Stephen Fries: Super Bowl Sunday recipes bring on the beer

Super Bowl Sunday, is the second biggest eating day of the year; it is only surpassed by Thanksgiving.

The most popular beverage? Beer.

Many take pride in cooking with local ingredients, but we are consuming small-batch beer from microbreweries. Beer culture has been revolutionized with more than 2,500 breweries in the United States, producing many styles of craft beer.

Brewpub cuisine is no longer about chips, burgers or wings. Chefs are taking pub food to a whole new level using the complex flavors of varieties of malts, hops, and yeasts to realize the full taste potential of dishes ranging from salads to choice cuts of meat and locally caught seafood.

John Holl, author of “The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from your Favorite Brewpubs & Breweries” (2013, Storey Publishing, $19.95) wrote, “Beer has long lived in the shadow of wine. It is treated as a second-class citizen at many dinner parties, fine restaurants and even casual meals. Fortunately, that attitude has changed in recent years, thanks in part to the growth of the craft beer movement and increased educational writing about the beverage.”

If you are holding a party or attending one and want to bring a dish to the spread of food on Sunday, check out these recipes from Holl’s book. They were collected by the author from breweries, brewpubs, chefs and beer-centric restaurants that illustrate the delicious intersection of the culinary road where food meets beer. Some of the recipes use beer as an ingredient and others suggest a craft beer that will complement the dish.

For the recipe for Belgian Endive with Gruyere and Prosciutto, visit

Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, Wis.

The headnote says, “For those with a gluten sensitivity, crunchy game-day snacks can be hard to come by. This recipe, paired with a gluten-free beer to wash it down, has you covered. Lakefront makes a gluten-free beer called New Grist that is widely available. More gluten-free beer options are coming onto the market each month. Check with your local store for selections.”

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 4-inch by 8-inch loaf pans, dust them with gluten-free flour, and line them with parchment paper. Now grease and flour the parchment paper, removing any excess flour by inverting the pans and patting them gently over the sink.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and stir well. Add the buttermilk and mix well. Add the nuts, dried cranberries, and rosemary. Add the xanthan gum and stir briskly.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared baking pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the pans on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert the loaves onto the rack and let cool to room temperature.

Wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F and remove the loaves from the freezer. Slice the loaves into 1/4-inch (or thinner) slices. Lay the slices on baking sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping once, until the crisps are a honey brown color.

Let the crisps cool completely on a rack before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Makes about 48 crisps

Gritty McDuff’s, Portland, Maine

The headnote says, “Pair with an amber ale, like Gritty’s Red Claws Ale, to fortify yourself against the elements and whatever’s coming next. Serve with oyster crackers, tortilla chips, corn bread, or another bread of your choice.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and banana peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ale and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the beer’s foam subsides and the liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes.

Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the shrimp, chili powder, and paprika together in a bowl, coating thoroughly. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring once, until nicely seared, about 2 minutes.

Immediately transfer the shrimp to the soup pot, and then stir in the corn and broth. Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat and add the mashed sweet potato. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes longer.

Divide the soup among bowls and top with the fresh dill before serving. Makes 8-10 servings

Cupcake Brewery, Raleigh, North Carolina

Being the dessert fanatic I am, I couldn’t resist sharing this recipe from the book, especially how beer is incorporated into this dessert recipe.

The headnote says, “Sweet, but a little sour, pineapple is a fruit that brings so many flavors to any recipe it touches. These sweet treats get an added boost from a pale ale that’s made with hop varieties that present mango and other tropical fruit flavors. A gentle and floral pale ale also pairs very well with this three-bite dessert. This recipe comes from chef Erin Austin, who owns the Cupcake Brewery in North Carolina. Austin makes delicious baked treats, not beer, but regularly uses the state’s generous craft beer offerings to enhance her stellar recipes.”

Note: The recipe will work best if all ingredients are at room temperature.

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin cups with paper liners.

Cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Slowly add ¼ cup of the reserved pineapple juice.

Combine the cake flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, using the electric mixer on low speed, until just combined. Add the milk, beating until just combined. Add another one-third of the flour mixture to the batter, beating until just combined. Add the pale ale. Add the remaining one-third of the dry mixture, beating until just combined. Fold in the crushed pineapple until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 17 minutes, or until just lightly golden. Cool completely on wire racks, about 45 minutes.

Make the icing: Melt ½ cup of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Add the remaining ½ cup butter and stir until slightly thickened, like a runny caramel, about 17 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Pour the confectioners’ sugar into a large mixing bowl. Slowly mix in the brown sugar mixture with an electric mixer until the frosting is light and fluffy. (If the icing is too stiff, slowly add the half-and-half, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it’s spreadable. If the icing is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until spreadable.)

Pipe the icing on the cooled cupcakes and top each one with a small piece of candied pineapple, if using. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Desperately seeking: Several participants of the Worth Tasting Culinary Tour of downtown New Haven, held in December requested the recipe for the French toast with blueberry compote served at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, the first stop on the tour.

Wine dinner with Justin Baldwin, founder of Justin Winery, Feb. 7, 6 p.m., Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill, 100 S. Water St., New Haven. 203-787-3466. $150 per person, includes tax and gratuity. Executive chef Arturo Franco-Camacho’s menu with Justin wine pairings: avocado and crab toast, Moroccan shrimp, pomegranate-lacquered duck breast and petite filet of beef rossini. Reservations required. Tickets and info at

Consiglio’s Cooking Class and Dinner with Master Chef Vincenzo, an instructor at the Villa Maria Cooking School in Ravello, Italy: Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m., Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, 203-865-4489 (reservations required), $100 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included). Menu: Shrimp and zucchini in a lemon mint sauce, haddock with pinenuts, capers, cherry tomatoes and crunchy vegetables with goat cheese.

5th Annual Febtoberfest, Feb. 8, 6-9 p.m., Mattituck Museum, 144 West Main St. Waterbury, (203) 753-0381. $35 in advance, $40 at the door. In addition to local breweries, guests will have the opportunity to sample American wine from the region and beyond. Tickets at

Food & Wine Tasting, Feb. 8, 5:30 p.m., Fletcher Cameron Kitchens, 91 Orange St., New Haven, 203-777-7707. $35. Chef Anne Gallagher, owner of a farm-to-table catering company in Litchfield demonstrates how to make winter soups. An educational guided wine tasting by The Wine Thief will be offered. Info and tickets at