When using beer for summer dishes, especially when grilling, lighter summer beers like IPAs or hefeweizens are your best bet. These beers tend to pair well with citrus, which incidentally works with shellfish, seafood and chicken.
Wheat or white beers can be used to steam hot dogs or to use as basting sauces for steaks. Lagers or ales work well for marinades and help tenderize meats. For a nice light sauce or dressing choose a pale ale, hefeweizen or pilsner. As a rule, less hoppy beers are best for summer dishes because hops can be overpowering.
Some of my favorite summer beers for cooking are Samuel Adams Summer Ale, Magic Hat Wacko, and Blue Moon. Also, flavored beers like apricot or lime are good choices when paired with like flavors in sauces or marinades, or in dishes that feature those particular flavors.
Makes 8 servings
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground basil flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup Sol beer or any other Mexican-style beer
16 ounces white fish fillet
4 teaspoons canola oil
8 homemade corn tortillas, warmed
2 avocadoes, halved, pitted, sliced
1. Mix flour with basil, salt and cayenne pepper. Pour in beer and whisk well.
2. Coat fish in batter and let excess batter drip off on a cooling rack set over paper towels.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add fish. Cook on both sides for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
4. Remove fish from skillet with a slotted spoon and cut in half. Place 1 whole piece of fish in each tortilla and top with avocado slices.
Makes 4 servings
2 (16-ounce) beef sirloin steaks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup summer ale, such as Samuel Adams
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Preheat grill over high heat. Season steaks with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Combine beer with teriyaki sauce and brown sugar. Pour mixture over steak and let marinate in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping if necessary.
2. Take steaks out of liquid and place on grill. Cook about 7 minutes per side or until preferred degree of doneness. Let steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Splash balsamic vinegar
Few drops Tabasco sauce
Splash of honey
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup pilsner beer
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Use as a sauce for ribs, burgers, steak or chicken.
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