Tuesday, September 17, 2013

REVIEW: The American Craft Beer Cookbook

The American Craft Beer Cookbook

155 Recipes From Your Favorite Brewpubs & Breweries

by John Holl

Paperback: 352 Pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (August 27, 2013)

craftbeer

Who doesn't love a good meal at a brewpub?  Whether it's your favorite local spot or someplace you visit while on vacation, chances are the atmosphere reminds you of the comforts of home - good food, great beer and fantastic company.  With The American Craft Beer Cookbook, you can now recreate the meals at home!

With more than 2,500 breweries in the United States, times are changing!  Gone are the days of bland bar food served with an even blander light beer.  Local breweries and brewpubs are popping up all over the country, revolutionizing both our beer culture and the food we enjoy alongside a refreshing, cold pint.  Chefs are taking "pub food" to a whole new level by using different varieties of craft brews to flavor their dishes.

Beer journalist (yes, apparently there is such a thing - who knew?) John Holl traveled the country, collecting more than 150 recipes from breweries, brewpubs, chefs and beer-centric restaurants.  The result is the 155 recipes which make up The American Craft  Beer Cookbook.

My beer tastes have evolved over the years, as have my cooking skills... and I'm anxious to see those worlds collide to make delicious meals, especially with prime comfort food season on the way.  Sure, I've cooked with beer before... after all, no New England Boiled Dinner recipe is complete without a bottle added to the water ... but not on this level. 

The American Craft  Beer Cookbook is divided into 10 chapters.  Some of the recipes include beer, while others are to be paired with certain varieties to best enhance the flavors on the plate.  I've listed them below, along with some of the recipes that have caught my eye.
  1. Beer and Brunch
    • Beer-mosa - sure we've all had a Mimosa, but what happens when you use beer instead of champagne?
  2. Appetizers
    • Slow-Cooked Doppelbock BBQ Meatballs - beer and root beer bbq sauce = yum!
  3. Sauces and Spreads
    • Shiner Beer Barbecue Sauce - see above... and no, these recipes are not related
  4. Salads
    • Northern Michigan Salad with Fruit Beer Vinaigrette - never mind the greens, I like this vinaigrette for just about anything
  5. Sandwiches and Burgers
    • Pistachio-Crusted Salmon Sandwich with Meyer Lemon Butter - I've never thought to pair pistachios with salmon before... and boy does that combination sound good!
  6. Soups, Stews and Chilis
    • Planet Porter Bison Stew - I'm a huge bison lover and this sounds delish on a crisp early Fall-ish day like today
    • Cauliflower Lavender Soup - this just sounds so different, I must try it
  7. Entrees
    • Roasted Venison Saddle with Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Mole - venison + a shout out to a New England favorite, Sam Adams
    • Sage Veal Medallions - this one comes from another New England establishment, The Willimantic Brewing Company in Connecticut, which is housed inside a decommissioned post office... that alone makes me want to take a road trip.  The recipe does not have beer in it, but is recommended to enjoy with a saison
    • Chicken-Fried Steak Tips with ESB gravy - this sounds like amazing comfort food
  8. From the Sea
    • Black Cod Brulee - this recipes comes from The Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau and I've been trying to hunt down some of their Summer Ale ever since we got back from our cruise... now I have another reason to beg for a special delivery from Santa (although the recipe uses their Amber)
  9. Side Dishes
    • Wild Mushroom and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Stuffing - back to the comfort food theme, this one sounds quite versatile
  10. Desserts
    • Winter Warmer Pumpkin Pie - 1 word: yum-o!  And not just because this one comes from another Boston hot spot, Harpoon Brewery and uses their Winter Warmer brew
    • Pale Ale Pineapple Brown Sugar Cupcakes - cupcakes made with beer? OK!
As you can see, The American Craft Beer Cookbook encompasses quite a range of recipes!  Yes, there are recipes for some more standard pup fare as well, including burgers, chilies, tacos and chowders.  If you enjoy creative pup food, grab a copy today!  It also makes the perfect gift for the beer lovers and foodies on your holiday list! 

About the Author: Author John Holl has visited more than 900 breweries around the world, conducting research for his beer-and-travel books as well as articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Beer Connoisseur, Beverage World, and many other publications.  He has judge beer competitions, regularly lectures on craft beer, and appears often on NBC's Weekend Today in New York.  He is the editor of All About Beer magazine and is the host of the Beer Briefing on iHeartRadio.  John lives in New Jersey.

Disclaimer: Storey Publishing, LLC sent a complimentary copy of The American Craft Beer Cookbook to Lapdog Creations for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed in the review are my own.

2 comments:

Sue Kottwitz said...

Great review!

Molly The Wally said...

What a different idea of cooking. We never use bear. Food for thought! Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

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