BEER RECIPES FOR ELEGANT WINTER DINING
Winter time is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen, when cold weather makes warming smells from the oven even more appealing. And if rich, hearty dishes are on your menu for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or a winter brunch, look to beer as the source of deep flavors for the food. With more than 13,000 different labels of beer available today (2009), there is a flavor to complement every dish and provide accents ranging from fruity and smoky to sweet and sharp.
If you’re looking for a special dish to serve your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, try Roasted Fish with Wheat Beer Sauce. For ease of preparation and clean-up, this dish is cooked entirely in a heavy, oven-proof skillet. Start by rinsing the fish and seasoning with a mixture of salt and pepper. Prepare a sauce by sautéing together shallots, balsamic vinegar and a bottle of hoppy-tasting Wheat Beer. Add a can of diced tomatoes, heavy cream, capers and chopped tarragon, and boil to reduce. Place the halibut or salmon on top of the sauce and roast in the oven for about ten minutes. When serving, top the fish with spoonfuls of the rich beer sauce. Side dishes of brown rice and dark green vegetables, such as green beans or broccoli, will complete this beautiful meal. To further enhance the flavor of the fish and sauce, serve with tall glasses of cold Wheat Beer.
And if a beautiful presentation is as important as the taste, try Citrus-Wheat Ale Soufflé, a recipe that is as easy to make as it is impressive to serve. Start by boiling Belgian-style Wheat Ale Beer with strips of orange peel and the juice of two oranges. Whisk into the mixture sugar, flour and a little salt, and bring to a second boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the yolks of four eggs; transfer to a large bowl to cool. Beat the whites of the eggs with cream of tartar, more sugar and vanilla, and then fold the puffed whites into the dish. Bake for just under a half hour until the soufflé has puffed over the edge of the dish. This recipe is perfect for a winter brunch, served with cut fruit, smoked salmon and breads, and glasses of cold Wheat Ale Beer. Or, dust the soufflé with confectioners sugar and use as a flavorful dessert, served with a fruit-flavored Lambic Beer.
From the National Beer Wholesalers Association*, here are two new recipes for elegant winter meals. Both use beer as a centerpiece of flavor.
ROASTED FISH WITH WHEAT BEER SAUCE
• 2 halibut or salmon fillets (about 1 ¼ inches thick), halved crosswise
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 1 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp butter
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 1 TBLS balsamic vinegar
• 1 bottle (12 oz) Wheat Beer
• 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 1 TBLS capers, drained
• 1 ½ TBLS chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse fillets and dry thoroughly with paper towel; season with salt and pepper.
In large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat, warm olive oil. When oil is hot, add butter. When melted, add shallots and sauté 3 minutes. Add vinegar; cook 30 seconds, then add Wheat Beer and bring to a boil. Boil mixture until beer is reduce to about 1 ½ cups, about 4 – 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cream, capers and chopped tarragon; cook mixture 1 ½ minutes longer.
Place fish on top of hot tomato mixture. Put skillet into oven and roast 10 minutes, or until fish is firm to the touch and just barely opaque in the thickest parts. Transfer fish to serving platter. Stir tomato mixture in the skillet and spoon over top.
Nutritional Information, Per Serving, Halibut:
330 calories; 14 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 8 g carbohydrate; 37 g protein
Nutritional Information, Per Serving, Salmon:
450 calories; 28 g fat; 8 g saturated fat; 8 g carbohydrate; 35 g protein
CITRUS-WHEAT ALE SOUFFLÉ
• 2 navel oranges
• 1 bottle (12 oz) Belgian-style Wheat Ale
• ½ cup plus 2 TBLS sugar
• 1/3 cup flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from one of the oranges in half-inch wide strips. Set aside. Grate zest from the remaining orange and set aside. Squeeze both oranges to juice.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine Belgian Wheat Ale Beer, the strips of orange peel and the juice from the oranges; bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly to a gentle boil and cook mixture about 12 minutes, or until reduced to one cup. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Remove and discard pieces of orange peel.
Whisk ½ cup of sugar, flour and salt into ale reduction, whisking until flour is incorporated. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks and reserved grated orange zest; transfer mixture to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks start to form. Gradually beat in remaining two tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the soufflé base to lighten it up, then fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
Spoon into an ungreased 1½ soufflé dish; smooth top. Place in hot oven and bake 24 minutes, or until a deep golden brown and the soufflé has puffed high above the edge of the dish. Let stand a few minutes. If serving as dessert, dust top with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Nutritional Information, Per Serving:
270 calories; 5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 44 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein
*Founded in 1938, the National Beer Wholesalers Association advocates before government and the public on behalf of more than 2,750 licensed independent beer distributors with operations servicing every congressional district and state across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring that the products they provide are consumed legally, moderately and responsibly. For more information about beer distributors, please visit www.nbwa.org