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Recipes for mussels, brasserie chicken and Radler variation feature beer

Here are some food recipes incorporating beer as an ingredient, along with a cocktail recipe. Be sure to have enough of the beer called for in the food recipes so that you can enjoy some as a complement to the finished dish.

Mussels Fra Diavolo

Kolsch beer adds an exotic note to the traditional Italian dish of mussels with hot sauce. Serve it with crispy garlic toast and wash it down with more Kolsch.

One of the 21 styles carried by Brewer's Best, Kolsch is described as "crisp, clean, easy-drinking, straw-yellow colour, slightly hoppy and sweet." If unavailable, a pilsner is a good equivalent.

Always look for tightly closed mussels and store them on ice, never submerged in water. Rinse mussels in ice-cold water before using. For cleaning, if you wish to remove the "beard," give it a firm tug right before cooking to pull off. Don't pull the beard off too early as the mussel will die once it has been removed.

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

30 ml (2 tbsp) minced garlic

250 ml (1 cup) Kolsch or pilsner beer

Splash of dry white wine

500 ml (2 cups) diced fresh heirloom tomatoes

250 ml (1 cup) seafood stock

25-30 fresh live mussels

30 ml (2 tbsp) piri-piri sauce (recipe follows)

30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh chopped basil

10 ml (2 tsp) dried thyme

Pinch each salt and pepper

In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium hot. Add shallots and garlic. Brown lightly.

Slowly add Kolsch and wine and continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes and seafood stock and simmer, covered, for about 2 minutes.

Add mussels and toss. Cover pan and cook for 2 minutes, tossing again halfway through.

Add piri-piri, basil, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Gently toss mussels with sauce. Mussels are ready when all shells are wide open. Remove any that do not open and discard. Be careful not to overcook mussels.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Brewer's Best (www.brewersbestcanada.ca).

———

Piri-Piri (Hot Pepper Sauce)

750 ml (3 cups) sliced jalapenos

250 ml (1 cup) kosher salt

1 white onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

3 garlic bulbs

125 ml (1/2 cup) white vinegar

2 bay leaves

50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar

Mix sliced peppers and salt and place in a screw-top glass jar; let sit at room temperature overnight. Rinse salt off peppers with water and put peppers in a saucepan with remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Place in a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate.

Source: Brewer's Best (www.brewersbestcanada.ca).

———

Brasserie Chicken

Witbier, a Belgian-style ale with notes of coriander and orange peel, adds zing to this chicken dish. Also called white ale, it's very pale and cloudy in appearance because it is unfiltered and has a high level of wheat and sometimes oats in the mash. It has a crispness and a lively level of carbonation.

30 ml (2 tbsp) kosher salt

30 ml (2 tbsp) pepper

1 l (4 cups) water

250 ml (1 cup) Witbier

4 chicken breasts (skin on, drum bone in)

Salt and pepper, to taste

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

In a large container, mix salt, pepper, water and beer. Add chicken and let brine for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours in refrigerator.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat an ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat and heat oven to 180 C (350 F).

Season skin of chicken lightly with salt and pepper; add 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil to pan and sear chicken breast, skin side down, until crispy and golden. Turn chicken over to sear opposite side for about 1 minute.

Transfer pan with chicken to oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Place on plate and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Bier Markt executive chef Michael Cipollo.

———

Spicy Mango Radler

A traditional German Radler consists of a 50-50 mixture of beer and sparkling lemon soda. In this version, spicy mango syrup (available online and in specialty grocery stores) replaces the lemon soda.

300 ml (10 oz) India Pale Ale (IPA)

250 ml (8 oz) spicy mango syrup

3 lime wedges

Ice

Squeeze 3 lime wedges and drop spent limes into a large glass. Add mango syrup. Fill glass with ice and top with IPA. Stir using bar spoon and serve.

Makes 1 large cocktail.

Source: Bier Markt mixologist Nathan Cameron.

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