Sunday, May 05, 2013

Fantastical Feature: The American Craft Beer Cookbook

Disclaimer: I received an e-galley copy of this cookbook from NetGalley and Storey Publishing for my honest opinion.

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Expected publication: Aug 27, 2013
Synopsis: The pleasure of going to the local pub or craft brewery for a pint and a delicious meal can now be recreated at home with John Holl's collection of 150 recipes that all taste amazingly great with beer. From pub grub and barbecue to appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, breakfast fare, and desserts, many of these dishes use beer as an ingredient, and all of them can be paired with your favorite brews. The recipes were contributed by brew pubs, craft brewers, and other beer lovers across the United States. You'll love the new twists on traditional favorites, such as Slow-Cooked Dopple Bock BBQ Meatballs and American Wheat Beer Steamed Clams, as well as unexpected recipes like Crawfish Bordelaise, Chopped Reuben Salad, Beermosas, Beer Ice Cream Floats, and Chocolate Jefferson Stout Cupcakes. - via

My Thoughts: When I saw this cookbook on NetGalley, I immediately applied to receive it. If y'all recall, I did a beer/homebrewing week on Fantastical in March! My husband has spent the better part of the last year homebrewing as a hobby and I've been along for the ride learning from osmosis. Since he is deployed, a huge goal for me is to brew a successful batch myself. This cookbook was full of so much insanely interesting stuff about brewing and brews.  The format itself is absolutely amazing - each page has something to learn, create, or drool over, not to mention a little bit of information on different bars, pubs, and dives all over the United States. As a newly-converted homebrewing enthusiast, this cookbook honestly captured all of my attention and I wanted to make everything.

One of my favorite features of the book is that the recipes with beer in them suggest a list of beers to use in the recipe. I have to admit - my brain is a bit foggy when it comes to words like lager and ale - so having a list of beers that I can use not only tells me exactly what I need to know, but also gives me options for taste preference!

I made three recipes out of the book, although I made plans for 8 recipes - but preparing for a deployment had me crunching some nights and not really getting free time on the weekends for stuff like the Beermosas [not going to risk drinking and then getting in my car for errands] or the Bavarian Cheese Spread. But what I did make...was the best!

Gouda Fondue
 I got my husband hooked on gouda cheese in 2012 and anytime I mention gouda is going into a recipe, he flips his lid. He goes nuts! When I said we were having fondue, he got even more excited. Then when I told him I had picked crusty French bread, carrots, and Granny Smith apples for dipping. The kids thought this snack was the coolest thing ever! Now I need to invest in a fondue warmer to make it more often.

Asparagus Risotto
 I have always wanted to try risotto, both eating-wise and also cooking it. It was definitely on my mental cooking bucket list. We discovered a Williams-Sonoma in the mall back home in April and they were cooking a Parm-Regg risotto for taste-testing. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten - although I'm sure I say that about a lot of things. When I found out that this cookbook had a risotto recipe, I decided to just go for it. It was such a great decision on my part. You have to babysit risotto, but it turned out just fine and it was super tasty. I loved the asparagus in it!

Roasted Bell Pepper & Tomato Fettuccine Alfredo
This is easily my favorite recipe tried out of the cookbook. The bombalicious alfredo sauce is on the bottom and then it's topped with some ever-wonderful pasta and then comes the best part: the roasted bell pepper & tomato pureed sauce + some garlicky sauteed cherry tomatoes! I added tuna into the dish for a source of protein and also because my husband will whine if there's no meat. I ate seconds. The kids loved it and Nick loved it and we will definitely have this regularly.  

The American Craft Beer Cookbook gets...
I already have it preordered from Amazon and cannot wait to try the rest of the recipes and read more in depth about all the pubs, bars, and breweries. If you are a craft beer fan, definitely preorder yourself a copy - you will not be disappointed.

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