Beer Builds Flavor Of International Cuisine
To give your cooking an international twist or ethnic flair, look to a surprise ingredient to enhance worldly flavors: BEER. With so many varieties and styles of beer available today, it’s easy to find one that will complement any type of cuisine. The sweet-and-sour of Asian dishes; the exotic spicing of Middle Eastern cooking; or the sharp garlic, onions and herbs popular in Mediterranean cuisine can all be deepened by adding a splash of beer to the mix.
From the National Beer Wholesalers Association of Alexandria, Virginia, here are two new recipes that use beer to enhance popular and familiar international flavors. Both are perfect as a light, summer entrιe.
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Lime-Flavored Lager Dressing beats the summer heat by combining the coolness of Boston lettuce leaves with the tang of lime-and-spicy chopped chicken. Start by poaching boneless and skinless chicken thighs in two bottles of a lime-flavored Lager Beer. (Lime- flavored beers are a popular choice in the summertime and should be available at any licensed grocery store or convenience store.) When the meat is cooked and cooled, chop to bite-sized pieces and combine with a small amount of the flavorful beer poaching liquid. Mix with shredded carrots, chopped mint leaves, diced cucumber, chopped scallions and a dressing of Thai sweet chili sauce, lime juice and soy sauce. Use the open Boston lettuce leaves as wraps to hold a spoonful of the chicken. Serve with jasmine rice and sliced melon for a healthy and complete meal.
If it’s the flavors of the Mediterranean that you’re after, try Pale Ale Beer Greek Chicken. Rub a favorite Greek seasoning onto both sides of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and pan-sear on the stovetop until cooked. Remove the chicken and add a bottle of Pale Ale Beer to the pan. Boil to reduce, and make a sauce by adding a can of diced tomatoes, some sliced olives and a tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with crumbled feta cheese to serve. Just add brown rice or mashed potatoes and a green summer vegetable or salad for a complete meal.
There are nearly 13,000 labels of beer available to American consumers of legal drinking age today. America’s beer distributors are proud to serve as the vehicle to market for this unparalleled variety of beer that provides excitement to American consumers – whether they are using it as a cooking ingredient or enjoying a cold glass.
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Lager-Lime Dressing
2 bottles (12 oz) Lime-flavored Lager Beer
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced thickly
2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
2/3 cup shredded carrots
½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
Ό cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
3 TBLS fresh lime juice
1 ½ TBLS low-sodium soy sauce
2 heads Boston lettuce, washed and separated into leaves
In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, bring beer to a boil over high heat (it will foam up). As foam subsides, add shallots and then chicken thigh meat; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer about one hour, or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken, place on a cutting board and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the poaching liquid.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized shreds. Place in a large bowl and toss with reserved poaching liquid. Add carrots, mint cucumber and scallions; toss to combine. Whisk together Thai sweet chili sauce, lime juice and soy sauce; pour over chicken mixture and toss well.
To serve, place a large spoonful of meat on an open lettuce leaf. Fold lettuce over and eat as a wrap.
Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
400 calories; 17 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 12 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 5 g sugars; 43 g protein
Pale Ale Beer Greek Chicken Recipe
1 TBLS Greek seasoning
4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1 TBLS olive oil
1 bottle (12 oz) Pale Ale Beer
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, drained
1/3 cup pitted green olives
1 TBLS fresh chopped oregano leaves
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Rub Greek seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts. In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add chicken and sear until lightly browned, about five minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
Pour the Pale Ale Beer into the skillet and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil (it will foam up); boil until beer is reduced to 1/3 cup, about seven minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, olives and oregano and bring the mixture to a boil.
Return chicken breasts to the skillet. Lower heat to medium and continue to simmer the chicken, uncovered for five minutes, spooning tomato mixture over the chicken breasts several times. Scatter feta over the chicken and in the sauce, cover and cook two minutes longer or until feta has softened and partially melted and the sauce has thickened.
Transfer the chicken to a platter to serve. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs.
Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
340 calories; 13 g fat; 4.5 g saturated fat; 10 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 4 g sugars; 38 g protein
Learn more about the important role of America’s beer distributors at www.AmericasBeerDistributors.com.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 2,850 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring that alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier system of alcohol regulation and distribution.