Homemade Beer Bread Grilled Cheese

Let’s face it; food is almost as important as the game on Super Bowl Sunday. We all know the staples – wings, subs, chips and dip, crackers and cheese, pigs in a blanket etc. I wanted to try something different this year, so I searched the web for some ideas. I came a cross a fairly easy recipe for homemade beer bread from Short Stop Blog and thought, why not make bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches using homemade beer bread for the big game this year!

Homemade Beer Bread

Ingredients for Beer Bread (Makes 1 loaf):

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer ( I think dark beer works best, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cooking Directions Beer Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spray a 5″ x 9″ loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
  4. Add beer and mix until combined (Dough will be sticky).
  5. Place dough into loaf pan.
  6. Pour melted butter over top of loaf.
  7. Bake , uncovered, for 50 – 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean from center.

Ingredients (Grilled Cheese):

  • Butter, softened
  • Cheese, sliced or shredded (You can use any cheese that you want; I used sharp cheddar)
  • Homemade beer bread

Cooking Directions (Grilled Cheese):Homemade Beer Bread Grilled Cheese

  1. Slice your beer bread. (Tip: Make sure the slices aren’t too thick, but not so thin that it will crumble.
  2. Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
  3. Butter one side of each piece of bread and place buttered side down on a cookie sheet.
  4. Toast the bread for about 3 minutes.
  5. Place cheese on top of one slice of bread and cover with other slice, butter side up.
  6. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
  7. Bake 6 – 8 minutes.
  8. Flip over and bake for about 3 – 4 more minutes or until cheese is melted. (The cooking time may vary depending on your oven, the thickness of your bread and the cheese you use.)

Dobrou Chut’!

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Beer of the Week: Breckenridge Regal Pilsner

Breckenridge Regal PilsnerBreckenridge Regal Pilsner (7% alcohol): This imperial style pilsner is available in 4-packs from Breckenridge Brewery based in Denver, Colorado. The packaging immediately caught my attention; the bottles are covered in a bohemian lion print, so I had a feeling this beer was going to be tasty! Regal Pilsner pours a clear honey gold with a small, frothy white head that lingers for a bit. Not quite as aromatic as expected; I can best describe it as mild, clean, malt sweetness. This made me anticipate a flavorless beer, but I was wrong. Regal Pilsner is quite complex. It starts off with mild malt flavor and finishes with crisp, hoppy bitterness that remains on the palate for a bit. I was surprised to see that this beer had 7% ABV because the hops masked it really well. Overall, Regal Pilsner is as hoppy as a double pilsner should be, yet crisp and clean like a traditional pilsner.  Another valiant effort (and execution) from Breckenridge.

If you’re interested in what else Breckenridge Brewery has to offer, take a look at what I thought of 72 Chocolate Stout.

Beer of the Week: Sweet Baby Jesus Peanut Butter Porter

Sweet Baby Jeses Chocolate Peanut Butter PorterSweet Baby Jesus Peanut Butter Porter (6.5% alcohol): This Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter from DuClaw Brewing Company in Maryland is probably the best porter I’ve ever tasted. It tasted like an adult milkshake. Sweet Baby Jesus pours clear, dark brown – almost black – with a caramel head that thins quickly. The nose immediately picks up a peanut butter aroma along with a bit of chocolate, roasted coffee beans and malt. Chocolate is at the forefront of the overall flavor. Sweet Baby Jesus reminded me of a chocolate milkshake with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream and a shot of espresso all blended together. Even though the peanut butter and chocolate flavor notes are easily definable, there is a subtle bitterness that balances out the sweetness. Also, the robust flavors masked the high ABV. If you can find this beer, I would highly recommend purchasing. You will not regret it! DuClaw was right on the mark with their tagline, “One taste of our chocolate and peanut butter porter will have you saying ‘Sweet Baby Jesus!’”

Beer, Chocolate, Peanut and Pretzel Cookies

Super Bowl Sunday is more than just the big game. I always see it as an opportunity to get together with friends, drink good beer and eat some yummy snacks of course. After eating traditional Super Bowl snacks like chips, pretzels and peanuts I always crave something sweet. This recipe for Beer, Chocolate, Peanut and Pretzel Cookies from Heather Christo combines all of these delicious flavors in to one delicious treat in a short amount of time and few easy steps.

Preparation time: 10 mins.
Cooking time: 12 mins

Ingredients (Makes about two dozen cookies):

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup beer (This recipe uses Guinness, but I think Young’s Double Chocolate Stout sounds like it would work well!)
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups peanut M&Ms
  • 1 ½ cups pretzel M&Ms

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare sheet pans with silpats or parchment paper.
  3. Cream together the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully mixed together.
  5. Mix the beer in.
  6. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients and then add them to the batter.
  7. Gently mix in the M&Ms.
  8. Scoop the cookies onto the prepared sheet pans and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crispy and slightly under-baked.
  9. Let the cookies cool before removing them from the pan.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beer of the Week: Heavy Seas & Devil’s Backbone Land Ho!

Heavy Seas & Devil's Backbone Land Ho!Heavy Seas and Devil’s Backbone Land Ho! (5.25% alcohol): This Schwarzbier style beer is a joint collaboration between Devils Backbone Brewing Company based in Lexington, Virginia and Heavy Seas Brewing Company, formerly known as Clipper City Brewing Company, in Baltimore, Maryland. Click here to read more about this beer and the brewers behind it.

Land Ho! pours dark brown, nearly black with a small, thin white head. The aroma has an earthy quality to it of roasted malt and hops with a subtle chocolaty sweetness and hint of citrus. At first sip, the first thing I noticed tasted with coffee followed by roasted malt, caramel and subtle chocolate along with a bit of smokiness and moderate bitterness. Land Ho! reminds me more of a stout or porter instead of a black lager, but it was enjoyable. To my knowledge, this brew was only released once in May 2012, so it’s worth a try if you can get your hands on it. I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase again, but definitely piqued my interest in Devils Backbone Brewing and Heavy Seas Brewing. Excited to see the other – award-winning – beers they have to offer!

Super Bowl Beer Chili

It’s January and you know what that means… SUPER BOWL!  This year, I wanted to make something that tastes great, can feed a large group of people and is great for left overs. The extreme cold weather we’ve been having over the last few weeks has helped me to make my decision – chili of course! I’ve only used the recipe below for family dinners, but it can also be used as an appetizer for your Super Bowl party this year. Set up a topping bar and you have a snack fit for an MVP!

Super Bowl Beer Chili

Ingredients (Serves 6 – 8 people):

  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large green pepper (diced)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (diced)
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) white beans (strained)
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.)  pinto beans (strained)
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans (strained)
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can oven roasted tomatoes
  • 12 oz. beer (You can use any beer you have on hand, but wheat beers, stouts and porters seem to work well)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour Cream (1.5 lbs.)
  • Scallions (for garnish)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, brown chopped ground beef.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add green pepper, shallot and jalapeno.
  5. Strain ground beef and add to sauté pan. Stir thoroughly.
  6. Add beans, tomato paste, roasted tomatoes and garlic powder. Stir.
  7. Add beer.
  8. Transfer contents to crock pot.
  9. Cook on high for 3 hours and then set to low for another 2 hours.
  10. Spoon chili into bowls.
  11. Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream and scallions for garnish.
  12. Serve with fresh crusty bread or tortilla chips.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beer of the Week: 6-Geese-A-Laying

The Bruery - 6 Geese A LayingThe Bruery 6-Geese-A-Laying (11.5% alcohol): This Belgian Strong Dark Ale from The Bruery based in Placentia, California is the sixth installment of the brewery’s 12 Days of Christmas series. It pours a slightly hazy dark amber brown with a minimal off-white head that disappears quickly. Dark fruits including cranberries, cherries, apples, plums and gooseberries are picked up by the nose and create a sweet yet slightly tart aroma. The sweetness and sourness from the gooseberries carries over to the flavor which also has notes of malt and alcohol, which is expected from the high ABV. Not my favorite winter beer, but the tartness of the gooseberries improved the overall drinking experience of 6-Geese-A-Laying for me. Not a bad beer, but I would not purchase again for the price — it cost me about $15.