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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Artsy Photo Series of the Day

Sometimes when I have a baguette at home, I’m too lazy to grab a serrated knife and instead just tear a hunk of bread right off and shove it in my mouth. I used to think that made me a lazy slob, but then I went to Roberta’s Pizza and realized it just makes me adorably rustic! If the most acclaimed restaurant in Brooklyn serves bread that way, it must be classy, right?

More artsy photos from Roberta’s after the jump.

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The Top 10 Craziest Street Foods in the World

Editor’s Note: This article is brought to you by Rease Kirchner of TheFlyingFugu.com, a team of foodie writers delivering a menu of delights to your inbox: daring delicacies, foodie travel tips and easy recipes to re-create in your own world kitchen. Follow the Fugu on Twitter @TheFlyingFugu.

For our money, we’d say street food is usually just as delicious as fancier restaurant fare (if not more so). And we’re not just talking about sandwiches and hot dogs. Take a look at the ten wackiest street food finds from around the globe — each one actually a very common find in one particular corner of the earth.

10. Fruit with Chili Powder — Mexico

You may think it’s odd to put something spicy on something sweet, but Mexicans do it all the time. It is very common to pick up fruit in a bowl or on a stick with some spicy chili powder sprinkled on top. Think of it as a twist on the sweet and salty combo — Mexico has sweet and spicy instead! (Photo: Spotreporting)

9. Chicken Feet — China

These grilled feet may look disturbingly similar to a human hand, but don’t worry, they actually come from a chicken. The meat is described as a bit chewier than a chicken leg might be. On the street, they are generally served grilled with some spices, on a stick or just in a basket. (Photo: Whologwhy)

8. Bugs on a Stick — Thailand

In Thailand,insects like crickets, grasshoppers and worms are fried up, shoved on a stick and served up to anyone with a rumbling tummy. The taste varies by the insect and the spices used to flavor them. In general, the insects are crunchy on the outside and a little soft on the inside. Mmm…soft and flavorful bug guts. (Photo: Star5112)

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Dark Bread. Strong Cheese.

Dark bread. Strong cheese.

I found a few things to adore in Copenhagen. The rampant bicycle usage. The intoxicating friendliness of everyone I met. The abundance of blonde hair and blue eyes and big, burly, bearded Viking men.

But also, the bread. The dark bread, repeatedly punctured with a million seeds. I found this sandwich – smørrebrød – at a tiny restaurant with plenty of seating overlooking a canal. After a few days in Denmark, I could fudge reading a menu, grasping a few recognizable words: bread, cheese. 

I ordered this, asking for a side of mustard. I was not prepared, however, for that translucent rectangle atop the cheese. Gelatinous, with an overwhelming presence of meat, I assumed this was birthed by beef broth. I tried a few bites, but the Jell-O texture and too-meaty flavor turned me against it.

But really, who needs more than cheese and bread anyway?

Friday Fuck Up: Norwegian Wouldn’t

In the Northwest, which has a large Scandinavian population, May is a very festive time. Why? Syttende Mai is Norwegian Constitution Day. I’m not quite sure what this means historically or whatever, but I know for my community it means we have a huge parade and eat and drink a lot. While I myself am not particularly Nordic, I am happy to join my friends and neighbors in gravlax eating and akvavit swilling.

Although I am not the most confident baker, this year I decided to bake my own cardamom buns, skolleboller. These fragrant, light buns are very delicious and a Norwegian staple, especially around the holidays. I love to eat them with gjetost, brown cheese. (Gjetost is a polarizing cheese: it has a very strong, nutty, caramelly flavor. I think it’s almost reminiscent of peanut butter. To me it is uniquely delicious. Many people hate it though.)

I imagined I would frolic around town with my rolls in a lovely woven basket, handing out celebratory breads to all who crossed my path. Probably some baby deer would be galloping alongside me while little birds chirped along to the traditional Norwegian tune I hummed. It was all quite idealistic. (I don’t even know any Norwegian tunes unless we’re counting this.)

Anyway, with a song in my heart, I started out on my buns using this recipe from the Transplanted Baker, which seems to be very trustworthy. I like her blog and I do not blame her recipe whatsoever. But… something happened. My dough did not rise.

 

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Friday Food Porn: I Want a Slice of That

Happy National Sourdough Bread Day, folks! Look at those beautiful air holes and that sumptuous Maillard-y crust! You don’t have to fantasize…go grab a loaf and celebrate.

(Photo: Nathan Leamy)

Four Things to Freeze Before Vacation

I just got back from Chicago for a quick birthday vacation. Besides packing plenty of warm clothing and deciding on restaurants: iNG, The Bristol, The Publican, C-House, XOCO and Bari I also prepared my kitchen for a few days’ absence. But one more Chicago plug — Twisted Spoke, plenty of interesting, local and international beer, plus…inescapable ’70s porn. Enjoy a mustache with your Goose Island.

Anyway, here are some ideas on how to quickly prep your kitchen for a more welcome return.

Four Things to Freeze Before Vacation

1. Freeze Bread

There’s usually some sort of bread around my house looking for a quick toasting and buttering, or a nan looking for a dip in lentils. Either way, I rarely ever finish a package before its time is up. Before you see mold – and before you go away – toss the bread into the freezer. If you don’t have time for anything else on this list, this is the least you can do to save your food for future use.

2. Freeze Fruit

In this time before spring’s strawberries and summer’s, well, everything else, I’ve been leaning on the banana (especially in my double almond oatmeal).  I used to throw the whole banana in the freezer, peel and all. But soon the skin would blacken and turn slimy, and make the whole thing a mess. Now I peel the banana, slice it and throw it in a freezer bag. So far the banana hasn’t turned too dark. I added the frozen banana right into a new batch of cooking oatmeal, letting the banana warm up and soften into the oats. A frozen banana is also fab blended straight from the freezer with some Greek yogurt and topped with raw oats.

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