AND TECHNIQUES FOR
BETTER COOKING WITH BEER
beer is often called "liquid bread." The problematic part of that
phrase for home cooks is "liquid."
can you add the malty flavors of beer to food without having it turn
into a drippy mess? Just add the appropriate thickener.
are capsule reviews of the thickeners I reach for in cooking with
making a sweet dessert or confection that will be chilled, I turn
to unflavored gelatin. Just one packet (about ¼ oz. or one tablespoon)
of powdered gelatin will set about 2 and one half cups of liquid.
is to mix the gelatin with just two tablespoons of water for a few
minutes, until softened and not grainy. That's
because alcohol can make the gelatin gummy and coarse, rather than
just add the softened gelatin to the room temperature beer. If the
beer is ice cold, the gelatin will seize up and become lumpy.
making a soup or stew, adding too much beer at the beginning can make
the stew watery. Worse yet, if you try to boil off the liquid to reduce
the stew volume, it may become bitter. Just stir in a few handfuls
of dried potato flakes, or mix 2 tablespoons of potato starch flour
with a ladle of the watery broth, then stir that emulsified mixture
back into the stew pot. It will thicken up nicely in 10 minutes of
simmering, while gently stirring the pot.
may be better for homebrew, but in food, it's rejected by many Americans
- who love sweet, sugary tastes. If cooking a savory stew and it tastes
bitter, remedy that with some pureed, sauteed carrots, a few drops
of lemon juice, and extra spices (rosemary or thyme). If making a
sauce with onions or mushrooms, and the beer flavor turns bitter,
add a splash of sweet Madiera or sherry wine to round it out.
than add pure cane sugar to a dish made with beer, I use sweeteners,
such as unhopped barley malt extract, rice syrup, maple syrup or molasses,
that have enough caramel notes to enhance the malt flavors.
volume! Beer from a bottle is carbonated, and foams upon contact with
other food ingredients. Use a larger-than-usual mixing bowl or measuring
old beer usually tastes oxidized and not so pleasant as fresh beer.
Try whisking your beer in a separate bowl to release some of that
excess carbonation, and let it settle before measuring into your recipe.