Beer Shrimp Scampi

I love the ridiculously buttery shrimp scampi that you get out at restaurants.

beershrimpscampi2I don’t often order it though, because shrimp scampi is a super simple meal that I can make at home and it doesn’t take any time at all. Also, I’m 92% positive that this shrimp scampi is way healthier than any I would order out–even with the beer! And I added broccoli too! Something green!

beershrimpscampi3So who said anyways that shrimp scampi always needs to be made with wine? It ain’t so! Many different beers work with the light flavors in shrimp scampi: a pale ale, a lovely hefeweizen, or a saison would be wonderful. And as much as I love cooking with wine, we’re not the biggest white wine drinkers. We’re big, bold, dry, red people in this house. So the chances of me having a beer that works with the flavor profiles of the dish, and finishing that beer once I’m done cooking with it are much more likely.

beershrimpscampi1If only some parsley had been ready to harvest from my Simon & Garfunkel garden…

Beer Shrimp Scampi

Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb angel hair pasta

1/2 lb broccoli florets, frozen or fresh

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup beer

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Either throw in the broccoli for the last couple minutes of cooking time, or steam above the cooking pasta in a steaming basket. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together over medium high heat. Saute the garlic and red pepper flake for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the shrimp. Add the beer and stir. Increase the heat to high and let the mixture boil for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue to cook on the highest setting until the shrimp are perfectly pink. Turn the heat off and mix in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli into the skillet and toss altogether. Add the reserved cooking liquid and/or more beer if you need to create more sauce.

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Olive Cheddar Beer Bread

This is merely a riff on a standard classic.

bread1Beer bread is one of my favorite things to take to someone’s house for whatever event we happen to be celebrating: birthdays, baptisms, Thursday–it always works. Chances are they will not have made some themselves (unless you’re coming to my house) and it won’t be competing against the food they’ve prepared. Others will bring chips and hummus and cookies, and it’s an item that stands on its own.

bread2Of course, I know I’ve posted a beer bread before. This just shows off how endlessly and effortlessly adaptable beer bread can be. Sláinte!

Olive Cheddar Beer Bread

Adapted from Simon & Garfunkel Beer Bread

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup green olives, chopped

12 oz. (1 bottle) beer

1 egg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, parsley, garlic powder in a medium/large bowl. I like to aerate it at this time and just stir it all together with a whisk. Add in the cheese and olives and stir, covering all pieces with flour to assure they don’t stick together in a clump. Pour in the beer and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter in a greased loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a little tap water. Brush the egg glaze over the top of the bread batter. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Beer Pizza Dough

Beer and pizza. Universal and transcendent. Now, even better with beer in pizza.

pizza2

This recipe was super easy–because I have a bread machine. It would still be fairly easy with a stand mixer, and I assume you could knead by hand if you really, really wanted to. Also, try to match what beer you use to what kind of pizza you’re making. A pale ale or IPA for buffalo chicken, a spring ale or wheat/white beer for a spinach artichoke pizza or a dessert pizza….

pizza1

I used this opportunity to make our favorite homemade pizza: alfredo sauce, chicken breast cooked with jalapenos and garlic, cheese and black beans. That’s right. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

Beer Pizza Dough

Adapted from All Recipes

1 cup beer, flat and warm

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning*

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

If your beer is still well carbonated, aerate with a whisk for a few minutes. I microwaved my beer so that it was the same temperature that I usually make my water when dissolving yeast.

In order, add the beer, olive oil, flour, sugar, salt and seasonings and yeast to the bread machine. Set the machine to the “Dough” setting and press start. Wait until your bread machine tells you that your dough is ready.

Roll or press your dough onto your desired pan. Brush lightly with a little more olive oil. Cover it with a clean towel and let it stand for 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the plain dough for 5-7 minutes, then remove from the oven and add your toppings. Return to the oven to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Just keep checking on it!

*Our particular pizza wasn’t very “Italian” tasting, so I omitted the seasoning this time. But if you’re making a typical red sauce pizza, I highly recommend adding it in!

Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Lagered Mushy Peas

I’ve inundated you with desserts lately, so it’s about time for something a little different.  How about some Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips? It may not be the healthiest entree, but at least it’s not a dessert, right?

fishchippeas

Since moving to the DMV–that’s the DC-Maryland-Virginia area for those who are not in the know–I’ve become a fan of Old Bay. I’d had Old Bay before, of course. But here, it’s part of life. It’s a way of life. Ubiquitous in any seafood dish, it also finds its way onto chicken, tater tots, fries, onion rings, cocktails…It was developed here in Maryland, and needless to say, people are loyal. And with good reason. Delicious reason.

So I decided when creating my fish and chips recipe that it would adhere to my adopted home’s favorite flavor. Old Bay is both in the batter and then sprinkled on to taste after: pretty much at every point in the recipe, add Old Bay. Same with the chips: roasted with olive oil and Old Bay, then plenty at the table to sprinkle on at will. Oh, and there’s beer, so you know it’s good.

Preference tip: I like to cut my fish into smaller pieces. Not only are they easier to handle when frying,, but then you get more of that crispy batter to go around. Yum.

fishchippeas2

Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Lagered Mushy Peas

Fish adapted from a ridiculous amount of recipes I couldn’t even keep track of or tell you. Chips adapted from Ellie Krieger. Mushy peas adapted from Jamie Oliver.

Chips

2-4 russet potatoes

olive oil

Old Bay

Fish

vegetable oil

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons Old Bay, plus more for seasoning and table

1 12 oz. bottle beer

1 1/2 lbs cod (or similar fish), boneless and skinless

Mushy Peas

olive oil

4 scallions

16 oz. frozen peas

1/4 cup beer

Chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a mandoline to thinly slice potatoes. Toss potatoes, olive oil and Old Bay together on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Alternately, you can slice up the potatoes in whatever shape you prefer and roast for 45-50 minutes.

Fish

Depending upon the size of pan you are using, the amount of oil you will need to fry the fish could vary. Heat enough vegetable oil over medium-high heat to cover the fish in the pan that you are using. The oil is ready for frying when the handle of a wooden spoon inserted into the oil produced tiny bubbles.

In a shallow dish combine 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon Old Bay and set aside. Aerate 1 1/2 cups flour and 2 teaspoons Old Bay in a large bowl (whisk by itself-essentially the same as sifting). Whisk in the beer until just combined. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Coat the fish in the beer mixture and once again shake off any excess. Place gently in the hot oil. The same can be done with a few more pieces of fish. Do not overcrowd the pan though, because the oil’s temperature will drop too much.

Once the fish is golden brown all over, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or a clean dish towel. Immediately season with salt, pepper and Old Bay. Continue with the remaining fish in batches.

Lagered Mushy Peas

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan, chop the scallions and add to the pan when oil is hot. Add the frozen peas and cover. Let the peas steam for a few minutes. Add beer and let cook for a minute more and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor, use an immersion blender, or mash the peas with a potato masher. You can always add more beer if needed.

Jalapeno Cheddar Pull-apart Beer Bread

I am quite the active yeast novice. Which sounds gross.

But I just haven’t yet mastered the art of working with yeast doughs. They end up being sticky messes that I can’t control. And I end up saying choice words and throwing things around the kitchen. (Truth. Ask my husband.)

These breads intimidate me with their mystical rise and we never get to develop our relationship because I’m too scared and I’ve been beaten too many times. But this bread. This bread. I had to try. How could one not?

And what happened? My dough was a sticky mess. I said some choice words and banged some stuff around the kitchen. But I didn’t give up. I covered my dough back up and put it in the refrigerator to work its magic overnight. Well, magic didn’t happen. But enough of a spark was there that my bread still puffed up nicely in the oven. And it was still tasty. Was it tender and flaky and perfect like I want it to be? Yeah, right. But we’ll get there. Was it worth it? Oh, yes.

Jalapeno Cheddar Pull-apart Beer Bread

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Dough

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer divided

2 cups plus 1/2 and 1/3 cup flour, divided

2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

Heat the butter and the first 1/4 cup of beer together in a small saucepan until the butter has melted. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of beer and set aside to cool.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend together the first 2 cups of flour with the sugar, yeast, and salt. On the lowest setting, mix in the butter and beer mixture until it is just incorporated. Add eggs on at a time, then add the remaining flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour.

Filling

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon mustard

3 oz cream cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

fresh ground peppper

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

2 jalapenos, diced

Melt the butter, mustard, and cream cheese together in the small saucepan. Take off of the heat and whisk in the seasonings.

Assembly!

Prepare your loaf pan by greasing it with method of choice. Roll out your dough on a well floured surface to approximately a 20×12 inch rectangle. Brush your filling all over the dough. Cut your dough (I use a pizza cutter) lengthwise into five 4×12 inch strips. Sprinkle one strip with approximately 1/4 cup of cheese and diced jalapenos. Place another strip on top and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of cheese and jalapenos. Repeat until all the dough strips, cheese and jalapenos have been used.

With a serrated knife, very gently cut the stack of strips in 6 two-inch segments. (I find it easiest to cut the entire strip in half, then cut the two halves into thirds.) Stand the loaf pan up on its short end so it stands vertical, and stack all of your segments on top of each other. Cover loosely with saran wrap or towel and let rise for another 30-45 minutes.

Cook!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After its final rise, cook for 25-35 minutes. Wait at least 5 minutes for it to cool, then pull that deliciousness apart and enjoy!

See Smitten Kitchen for another look at assembly and baking instructions.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme: Simon & Garfunkel Beer Bread

A couple weeks ago we threw our little one a Simon and Garfunkel themed Second birthday party. That’s right. Every toddler’s dream.

The first birthday was centered around the Beatles (1-compilation album=perfect!). I made yellow submarine sandwiches with I am the eggman egg salad and I am the walrus tuna salad; Strawberry fields salad; Bungalow Bills Buffalo Wings; Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Dip (roasted red pepper dip); Watching the Pinwheels (tortilla roll ups); Piggies (pigs in the blanket); A Taste of Honey (literally just a bottle of honey with a spoon); and my personal favorite-The Salad of John and Yoko (a pasta salad).

But this year, it was all about my favorite music group of all time. I found it slightly more challenging to correlate food to the serious Simon and Garfunkel tunes, but I felt proud of the outcome.

Mrs. Wagner Pies (black bean cheddar and spinach ricotta empanadas); I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail (tortilla roll ups again, this time up on their sides); boysenberry jam-on english muffins of course; The Dips that are Green (avocado hummus and pesto dip). And a parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme beer bread with a garlic compound butter.

I’m sure you only wish you had a second birthday half as awesome.

Simon and Garfunkel Beer Bread

Adapted from Farmgirl Fare

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 garlic gloves, minced

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

12 oz. (1 bottle) beer

1 egg

Garlic Butter

1 stick salted butter, softened at room temperature

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in a medium/large bowl. I like to aerate it at this time and just stir it all together with a whisk. Add in the garlic and cheese and stir, covering all pieces with flour to assure it doesn’t stick together in a clump. Pour in the beer and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter in a greased loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a little tap water. Brush the egg glaze over the top of the bread batter. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

In a small bowl, mix butter, garlic and parsley together. Reserve to spread on your super delicious Simon & Garfunkel beer bread!

Beer Braised Greens

Don’t like greens? Add beer.

You do like greens? Add beer. You’ll like them even more.

Bacon couldn’t hurt either.

Beer Braised Greens

1 medium-large onion

3 cloves garlic

1 bottle beer

1-2 cups stock or water

2 bunches greens, washed and chopped

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Heat a pan over medium heat. Chop up the onion and saute for five minutes or until softened. Mince the garlic and add to the pan, cooking for 30 seconds-1 minute.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, cover with a lid and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the greens are cooked through to your liking. This could be as little as a half hour or up to two hours. Enjoy your beer drenched greens!

Garlic and Beer Scalloped Potatoes

I made scalloped potatoes for Easter-it just seems like an Easter dish, doesn’t it?-and then I had all these leftover potatoes sitting around my house on the verge of sprouting. So I decided to make scalloped potatoes again! With beer. Good decision.

Normally, scalloped potatoes are baked in some sort of cream mixture. Some of the cream absorbs into the potatoes and some combines with the cheese to make a sinfully delicious sauce. Why wouldn’t you want to add beer to that happy combination? You totally should.

Beer? Potatoes? Cheese? As I’ve shown before, they’re meant to be together.

Beer and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 cup cream

3/4 cup beer

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 pounds of potatoes (I used organic Russets)

dried thyme

salt

pepper

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 dish. Slice your potatoes as thinly as possible.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, beer, and garlic to a simmer, but do not boil. Once it has come to a simmer remove from the heat and set aside.

Cover the bottom of your dish with a layer of overlapping potatoes. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat this process with two more layers. Stir up your beer cream mixture and pour evenly over the whole dish. Sprinkle all of the remaining cheese over the top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes have cooked through.

Beer Cheese Dip

To continue the trend from last week’s Corrupted Soup, I may still be on a beer and cheese kick.  Well, let’s face it–when am I not on a beer and cheese kick?!

But here it is-your quintessential party snack. I’ve been making this for years because it’s delicious, addictive, and ridiculously easy.  I guess that’s what happens when you take cheese, add more cheese, and then pour in some herbs and beer.

In my past life, I used to make it with those dry ranch packets. Ranch anything makes me happy. The only way fries are to be eaten are when doused in hot sauce and dipped in ranch dressing. Fact. But did you know those packets have msg in them? Gross. So I now take the 1-2 extra minutes effort to measure out my own spices. Worth it.

This dip is great with tortilla chips, regular chips, hard pretzels, bread, vegetables, and my personal favorite-soft pretzels fresh out of the oven. Do it.

Beer Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened room temperature

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

beer

Throw all ingredients except beer into a food processor and blend until fully combined. Start by adding 1/4 cup of beer and pulse; add more to reach desired dipping consistency. (I usually don’t measure, but I believe I usually end up using about 1/3 cup.) Drink rest of the beer and dip away!

*Note: This can totally be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Just be sure to let it sit out at room temp for a while before you need it so the dip becomes soft again.

Corrupted Soup

Beer Cheese Soup made with DC Brau’s Corruption IPA. Cause I don’t mess around.

We live within walking distance of a brewery. And driving or biking distance of another (one of my most favorite places!). This is both a glorious, and a very dangerous thing.

They have not yet been open for a year, and we have already spent more than our fair share of time at their growler hours on Saturdays. Perhaps way more. But it’s all good-we’re just supporting local business!

Although I like the Public Pale Ale, the Penn Quarter Porter is delicious, and I’m really enjoying the limited release of Thyme After Thyme, I immediately fell in LOVE with the Corruption IPA. Being a lover of all things hoppy, it was pretty much made for me.

And me being who I am, for months now I have wanted to make a good beer cheese soup using DC Brau’s Corruption. And here it is. Hoppy, cheesy goodness. Not for the faint of hop heart.

If you haven’t yet been down to DC Brau for growler hours, please do so. Free tastings, good eats from friendly food trucks, cool swag, and most importantly-AWESOME LOCAL BEER! We’ll probably see you there…

Corrupted Soup

Adapted from Emeril

4 tablespoons of butter

1 medium-large carrot

2-3 celery stalks

1 medium-large onion

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup flour

2 bay leaves

3 cups broth

2 cups beer (or a 12 oz is fine)*

1 cups milk

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mustard

4 cups cheese (I used sharp cheddar, although blue cheese would be an interesting addition if you are using an IPA)

Chop the carrots, celery, and onion and saute over medium heat until completely cooked and soft. While sauteing, season it up with salt and pepper. Mince the garlic, add to the other vegetables and saute a minute at most. Add the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the broth, slowly at first, whisking the entire time. Pour in the beer and milk. Let the mixture simmer for about ten minutes, whisking/stirring occasionally as needed. Turn the heat down to low. Fish out the bay leaves. Add the worchestershire sauce and mustard. Add the cheese one cup at a time, stirring and melting the cheese entirely before adding any more. Check for seasoning. Garnish with spicy popcorn like I did, or croutons, bacon, or whatever you’d like!

*I used two full cups because I had a growler full of beer. If you’re making this soup from a bottle or canned beer, that 12 oz. is plenty. Also, this soup can easily be made with almost any style of beer: pale ales, lagers, stouts, seasonals-whatever flavor you want to impart. If you don’t groove on IPA’s, it’s all good. I just love me some hops.