Unconventional holiday meals get a flavor boost from unlikely ingredients

Babish Culinary Universe and Blue Moon cooking demo, photo provided by Blue Moon
Babish Culinary Universe and Blue Moon cooking demo, photo provided by Blue Moon /

Babish Culinary Universe and Blue Moon show unconventional holiday meals are reason to celebrate.

While unconventional holiday meals might be on the table, it doesn’t mean that those holiday meals aren’t full of delicious flavors. Recently, Babish Culinary Universe partnered with Blue Moon to share some creative recipes and ideas for the season. With a few little tips and tricks, anyone can create a memorable meal that might be a new holiday tradition.

For those unfamiliar, Binging with Babish and Babish Culinary Universe are  informative and entertaining YouTube programs. The channel merges popular movies and TV shows with some amazing dishes. Sometimes obscure, sometimes familiar, but always entertaining and informative, this YouTube channel has become many people’s must watch food television.

Recently, Andrew Rea, from Binging with Babish, and Chef Sohla El-Waylly hosted a 2-hour live stream presented by Blue Moon. During the event, they shared some creative unconventional holiday meals ideas and some helpful cooking tips along the way. More importantly, this cooking demo showed that your favorite beer can rescue your holiday meal from bland flavors.

Many people cook with beer. Putting aside the traditional beer can chicken, beer is a common ingredient in many recipes. From a chili recipe that cooks for hours to the keeping a batter light, beer can be both consumed and used in the kitchen.

While many people might be using beer as a brine for poultry in their unconventional holiday meals, beer can be used in sauces, too. Just like wine can be used in recipes, beer adds a different layer of flavor.

Andrew said, “Holiday meals don’t necessarily have to be turkey or a spiral-cut ham, and I personally like beer best for braises – slow cooked short ribs, unctuous oxtails, comforting pot roasts – and a cloudy Belgian-style wheat beer like Blue Moon works perfectly to create a rich, luxurious sauce in almost any slow-and-low application. “

This concept is similar to the way that people use beer in chili. The idea of low, slow braising needs a flavorful liquid to boost the recipe. Going into the cooler months, people crave these hearty comfort foods. Why not pour a little beer into the recipe and enjoy the rest of the bottle while it is cooking.

During the live stream, the duo covered various dishes. From the proper spatchcock technique to building flavors in the bird, this cooking demo shows that cooking techniques are important but there will always be a few laughs along the way.

One of the most interesting cooking techniques tips shared during the cooking demo could be a game changer for any home baker. While caramel is often a popular flavor, it isn’t always the easiest item to make. From crystallization to burning, caramel is needs constant watching.

Sohla shared a great tip that could make your next batch of caramel a success. She used the Blue Moon beer in the caramel. And, she continued the flavor in her cake.

Sohla said, “Making a caramel can be tricky—the sugar can crystallize, melt unevenly, and end up grainy. Luckily, the acidity in beer naturally prevents crystallization for a fool proof caramel anyone can make. As an added bonus, the bitter flavor of beer offers a nice balance to the sweet caramel. I also use Blue Moon in my cake batter. The effervescence results in a lighter batter that bakes up fluffy and tender. “

The biggest takeaway from the Babish Culinary Universe and Blue Moon cooking demo is that there should be two beers in the kitchen. One for cooking and one for drinking. Cheers!

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How do you use beer in your recipes?