100 Ways to Use Beer in Food: #15 Dogfish Head Chowda

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It’s been a while since I’ve revisited my trek to greatness: the 100 ways to use beer in food and drink. But then I found this. Dogfish Head found a way to combine their delicious beer with some great ingredients. What came out of the beer-food think tank? Dogfish Head Hard-Tack Chowda. The real kind of chowda – not that gross Manhattan stuff.

Dogfish Head touts this chowda as one of which Ishmael would be proud. Teaming up with Sea Watch International, the chowda’s “made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazelnuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.” OH, and did I mention infused with the Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA?

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks: #14 Cake

Upon skimming through the latest version of Cooking Light, we fell upon a “breads” section—correction—“quick breads” section. You’re wondering why I’d be skimming through Cooking Light? The gf has a subscription and you do know I’m watching my girlish figure… Anyway, we decided to go with the maple stout “quick bread” recipe since I had some of my homebrew stouts left.

But first: I’ve come to the conclusion that the jerks at Cooking Light have some gall to call this thing bread…er “quick bread.” I have no f’ing clue what the hell quick bread is, but this thing is cake…and I’m proud of it. I’m not doing research on what quick bread is either—I don’t want to know. Okay, now we can move on.

I got out my Vanilla Cafe Con Leche Stout and we started baking. Typically, when the two of us do some form of cooking/baking, there is an ample amount of bickering  (and in my case, exaggerated *sighs*) occurring.  However, this time we did well as a team; I had a good feeling about this.

The cake came out really well, with rave reviews from the fam. Probably the best of these cooking with beer recipes to date.  I claim fame to this recipe for two reasons:

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #13: Cupcakes


Cupcakes: a man’s food. Something you hear every day right? Right…and you see plenty of men on Cupcake Wars. But then you put beer in them . Now we’re talking. Previously, the only way I knew how to make cupcakes was with the contents of a cardboard box. But alas, I’ve matured. And through this maturation I bring to you Chocolate Stout Cupcakes.

These cupcakes are nearly 100 percent made from scratch. Beginning with the batter (containing an entire bottle of my own Cafe Vanilla Con Leche Stout), the cupcakes also include stout-infused ganache, and cream cheese frosting. And guess what? As most of my original recipes are—they are healthy cupcakes! Instead of butter in the batter, we used applesauce (we had to save the butter for the cream cheese frosting). Thank the g/f for preventing me from ruining the frosting by trying to use low-fat cream cheese.

The end result: moist chocolate cupcakes with rich ganache filling and topped with creamy frosting. Add a glass of milk and you have a match made in heaven. There was concern about using the applesauce rather than the butter, but I couldn’t tell a major difference. In fact, adding some cinnamon to the batter complements the overall flavor and it even stands out a bit. I took the cupcakes to work for the true test. Everyone loved them. And so should you.  You’re welcome.

Vanilla Con Leche Stout Cupcakes

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #12: Steak

BEEF, it’s what’s for dinner (and beer). Really, you can’t go wrong with beef and beer (unless you’re one of those stuck-up vegetarians…no offense of course). At first I was thinking I’d just soak a nice cut of steak in some stout, maybe crust it with espresso, and call it a day. Then, the genius of my other half suggested shishkabobs.

With the sweltering heat after a day at the beach, it was the perfect time to grill up some raw meat, veggies and shrimp. I don’t believe in segregation, so I’m all for including the shrimpies with the beef. But before I get ahead of myself—onto the beer potion.

We decided on some homemade teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce is one of those things that should be sweet and tangy with just a hint of a bite to it. Turns out,  finishing the sauce with a good brew gives it a complementary tang.  When used as a glaze or dipping sauce, you can actually taste the beer as an end note of this beefy chef-d’oeuvre.

We used it as a marinade and let the steak bathe in the sauce for a long time before finally grilling it. We also marinated the shrimp in it, which was equally titillating. Brushing some veggies (and pineapple) with the sauce when it hit the grill gave them a little extra sizzling flavor too. Finally, I made corn roasted on the grill, in husks—the only way to truly have corn on the cob. It’s a great recipe for a summer day to impress your friends. You’re welcome.

Beer Infused Teriyaki Sauce

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks: #11 – Pretzels

HOT pretzels. Sorry Philadelphia, I know you like SOFT pretzels, cold from the food cart, but no thanks. I like a crispy outside with a warm and soft interior—not soggy all over. In time, I found a way to fulfill my high standards (call me a snob for wanting a hot pretzel) while also making them out of a beer dough. And you should too.

A word of advice: do NOT make these in the midst of a heat wave .  I thought I was doing the right thing, trying to cook seasonal foods, but still—an oven in the high nineties did not please anyone. Luckily the pretzels made up for it.

I was on a strong homebrew streak, with four cases done within the same week, so I finally had a choice of brews to use. I chose my Dark IPA for the beer-dough. The Dark IPA has a malty undertone that added a little sweetness to the dough, while the bitterness of the hops gave it a slight kick. The final product was very tasty and I’d definitely do it again.

BREWvarian Hot Pretzels

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #6: Chicken Carbonara

Another one down. I’ve faced the challenge yet again and for number 6 on my list of 100 ways to use beer in food and drinks, I declare victory on successfully using beer in chicken carbonara. Be impressed.

This weekend, we embraced craft brewing by using a bottle of Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale in a chicken carbonara recipe. I’ve already heard some Italians claim that beer just doesn’t work with Italian food. As I said earlier, I declare victory. Onward.

Beer and Chicken Carbonara

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #2: Bread

My quest for greatness moves onward to number two: beer bread. This one brings me back to the great nights of bar hopping in college and finishing the night strong at the local bagel shop. We all had or still do have, a place where the night closes out by indulging in a whole lot of carbs. Beer bread is a quick, easy, and cheap substitute for late-night bagels or pizza.

Last week we headed to my girlfriend’s shore house for a weekend of relaxing and getting some school work done. Luckily we picked up two Saison du Buffs and I had one left over. With featured ingredients like thyme, sage, rosemary, and parsley, it seemed like cheesy beer bread was a worthy use of the brew.

The nice thing about making beer bread is that there are so many ways you can customize it. You can use several different varieties of beer and can add a variety of additional ingredients to the bread if you want. The only things that must be there are the flour, sugar, butter, salt, and beer! Some say it doesn’t matter what beer you put in the bread. Wrong. You can taste it in the bread and you want to pick a beer that complements the rest of your “add-ins,” as well as whatever you are eating with the bread. General rule of thumb is to use ale (preferably pale ale) for savory and wheat for sweet. Dinner that night not only consisted of delectable beer bread, but also hummus, fruits, veggies and, obviously: cheese. With this in mind, the savory Saison Du Buff was the clear choice of beer.

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