I am not going to give out a bunch of recipes for your Thanksgiving or Christmas tables. I can whip up some great toast or ok stuff out of box with directions but creating a menu from whole cloth that both utilizes and complements beer is out of my wheelhouse.
I can suggest beers that will pair well with typical Holiday fare (and I will give a few more ideas below) but to really take the next big step into the realm of beer inspired recipes, I strongly advise checking out the following three people.
Sean Paxton (who recently did a dinner with Firestone Walker Brewery) is an amazing mixer of food and beer. He can be heard via podcasts on Beer O’Clock from Portland and on his own show on the Brewing Network. (You can grab both via iTunes)
But to get his best recipes you have to go to his own website. He has put together a raft of recipes for Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes with IPA. Dopplebock gravy with wild mushrooms. Yams with old ale. Just reading the list makes me hungry and I haven’t even talked turkey.
He also has a ton of other beer recipes to try throughout the year. From soups to desserts, and everything in between.
The other name to remember in cooking with beer is the Beer Cook, Lucy Saunders. She has a wealth of information in her excellent book named the Best of American Food and Beer and on her website as well. You can even test the recipes and let her know how it turned out so that the recipe turns out well for everyone.
Last but not least, if you want a couple of great beer dessert ideas that will truly impress your dinner guests. Then head to the website of Randy Clemens and check out his beer-a-misu and his beer nog recipes. I am not a huge tiramisu fan but his version is something I could go for right now as I write this.
As promised, here are some additional and more specific brews (see last week’s column for more general styles to try) that should grace your turkey-laden table:
Leipziger Gose Beer – made with salt and coriander.
Hangar 24 Alt-Bier – a hearty ale that isn’t too heavy.
Full Sail Wassail – a slightly spiced holiday ale.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.