Coast Culinary Collective will be featuring all things “BEER” prominently in our next few posts.
Being as suds are so important to so very many of us here on the Sunshine Coast (and most everywhere else in the world), it seemed a no brainer to write about. Factor in that as I’m typing, I’m looking out my window at blue skies with not a cloud in sight and the knowledge that summer is right outside. That says “beer” right? Or LAGER for me. If it were cloudy/ raining/ snowing it’d be STOUT. Somewhere in between; ALE. There you have it; as many opinions as there are options.
There’s sooo much content to showcase; our own local brewers Persephone, The 101, Tapworks and Batch 44 in Sechelt plus more microbreweries in the province than you could rattle off in three breaths. So beloved and surprisingly versatile is beer that it’s been made into skin products, shampoo, used to deter slugs in the garden, loosen rusty hinges or screws, polish wood surfaces and buff copper pots. And let us not forget hand sanitizer. Hats off to the ingenuity of the person who thought of that and all the others who put it into production during a pandemic. Take a bow.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring seasonal recipes paired with local beers for the amateur chef. We’ve collaborated with our local breweries to come up with the best matches for your home eating and drinking pleasure. For those of you who like to try your hand at cocktails, we’ve surfed the net to find libations you can easily recreate in the comfort of your own kitchen, backyard, hot tub or even bathtub. It’s personal. Having also mentioned those domestic uses, we’ll be sure to include some of those so you can see what we’re talking about.
Cooking With Beer
We’ve looked to one of our “go to” sources of inspiration in cooking, Allrecipes to provide some guidelines for cooking with beer.
Which Kind of Beer to Use?
Just like white and red wine, light and dark beers have distinctive flavor profiles. Often a recipe calls for beer without giving you an idea of where to begin. Here are some general guidelines for how to cook with beer:
- Wheat beers are great with chicken and seafood
- Ales, porters, and stouts are perfect for pork, beef, and lamb.
- Belgian ales go great with hearty meat and game.
- Nut-brown ales pair well with stews and cheesy dishes.
- Fruity beers are good choices for desserts, unless your recipe specifically calls for a particular beer.
If you’re still overwhelmed with all of the choices, pale ale is a versatile choice: it’s hoppy, rich and fruity, without being overpowering. But, look out for the India Pale Ales (IPA’s): they might be great to drink, but are often too bitter to cook with.
If this has you curious and you’d like to read more; https://www.allrecipes.com/article/how-to-cook-with-beer/
Here are two super easy, seasonal dishes to get you started.
This dish was inspired by a recipe found on Bon Appetit but modified slightly to make it Sunshine Coast.
- 1lb large prawns, preferably 31/35’s, peeled and deveined
- ½ white onion, diced
- 1 serrano chili, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup GOOD QUALITY lager (we have 4 microbreweries here so easy to find)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil for cooking
- Heat the oil in a larger pan medium heat. Fry the onions and serrano until they’re just beginning to soften
- Add the garlic, cumin and salt & pepper and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the beer and cilantro and increasing the heat slightly, reduce the liquid by half.
- Once the liquid has reduced, add the prawns and cook until their colour has gone to pink. Add the lime juice and you’re done.
This can be served with rice, made into tacos, allow to cool and serve in a salad. Choice is yours. Accentuate with more lime juice, fresh chopped cilantro, avocado slices or wherever your imagination takes you.
Bratwurst glazed in beer
You can’t go wrong with quality German sausages cooked in beer, wrapped in a hoagie bun with a good dollop of mustard and possibly some Sauerkraut. So simple, so good.
- 12 bratwurst
- Enough beer to cover (I’d lean to a darker beer or ale)
- 1 yellow onion, cut into thin slices
- 2-3 tbsp butter
Place bratwurst in a Dutch oven with onions and butter, cover the brats with beer. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until brats are cooked. Remove sausages and set aside beer mixture. Grill brats until golden brown and return to beer mixture until ready to serve. Serve brats in hoagie buns with sauerkraut, onions, and mustard (Dijon or hot German preferably)