Thanksgiving is around the corner and like many of you, we’re thankful for beer. Aside from being a social lubricant for family gatherings and our beverage of choice, beer is also a handy ingredient in the kitchen. From baking to brining, there is a beer for every culinary occasion – and the best part is, you don’t have to be on Top Chef to create great dishes. If you’re unfamiliar with lofty kitchen vernacular like anglaise or gastrique, rest assured none of those words will be used in this post. Here you’ll find a few quick and easy ways to use beer to enhance your Thanksgiving dinner, along with a couple tips on cooking with beer. If your kitchen is undergoing a remodel or if you’re just avoiding your in-laws, we’ve got you covered. We’re planning to serve a full Thanksgiving dinner with a celebratory cask at several of our Brewery Restaurants (Downtown, Carlsbad & CityWalk).
1 cup Red Trolley Ale
1 cup Sugar
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
Optional – 1 tsp Orange Zest
Optional – 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Directions: Combine sugar and Red Trolley Ale in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving.
Tips: When cooking with beer, be mindful of the bitterness (IBU’s). When reducing a beer, you’re concentrating the bitterness so maltier beers like Red Trolley are better for braising, sauces, and reductions.
Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale Turkey Brine:
8 Cups (64oz) Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale8 Cups Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Honey
3 Bay Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Yellow Onion (Chopped)
1 Tbs Black Peppercorns
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tsp Clove
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
1/2 Stick Cinnamon
Directions: Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add salt, sugar, honey, garlic, onion, and spices. Stir until salt, sugar, and honey are dissolved and cool to room temperature. This should take around 30 minutes and will allow the spices to lend their flavors to the brine. Once your brine has cooled, add Fullsuit to the mixture and refrigerate until cold. Once your brine is cold, submerge your turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hen and return to the refrigerator for 24hrs. This will yield 1 gallon of brine; feel free to scale the recipe up or down to accommodate the size of your bird.
Tips: Brining a turkey is a great way to keep it moist and avoid a Griswold family dinner moment. However; be sure to THOROUGLY RINSE your bird in cold water after removing it from the brine. Your brine will lock-in the turkey’s natural juices, while adding tons of flavor. Rinsing your turkey simply removes the residual salt from the brine. You can use this recipe to brine bacon, chops, wings, or any other meats you plan to have around on Turkey Day. Beer-brined bacon is a killer addition to stuffing… Speaking of stuffing, substitute half a cup of chicken/vegetable stock with Fullsuit in your favorite stuffing recipe to complement your beer-brined bird.
1 Box Fudge Brownie Mix – Baker Source (any store bought)
1 Cup Parrot in a Palm Tree Baltic Porter
1 ½ Cup Water
Directions: Follow the box directions subbing Parrot in a Palm Tree for roughly half the amount of water – it’s that easy. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl; gently mix ingredients until blended. Pour into parchment-lined baking pans (1/2 sheets) and spread mix evenly. Cook for 25-30 minutes in 300-degree oven or until toothpick slides out easily. Cool, cut and serve with vanilla ice cream, Parrot in a Palm Tree Fudge Sauce and of course a glass of beer.
Parrot in a Palm Tree Fudge Sauce:
1 Cup Chocolate Fudge Sauce (store bought)
1 Cup Karl Strauss Parrot in a Palm Tree Baltic Porter
Directions: Reduce beer in saucepan to a ½ cup. Place both ingredients in mixing bowl, whisk together. Pour over brownies and ice cream. BAM! Yeah, that just happened.