More Beer Please!

As a non-beer drinker, I was surprised to fall in love with bakery product with the main ingredient of beer! I joined pinterest a few weeks ago and found a blog through a friend with some delicious and interesting looking recipes. The blog that inspired last night’s dinner menu is We were gone all weekend in Cleveland, OH for an outdoor hockey tournament in Progressive Field, where the Indians play. They set up an outdoor hockey rink, an ice skating track and a sledding luge…super fun and such a great idea! Anyways, being gone all weekend, eating every meal out with 21 high school boys consisted of pizza multiple times, buffalo wings, also multiple times, a few burgers and some mac & cheese…needless to say, I was craving something a little different and slightly more gourmet when we got back! Sunday night we settled on fresh ribeyes from the butcher with some pan-fried vegetables (my first vegetables in 3 days)! I knew we would be back late from work Monday night so I decided to make a soup to have on hand that would just need to be heated up when we got home. As usually happens, there was a slight hiccup in our plan. The condo we are renting was sold and the new owner wanted to meet with us so I had to take the train home early from work to get things looking presentable for his arrival! I have been wanting to bake a beer bread to make grilled cheese sandwiches with for a while now and figured this would help make this comfort food tradition become a little more elegant and sophisticated. I quickly whipped up a beer bread and cleaned while it was baking in the oven. I ended up caramelizing some onions in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to go on the sandwiches as well. The final product was a fantastic twist to the traditional grilled cheese sandwich! Here’s how it all went down:

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup:

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8-10 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 Chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup rice, uncooked (I used black rice but wild rice would probably be the norm)!
  • 1 t basil
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/2 t sage
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 T melted butter

I sautéed the onion, carrots and celery in a bit of olive oil until softened, then added in the garlic until fragrant. Then add the chicken broth, chicken, rice and seasonings. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5, then bring to a simmer and cover for 15 or so, until rice is softened. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, evaporated milk and melted butter. (This step can be completely avoided if you have heavy cream on hand, for the first time in my life, I did not)! Add milk mixture to soup once rice is cooked and bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

Beer Bread:

  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 (12-oz) beer
  • 4 T melted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in mixing bowl. Slowly add in beer, just until incorporated and all flour has been moistened. (Do not overmix this batter or you will end up with a super dense, gummy loaf! Also, it is important to sift the flour or to spoon it into the measuring cups (if you do not have a sifter) because compacting the flour too much will result in the same dense, gummy type of bread). Brush the melted butter over the top of the dough and bake for 45-50 minutes. The greatest part about this recipe is how versatile it is! You can add anything into the batter you want, including pepper, rosemary, Italian seasonings, cheeses, etc! I kept mine plain so I can toast pieces and spread them with peanut butter for breakfast! But I think adding in some black pepper, cheddar cheese and/or rosemary would be delicious for the grilled cheeses!

To assemble the grilled cheese sammies, I buttered two sides of the beer bread and spread Dijon mustard on the opposite sides. I then layered a slice of swiss cheese, Muenster cheese and sharp cheddar cheese, followed by the caramelized onions. We used our Panini maker but a fry pan would work just as well! We were very pleased with the result! Josh went without the caramelized onions for his second sandwich and said he liked it better because he was able to taste all of the different cheeses…personal preference I suppose!
And what else is new!? I am terrible with the whole picture taking thing…I would snap a pic of the beer bread when I get home tonight, but I am pretty sure there is only a slice or two left! I promise to work on this in the future and all of my future posts will have pics!


About valuptuousvittles

I am a chiropractor with a passion for eating, baking and wine! It seems that my life is consumed by food, whereas most people eat to live, I live to eat!

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Bakery/Dessert Recipes, Breads/Muffins, Chicken, Non-Bakery Items, Soups/Stews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I remember as a little boy my mom used the virtue of beer, when it comes to cooking anyway, to enhance some of her wonderful creations. Moreover, I rememer her saying that was one of her secrets that made her such a great cook. Thank you for this post…Thank you for letting me relive a happy childhood memory —they never wear out. Viva beer! I think it’s on the way back. lol
    Please check out my blog at:

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