Anyone who enjoys a cold mug of beer alongside a plate of great food will likely appreciate the Anheuser-Busch Cookbook: Great Food, Great Beer, a new food & foamy beverage volume from the makers of Budweiser. It offers 185 recipes for dishes specially chosen for how well they partner with beer. (Published by Sunset Books, January 2008, $24.95.)
This large-format softcover cookbook is artfully illustrated with gorgeous photography by Noel Barnhurst, and each recipe offers a recommendation for the type of beer to pair it with (along with a specific example of that type of beer).
Anheuser-Busch worked with master chefs who took into account the aroma, bouquet, taste and body of a variety of beer styles, aiming to develop recipes that fit both casual weeknights and special occasions.
From Meal Starters to Decadent Desserts
The recipes run the gamut from appetizer to dessert and are paired up with American premium lagers (such as Bud), as well as European-style pilsners, English-style pale ales, and dry stouts.
Some of the recipes call for beer as an ingredient in the recipe, but many do not. That was one of the things we liked about the book. It doesn’t try to force the sponsor’s product into every recipe.
Great Food, Great Beer offers a “cook’s guide” to beer, presenting a succinct rundown on the various types of beers, as well as information on hops, barley and such. The book presents a primer on proper beer pouring, the best glassware to use with different types of beers and a host of other beer-related minutia. It’s also sprinkled with bite-sized bits on the history of the proud beer company, as well as its vintage advertising (does Spuds MacKenzie qualify yet as “vintage”?).
“Real Food” Recipes
The recipes themselves lean toward the real/hearty/honest types of dishes, but you’ll find a number of quite innovative offerings, too. There are ultra simple dishes such as the Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish recipe that calls for a mere five ingredients, sharing the same page with a recipe for Swordfish with Sicilian Flavors which features ingredients like sliced almonds, raisins and Kalamata olives. Check out the recipe for Chicken with Amber Lager and Honey.
This handsome volume would make a fine gift for any beer lover, although, honestly, it’s simply a very good cookbook and a delightful read.