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Cooking with beer

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Cooking With Beer latrappe.jpg (8916 bytes)

Belgium is famous for its Carbonnade la Flamande, a thick stew of beer, bacon, onions and brown sugar, and many home chefs prefer their shellfish and hot dogs steamed in beer. Beer also has wonderful tenderizing properties, making it an excellent choice for a marinade for tougher cuts of meat. Baked goods using beer have a more moist texture and a longer shelf life. Used in a glaze or baste, beer adds wonderful flavor to poultry and ham. In batter coatings for fried foods, the yeast in the beer acts as a mild leavening agent, causing the batter to puff up, plus adds a distinctive enhancing flavor. The hops, barley and/or malt flavor imparted by the addition of beer to foods will naturally depend on the amount and strength of the beer. Dark beer, such as stout and porter, have a much stronger flavor than a light Pilsener. A good recipe using beer will have a distinctively light, not dominating flavor in the finished dish.


What About the Alcohol?

The premise that all the alcohol cooks out of the dish during the cooking process is not necessarily a true one. Alcohol is indeed sensitive to heat, and the longer the dish cooks and the higher the cooking temperature, the less alcohol in the finished product. So although some alcohol may remain in the finished dish, the amount is most likely not worth worrying about to the general consumer. Standard commercial beers contain about 3% alcohol. For a listing of alcohol and calorie content of a large list of commercial brews, take a look at this chart. Non-alcoholic (alcohol removed) or light/lite (low-calorie, less than .5% alcohol) beers can usually be substituted (except in baking), but keep in mind that the flavor may not be as desirable and the texture may have less body.


Health Watch
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Believe it or not, taken in moderation, beer is actually a very healthy food. It's full of vitamins and minerals which are good for nerve production, help you concentrate, increase blood circulation, and stimulate the metabolism. The hops, low alcohol content, and carbonation help relax the body. A glass of beer has less calories than the equivalent amount of whole milk or apple juice, and much less than the empty calories contained in harder libations. Alcohol raises the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) thus benefiting the heart and circulatory system.

 

Recipes

Here are some recipes people sent me. Enjoy!


Books

Books about cooking with beer that I woudl recommend are;

cookbeer.gif (15073 bytes)Cooking & Eating With Beer : 50 Chefs, Brewmasters, and Restaurateurs Talk About Beer and Food
An easy-to-read format book guides readers through the world of food and beer matching. Designed as a fundamental reference for persons who already have a respect for cooking and are discovering an interest in beer. Features interviews with 50 North American chefs and brewmasters, with menus and 100 recipes. A flavor chart showing the styles of beer and foods best paired with each style helps explain how beer can be matched to the different foods.

cookbeer2.gif (17691 bytes)Cooking and Eating With Beer : 50 Chefs Share Their Favorite Beer Recipes
An easy-to-read format book guides readers through the world of food and beer matching. Designed as a fundamental reference for persons who already have a respect for cooking and are discovering an interest in beer. Features interviews with 50 chefs, brewmasters, and restaurateurs from leading North American restaurants who share with you their special tips, techniques and recipes for using beer successfully in the kitchen and on the table. A flavor chart showing the styles of beer and foods best paired with each style helps explain how beer can be matched to the different foods.

Click for more books from Amazon

For a (funny) beer diet click here.


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