For some reason, most people only associate beer as a drink to have WITH dinner, and most never think to use beer IN dinner. However, just like wine and liquor can add tons of flavor, beer can add flavor and variety to many recipes.
Since there are soooo many styles, flavors, and varieties, using beer in a recipe simply requires choosing a beer whose flavors and aromas will compliment the dish. For example, for a dessert with chocolate and/or coffee, use a stout or porter. Both will have flavors and aromas to compliment and enhance the dessert.
Last night’s dinner was no exception. We were grilling up steak and scallops, and instead of just serving the steak as it was straight from the flame, I whipped up a semi-traditional champagne-butter sauce, but switched out the champagne for one of my favorite beers…A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale from 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg. After sampling it in their tasting room a while back, I fell in love with it and because it’s an ale rather than a stout, I knew that it would be the perfect beer to make a light buttery sauce for my steak & scallops.
1 tsp olive oil
1 TBSP butter
4 green onions-chopped white & green parts
1 garlic clove-smashed and finely minced
1 c. Awake Coffee Blonde Ale (or any light malty beer)
1/2 c. cold butter-cut into small cubes
In a nonstick skillet, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the beer and allow to completely reduce over medium heat until barely a teaspoon of liquid remains. Remove from heat and whisk in cold butter. Immediately spoon over cooked steak and scallops.
*This sauce would be great over grilled chicken.
*If serving your steak with mashed potatoes, the sauce will soak into the potatoes….OMG! You will love life.
*If you can’t get your hands on a coffee blonde ale, consider substituting a wheat beer, a light pale ale, a hefeweizen, or even a semi-sweet cider. I wouldn’t use anything overly hoppy, dark, or heavy.
*We served our steak & scallops with beer braised turnip greens. In the south, we like our turnip roots cooked with the green tops, so I fried up some bacon, julienned the roots, and braised everything together in a bottle of German pilsner. Just before serving, I added a splash of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, and salt & pepper to taste. If turnip greens aren’t available in your area, try any braising green.