Lainie Steelman: Six ways to use beer
With Memorial Day over and summer kicking into high gear, it’s officially the season of poolside parties and backyard bashes. Naturally, summer parties include plenty of ice-cold beer. If a few bottles of brew manage to survive your bash, use them in a recipe or around your house.
Here are six ways to use a 12-ounce bottle or can of beer:
1. Bake beer bread
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine three cups self-rising flour and three tablespoons granulated sugar.
Slowly pour in 12 ounces room temperature beer and stir until blended. The batter will be very sticky. If you like, stir in grated sharp cheddar cheese, minced garlic, or chopped scallions.
Pour batter into pan and drizzle with a few tablespoons of melted butter. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes before popping it out of the pan. Serve slices of the warm bread spread with butter.
2. Make a cheese spread
Place 2 pounds shredded sharp cheddar cheese in a large bowl and let stand until the cheese is room temperature. Add a finely chopped small onion, two cloves minced garlic, a dash of hot sauce and a sprinkle of ground red pepper.
Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the cheese mixture until thoroughly blended. Pour in 12 ounces of room-temperature beer and continue beating until creamy. Scrape cheese spread into a serving dish and cover and chill for at least two hours.
Serve the spread with crackers and crudités, or use it to top grilled burgers. The spread will keep for two weeks stored in the refrigerator.
3. Whip up margaritas
In large pitcher, combine a 12-ounce can frozen limeade, one limeade can full of clear tequila, a 12-ounce bottle of cold Mexican beer like Corona and a 12-ounce can of 7-Up. Stir until slushy, pour into salt-rimmed margarita glasses and enjoy.
4. Marinate meat
The alcohol in beer acts as a tenderizer and infuses the meat with flavor. Pour 12 ounces of room temperature beer, two tablespoons lime or lemon juice and few cloves of minced garlic into a gallon-size Ziplock plastic bag. Add chicken breasts, steaks or pork chops to the bag and let marinate for 30 minutes before grilling.
Another variation of this is the beer can chicken: open up a 12-ounce can of beer, set a whole roasting chicken over the can, and grill. For variety, try using one of many fruit-flavored beers that are on the market.
5. Condition your hair
The hops and barely in beer are natural ingredients that add volume and shine to dull, dry hair. Plus, a bottle of beer is a lot cheaper than most hair conditioners on the market, and it isn’t full of unnecessary chemicals.
To prevent your hair from smelling like a brewery, use flat, room temperature beer and add a few drops of scented essential oil. After shampooing, massage the beer into your hair and let it sit for few minutes before rinsing.
6. Banish garden slugs
Pour a little beer into several jar lids and place the lids in several spots around a vegetable or flower garden. Slugs will go to the beer instead of the plants.
- Pennsylvania has had more breweries in its history than any other state. In 1910 alone, 119 of the state's towns had at least one licensed beermaker.
- Bottle caps, or "crowns," were invented in Baltimore in 1892 by William Painter. Painter proved his invention's worth when he convinced a local brewer to ship a few hundred cases of beer to South America and back and they returned without a leak.
- The first beer cans were produced in 1935.
- Anheuser-Busch uses rice in its Budweiser formula; with Bud Light the No. 1 selling beer in America and Bud No. 2, Anheuser-Busch consumes about 15 percent of the entire U.S. rice crop.
- The first six-pack of beer was produced by the Pabst Brewery in the 1940s. The brewery conducted numerous studies, which found six cans were the ideal weight for the average housewife to carry home from the store.
- The average American annually consumes 23.1 gallons of beer.
Best selling beers
1. Bud Light
3. Miller Lite
4. Coors Light
5. Natural Light
6. Corona Extra
8. Busch Light
10. Miller High Life
(2008, in the U.S., according to CNBC. com)
Got a recipe you would like to see published? Send it to: lainie@MacombJournal.com