Beer doesn't play a huge role in my everyday life. When the weather's hot, I'll share one with friends in the backyard, and when we go out for Mexican or Indian food, I generally order beer. But recently while traveling in New Jersey, I started to think about beer quite a bit. It seemed that lots of restaurants, family, and friends were cooking with beer. From chicken to kabobs to grainy baguettes, I noticed it everywhere. There are a lot of reasons people bake and cook with beer. I think first and foremost is the flavor: beer contains hops and malt, so it imparts a very subtle sweetness that compliments pork and chicken dishes nicely. A lot of cooks say that the yeast in beer also makes baked goods lighter and springier. From salad dressing to caramels and bread, we have a few great places to start experimenting with beer in the kitchen.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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