I often find myself running around after work with little time to cook dinner. A prepared rotisserie chicken from my local supermarket has became a good fall back option, but it’s still not a home-cooked meal. I’ve found that making a side dish from scratch helps to make the meal feel a little bit more homemade. This recipe for Green Beans in Beer Sauce from Taste of Home gives one of my favorite veggies an extra oomph of flavor.
Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):
- 1/3 pound bacon strips, diced
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cut green beans, thawed (I prefer to use fresh if possible; it only adds a few extra minutes to the total cooking time.)
- 1/3 cup beer
- 1/3 cup butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons grated onion
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the beans, beer and butter to a boil.
- Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Remove beans with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and onion until blended.
- Stir into the saucepan.
- Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
- Add beans; heat through. Sprinkle with bacon.
Yards Pynk (5.5% ABV): This fruit beer, available August through October, brewed by Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia pours clear mahogany with some pink filtering through and a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Pynk is brewed with more than 3,000 pounds of cherries and raspberries that create a fragrant aroma that is tart and sweet with a bit of fermented undertones. I didn’t think it was possible, but Yards successfully brewed a fruit beer that is not overly sweet. Tart raspberries are at the forefront of the flavor followed by biscuit and sweet cherries. Bonus: Feel good about drinking another beer! Yards donates $1 from every case sold to breast cancer research and awareness.
Saucony Creek Schnickelfritz Chocolate Cherry Milk Stout (8% ABV): This milk/sweet stout from Saucony Brewing Company in Kutztown, Pennsylvania pours a deep crimson brown with a sudsy off-white head that slowly settles into a thin head that lasts. Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla and a bit of cherry on the nose. Schnickelfritz is silky and creamy with lots of caramel, vanilla and cherry malt. The chocolate comes through a bit more as this beer warms up for an adult treat on a cold night.
Fun Fact: “Schnickelfritz” is a Pennsylvania Dutch term that refers to a naughty rebellious child who is always getting into trouble.
Link here to read more about Cloverleaf Tavern.
I’ve been obsessed with crepes lately. I was recently at one of my favorite breakfast spots and saw a crepe dish on the menu with a Cherry Kijafa (cherry wine with sugar beet alcohol from Denmark) sauce. If you can use wine for a crepe dish, why not beer? I immediately started scouring the Internet for a recipe and found Brown Ale Crepes with Cranberry-Orange Lager Sauce on New Food and Beer. Beer works well in many dough and batters, so I think this will work well. I’ll probably make the crepes without the sauce or filling the first time around to see how beer will affect delicate crepes.
Ingredients (Makes 10 crepes):
For the Crepes:
- 12 ounces brown ale
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup lager beer
- 12 ounces cranberries
For the Crepe Filling:
- 3 pounds whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large saucepan, make the sauce by whisking together sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and lager until blended.
- Add cranberries.
- Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly and cranberries pop.
- If serving immediately, keep warm; or cool, cover and and refrigerate up to 4 days.
- In a large bowl, make crepes by whisking together brown ale, milk, eggs, sugar and butter until well blended.
- Whisk in flour and salt until batter is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, and let batter rest 20 minutes.
- Preheat 8 or 9-inch non-stick crepe pan or skillet over medium heat.
- When pan is hot, remove from heat and spray with cooking spray.
- Add 1/4 cup batter to pan and tilt pan to spread batter into 7-inch round.
- Return skillet to heat and lightly brown crepe about 45 seconds., or until edges start to curl.
- Turn crepe over and cook 30 to 45 seconds, until lightly browned.
- Transfer to plate.
- Repeat with remaining batter to make 20 crepes. (Tip: Crepes can be made several days ahead, stacked between layer so waxed or parchment paper, covered and refrigerated.)
For the Filling
- Combine together in a large bowl ricotta cheese, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon.
- Stir well to blend. (Tip: Filling can be made several days ahead, covered and refrigerated.)
- Preheat over to 350° Fahrenheit.
- With cooking spray, lightly coat 2 shallow baking dishes.
- Place 2 rounded tablespoons full of filling in the center of each crepe in a 3-inch long mound. Fold two opposite edges of crepe over the top of filling, then fold in remaining edges forming a packet.
- Place crepes in baking dish; bake 15 minutes, or until heated throughout and slightly crisp.
- Top with Cranberry-Orange Lager Sauce.
Ichtegem’s Grand Cru Flemish Red Ale (6.5% ABV): This Flanders Red Ale brewed by Brouwerij Strubbe in Beligum pours a dark reddish brown with a thick taupe head with some staying power. Tart cherries with a bit of funk and some vinegar undertones create an aromatic experience for this style. Sour cherries and berries kick off the overall flavor with faint vinegar followed by malty vanilla for a dry finish. All of the components come together for a balanced “sour” flavor that is not at all overwhelming. If you’re interested in trying a sour, Ichtegem’s Grand Cru is a nice gateway beer to introduce you to this style.