Sunday, May 13, 2012

Who Ever Heard of Left Over Beer? – May 13, 2012

 OK, I admit that most people don’t need to look for a way to use up beer.  I, however, never learned to drink it and my husband, John has pretty much become a wine only drinker as well.  So, when we have parties or friends come to visit, we often end up with unusual beers left for no one remembers how long in the back of the fridge.  This is especially the case at our property in Pendleton County where someone left a case of Corona last year. 

We went to Pendleton County this past weekend and my husband decided to take advantage of the great weather by bringing along his Dutch ovens.  Dutch oven cooking is a lost art that we discovered at an event at Locust Grove.  You cook food in the iron ovens over an open fire or charcoals with more of the heat source on the oven lid (see the lid with coals on top in the bread photo below).  My husband now has an 8 inch and 12 inch oven, so I decided to use a bottle of the beer and make bread in the smaller one.  Here is the recipe adapted from a website created by Phil Mahan:

Dutch Oven Beer Bread

3 c. self rising flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. onion flakes (I replaced with Penzey’s shallot salt)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. dried garlic (or spice mix of choice)
1 12 oz. light beer

Mix all dry ingredients.  Add beer and mix together forming into ball working as little as possible.  Flatten into the bottom of a well greased Dutch oven, place lid on top and place on coals with twice as many on top.  It will be finished in 25-60 minutes based on the heat.  When done, it will be browned on top and make a “thunk” noise when hit on the bottom.

So, while I was making this, my husband used the larger Dutch oven to make Chicken Paella with Sugar Snap Peas that were fresh from our garden.  This recipe is delicious:

Chicken Paella with Sugar Snap Peas

½ c. white wine
½- ¾ tsp. Saffron
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. pepper
8-9 small chicken thighs
6 oz. sliced chorizo links
1 T. olive oil
1 ½. cup chopped onion (1 large)
4 minced garlic cloves
1 ½ cups long grain rice
2 c. chicken broth
14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes in their juice
¼ - ½ cup chopped roasted red pepper (kind in a jar is fine)
2 ½ cup sugar snap peas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees or place Dutch oven on coals and heat well.  Mix wine and Saffron in small bowl and set aside.  Combine spices and rub on chicken.  Saute chorizo to render fat and remove.  Add oil and chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side.  Pour off all but 1 T. oil and add onions.  Cook 5 minutes and add garlic for 1 minute more.  Add rice, stirring to coat and then add wine and scrape down anything from sides and bottom.  Add broth, tomatoes with juice and peppers.  Stir in chorizo.  Place chicken pieces on top, skin side up and cover well.  You can add aluminum foil if cooking indoors and your lid is not tight enough.  Bake 25 minutes.  Stir in peas, salt and pepper to taste and return lid to cook another 10 minutes or until everything is done.

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