If you’re heating up the grill this Labor Day weekend, a tasty beer may already be top of mind. But did you think about further enhancing the delicious flavor of the beer in your glass by making it an ingredient in your holiday weekend dishes? Cooking with beer makes the food taste better than ever.
“There are numerous types and styles of beer available today, thanks to the American beer distribution system that gives smaller brewers the ability to utilize beer distributors to get new beers to a wide range of grocers and other retailers,” said Rebecca Spicer of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) in remarks to the Shopping for Health grocery store dietitians. “Your shoppers benefit by having the choice between many beer brands, types and styles, right in your stores.”
Take advantage of the various flavors in the hundreds of beers available by experimenting with them in favorite recipes. Steam shellfish, mussels or shrimp in beer rather than water, for a tangy taste that complements the saltiness of seafood. Add a few tablespoons of beer to a salad dressing or a stir-fry. Beer also makes a wonderful marinade or sauce for grilling favorite meats and vegetables.
From NBWA, here are some grilling recipes to add to the fun this Labor Day weekend:
Grilled Beer-Glazed Pork Chops
¾ cup Porter Beer or Stout Beer
½ cup soy sauce
1⁄3 cup light brown sugar, packed well
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 TBLS diced fresh ginger
1 TBLS sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed through a press
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 pork chops, center-cut, about 1 inch thick
Make glaze by combining in deep saucepan the beer, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic and sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes or until mixture thickens and reduces to about 1 cup. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Place pork chops in shallow baking dish in single layer. Pour half of sauce over chops, turning to coat thoroughly. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Prepare gas or charcoal grill; lightly oil grill rack. Place chops on grill and cook, turning, about 6–8 minutes per side. Baste with remaining half of beer glaze sauce during last 5 minutes of cooking. Cook until chops are just cooked through in the center, and are nicely glazed.
Nutrition Information, Per Serving: 230 calories; 8 g fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 15 g carbohydrate
Mexican Stout Burgers with Grilled Onion and Avocado
½ cup Stout Beer
1 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄8 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 red onions, sliced into thick rings
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
2 avocados, sliced
6 hamburger buns
In small mixing bowl, stir together Stout Beer, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cumin, granulated garlic, brown sugar and salt. Place ground sirloin in large mixing bowl; pour beer mixture into meat. Stir gently until well-combined. Form meat into six patties.
Prepare gas or charcoal grill, or pre-heat broiler.
Place meat patties on grill or under broiler and cook about 5–7 minutes. Add onion rings to grill. Turn burgers and cook additional 5–7 minutes until cooked through to desired doneness. During final minutes of cooking burgers, top each with a slice of cheese. Add opened buns to grill, toasting just until golden.
To assemble, place burgers on grilled buns and top with grilled onion and avocado slice.
Nutritional Information, Per Serving: 500 calories; 24 g fat; 8 g saturated fat; 33 g carbohydrate