Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Hope you all enjoyed the first recipe in our ‘Cooking With Beer’ series. Big Bad Bob, I hope you particularly enjoy the rewards of cooking for Mrs Big Bad. I hope to track down more recipes which involve cooking specifically with Carlton Draught. Wish me luck.

Cooking with beer, I believe, involves two main considerations. Will the beer hold it’s character while cooking in the dish and, can I hold the beer in my hand while cooking the dish.

Cooking for the extended family over Easter I whipped up, for lunch, a kilo of blue Mussels as an entrée, a main course of Coopers’ Pale Ale battered fish and garlic prawns. This meal consisted of just SEVEN different beers! How economical is that?! Two for cooking and five for cooking with. Let me walk you through the process.

After assisting Wal to move house in the morning, I returned home to prepare. Taking the mussels, I carefully removed the top form a chilled Carlton Draught. Once cleaned, I put the mussels aside to finish the lovely, cold Gaarld’n. Finely chopped chilli, shallots ( or Spring Onion ) and celery pieces were added to a pot with a little oil. A chilled DAB from Germany was added to a glass and set to one side. Once the veg had sweated off, I added the mussels to the pot and the DAB to the lips, continuing until a broad smile ensued. The mussels were then liberally doused in Erdinger Pikantus which is a dark ( dunkel ) wheat beer.

Fresh glasses were liberally doused in the leftovers.

The fish was carefully prepared by removing any bones as well as the top from a very nice bottle of Boag’s Draught. This was followed by a small glass of Coopers’ Pale Ale, the rest of which was whisked up and carefully blended with some flour and a pinch of salt. Dust the fish fillets in the flour, then the batter, then carefully into hot oil. Cook until golden and rest on paper towel to drain. Drain glass of any remaining beer and refill with Maes Belgian Lager. Very nice. This was followed by a not too bad German lager called Memminger. All beers went very well with the fish. Or the fish went very well with the beer. Chris seemed impressed enough to eat fish at all. He usually doesn’t. Maybe the beer helped there, too.

I have cooked mussels with several different beers, now, and all have been well received - by the mussels as well as the guests. Try it for yourself, just grab a good, flavourful wheat beer, witbier, weizen or even a Carlton Draught, Bob, and see for yourself. You may need to vary the level of ‘kick’ in your chilli/onion mix if you use a lesser flavoured beer. More soon.

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