Bacon Fat (Or Lard)
3/4 Cup Warm Beer ( Plus 3 Additional Tbs)

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. 

Add the fat and rub it into the flour with your hands until it forms course crumbs and all the fat has been distributed. (I used my Kitchenaid with the mixing attachment)

Heat the beer until just warm to the touch. Slowly pour 3/4 of a cup into the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until all of the flour has been moistened.  Use a little more beer, a tablespoon at a time, as needed). (Again using the Kitchenaid with the mixing attachment)

Knead for about 3-5 minutes or until the dough becomes shiny and slightly stiff but not firm. Return to the bowl and cover with a towel, allow to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

Pull off pieces of the dough just smaller than a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a plate, continue for the remaining dough. Cover the plate with a towel and allow to rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Using a rolling pin roll the tortillas out until they are thin enough to see through. A tortilla press  doesn't work well with flour tortillas. On a lightly floured surface, flatten a ball of dough with the rolling pin, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a very thin consistency.

Throw onto the griddle and allow to cook until lightly brown, about 1 minute per side. Don’t over cook or your tortillas will be crispy.  You don't need to add any oil to the pan as there is already enough fat in the dough.  

Note:  I save all bacon fat.  I usually freeze it for making soap once I have enough collected.  But I keep some in the fridge for cooking, too.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Colombian Guacamole

I love guacamole; it's fresh, cool and flavorful. AND easy to make!

The main ingredient in guacamole is avocado; which is a fruit by the way.  Don't shy away from avocados.  They're high in fat, it's true, but it's good for you fat.  But they are also very nutrient dense.

Colombian Guacamole

1 Large Ripe Avocado , Peeled and Pitted
4 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
3 Tablespoons Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Tablespoons Serrano Chiles, Seeded and Chopped
1 Fresh Lime, Juiced
Coarse Kosher Salt

Combine avocado, cilantro, green onion, serrano chiles and lime juice in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add water or lime juice to avocado mixture by tablespoonfuls if needed and blend until thick sauce forms.

Transfer to small bowl; season to taste with coarse salt and pepper and more lime juice, if desired. 

Guacamole can be made 2 hours in advance. Cover and chill.

Aji Sauce

Aji is a sauce from South America.  It's bright and very flavorful using fresh ingredients.  It's kind of like a salsa only not so tomatoe-y.  For a change of pace, you can use it any dish where you might use salsa or hot sauce.  It's got pretty strong flavor, so just keep that in mind that as it can overpower milder flavors.

Aji Sauce

2 Large  Jalapeño Chiles, Chopped Seeded  
2 Large  Serrano Chiles, Chopped Seeded  
4 Scallions, Chopped
1/2 Cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 1/2 Lime Juiced
3/4 Teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Combine chiles, scallions, onion, and cilantro in processor; puree until paste forms, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula several times. Add lime juice and process until mixture is blended but some texture still remains. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and more lime juice to taste, if desired. 

You can make this up to one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Frankenbeaniecheesyburger Casserole

I had a whole bunch of leftover ingredients in the fridge.  Half of an onion, a quarter of another, some ground beef, a couple hot dogs, biscuits, a few slices of American cheese, a pat of butter.  So, that became dinner.  I dubbed it A whole big pile of awesomeness OMG this doesn't suck.   For the purposes of a recipe I'll call it Frankenbeaniecheesyburger Casserole.

It was awesome!  And there were no leftovers.  Yummly in my tummly.

Frankenbeaniecheesyburger Casserole

1 Tube Buttermilk Biscuits
2 Tsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Large Onion, Chopped
1/2 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Hot Dogs, Sliced
8 Slices American Cheese
2 11-oz Cans Pork and Beans

Preheat oven to 400°F.  

Press biscuits into a pie pan or small cast iron skillet to form a crust.  Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven.

In a separate skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Cook onions in oil until they start to brown.  Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper (I use Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning).  Cook until meat is brown and crumbly.

When meat is cooked, drain off the fat and pile on top of partially cooked biscuits.   Top with four slices of American cheese.

In the same pan the ground beef was cooked in, melt the butter.  Add the cut up hot dogs and cook until browned.  Pour contents of the skillet over the American cheese slices.

Top with one can of baked beans.  Then lay the last four slices of cheese on top of the beans.

Pour the last can of beans over the cheese and make sure the cheese is covered so it doesn't brown.

Turn oven down to 350°F and bake casserole for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Beerific Barbecue Bacon Meatloaf

A beerific variation to meatloaf that takes your mom's basic baked ground meat and takes it to a whole new level.

The meat is mixed with an onion beer reduction, spices and panko then topped with a glaze of spicy barbecue sauce and bacon.  

Moist, flavorful - perhaps the best meatloaf EVER.  

The flavor will change depending on the type of beer used.  I recommend a dark or amber beer. I used a bottle of my husband's home brewed nut brown ale.  Yum!

Beerific Barbecue Bacon Meatloaf

2 Teaspoons Canola Oil
1 Medium Vidalia Onion, Chopped
1 12-Ounce Bottle Beer
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
2 1/2 Pounds 85%-Lean Ground Beef
1 Fresh Panko Crumbs
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
1 Egg White, Lightly Beaten
1 Cup Spicy Beer Barbecue Sauce
8 Strips Bacon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a small baking dish with aluminum foil and coat with a thin layer of oil.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in beer and increase heat to high. Bring to a vigorous boil; cook until the liquid is syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes. 

Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in thyme, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Let cool for 10 minutes.

While the onion mixture is cooling, cook bacon until just starting to crisp.

Add beef, panko, parsley, egg and egg white to the onion mixture. 

With clean hands, mix thoroughly.  Form into a loaf and place in the prepared pan.

Pour 1/2 of the barbecue sauce on the meatloaf and spread to cover.  Lay slices of bacon evenly over top and press gently into the sauce so they lay flat against the loaf.

Bake the meatloaf for an 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the rest of the barbecue sauce over the top of the meatloaf.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes; drain grease from the pan and slice.

Spicy Beer Barbecue Sauce

A beerific twist on barbecue sauce that adds zippy tang to any meat dish.  I like it on grilled chicken or on my Barbecue Bacon Meatloaf.

A darker beer will produce a richer more flavorful sauce.  I used my husband's home brewed nut brown ale.  Yum!

Spicy Beer Barbecue Sauce

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1/3 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Hot Hungarian Paprika
3/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Beer
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Over medium heat, warm oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 

Saute onion and celery until translucent  about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and cayenne; cook for about 1 minute.

Process in a food process or a blender until smooth and return to pan.

Add ketchup, beer, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. 

Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes, until sauce has thickened.  

Make ahead and store for up to a week in the refrigerator.